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As many readers know, I’m not a fan of brands which expect consumers to pay a premium simply because they’re natural, with the implication that “natural” things are somehow safer, or less “unnatural”, because they “don’t contain chemicals” (see one of my earliest posts on this marketing claptrap here). A lot of “natural” brands rely upon consumer ignorance and spread misinformation about “chemicals” to sell their products, and frequently the only selling point is that they don’t contain ingredient X (e.g. mineral oil) – you’re expected to pay more for a product which isn’t actually “safer”, and doesn’t work anywhere near as well!
However, some natural brands do put a lot of effort into making sure their products contain scientifically proven ingredients, and are genuinely dedicated to sustainability and developing gentle products (La Mav, Trilogy and A’kin are some brands which come immediately to mind). But the extra effort often comes with a higher price tag.
Enter Neutrogena Naturals. This latest addition to Neutrogena line combines natural ingredients with effective products, and their face is the absolutely adorable Kristen Bell. The line’s products are made of 86-100% naturally derived ingredients, and have been available overseas for some time, but so far in Australia it includes 3 cleansers, a lip balm and a face and body bar – I’ve road tested them all except for the bar.
– Purifying Facial Cleanser ($14.99, 177 mL) – contains willowbark (natural source of salicylic acid aka beta hydroxy acid, good exfoliant for acne-prone skin but not super effective in a wash-off product). It’s been tested to clean as well as Neutrogena’s gold standard Fresh Foaming cleanser, and on my skin it feels like it lives up to the claim. All the cleansers smell pleasantly apple-y.
– Fresh Cleaning + Makeup Remover ($14.99, 177 mL) – contains Peruvian Tara seed which has vitamins A, B and E. This stung the crap out of my eyes, but a quick Google search tells me I’m in the minority (I can’t open my eyes underwater without stinging, so… yeah). It feels a bit gentler than the Purifying Cleanser.
– Purifying Pore Scrub ($14.99, 118 mL) – again, this contains willowbark, and jojoba beads as a physical exfoliant. I may be wrong, but I think this is the only facial scrub I’ve seen in supermarkets which doesn’t use microplastic beads – if that is indeed so, then bravo!
– Face and Body Bar ($4.99, 99 g) – contains avocado and olive oils, but I expect it’s a bit too drying for people who regularly cleanse their face. I passed this onto the boyfriend since combination face/body products seem to be a laissez-faire low maintenance product aimed at not-me (I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a princess, yes), and he has kindly decided that he’d rather finish off his current soap first (he should probably be my Project Pan coach), so I expect I’ll get a review in July or something.
– Lip Balm ($4.99, 4 g) – This is the 100% natural star of the line – it’s made by the same heat-and-mix process by which I made my homemade lip balm, and contains a mix of oils, beeswsx and butters which impressively rivals my HG Nivea lip balms in longevity (my test: I put this on just before bed and my lips are soft and have traces of balm on them in the morning). It smells like mint candy, and it also works pretty awesomely as a cuticle balm.
Two moisturisers will be added to the line in June, and will retail at $14.99.
– Very affordable – lip balm and face and body bar come in at $4.99, while cleansers are $14.99
– Widely available – you can get these with your grocery shopping
– Transparent ingredients lists – broken down lists appear on the back of each product, which makes it easy to see where your ingredients come from, with asterisks marking the non-natural ingredients
– Effective products – the line follows Neutrogena’s other products in the brand’s commitment to effectiveness, something frequently ignored in “natural” lines
– Efforts towards sustainability – the packaging uses post-consumer recycled materials, and are recyclable; Neutrogena Naturals also supports a number of sustainability projects including The Nature Conservancy
– Green coloured packaging is unisex friendly
– Although there’s some effort to be sustainable, some ingredients aren’t great (e.g. palm-derived materials), and the samples I received were made in North America rather than locally
– The individual products aren’t tested on animals, but there’s no clear statement on animal testing, current or prospective, which is unusual for a “natural” range, but unsurprising given that it’s a sideline from a brand owned by a massive multinational
Overall, I think it’s great that Neutrogena have started moving towards sustainability, and while there are many improvements that can be made, it does come at a very accessible price point, and fills an important niche in the market. Happily, their mission statement recognises that they’re on a “journey towards sustainability”, and I hope to see them prove their continuing commitment to sustainability. I also hope to see some other major brands move in this direction!
Neutrogena’s PR have kindly supplied me with a pack of three Neutrogena Naturals products (Lip Balm, Face & Body Bar and Fresh Cleansing + Makeup Remover) for one lucky Australian reader! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below – giveaway ends April 5th (see widget for further terms and conditions):
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you tried this line yet? What did you think?
These products were provided for editorial consideration, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.