Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash
— Hand Wash.
Hand wash is a common household product found in any Australian home. Even if you’re not one to buy “cosmetics”, you’re more than likely buying hand wash for the house. The Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash has been marketed for “hard-wearing hands” and includes many antiseptic qualities derived from Mandarin and Orange oils used to combat this condition. These oils can be quite abrasive on delicate skin.
Aesop is a relatively new brand in the market, however have made waves in the luxury skincare market due to their impeccably minimal designs, and carefully formulated signature scents. The brand is for the design conscious, and certainly not targeting those who prioritise organic or natural skincare regimes. Consumer experience is carefully curated through one of Aesop’s signature stores, renowned department stores, or high-end independent boutiques.
Luxury formulations coupled with meticulous design are what Aesop’s was built upon. Their objective has been to use the finest quality ingredients, from plant-based to laboratory made, to ensure standout efficacy. This is done through their extensive and independent approach to product research and development, where in-house chemical scientists conceptualise product ideas, research blends and create prototypes.
Through Aesop’s FAQs, there is a level of transparency in regard to their organic and natural status. They state that they don’t associate products within these categories due to their formulations combining high quality botanical, however also synthetic ingredients. Aesop also recognise the source of where their products can also be derived from using non-organic techniques, stating how they are “practical about how realistic it would be for [them] to use only organic ingredients”.
Aesop believes “well-considered design improves our lives”, and with that in mind, incorporate intelligent and sustainable design throughout the product packaging through their brick-and-mortar and online consumer experience. Sustainability, however, is not a core priority with Aesop packaging, as we are less informed on what materials are used, and rather directed to how Aesop aims to improve this segment of their business as transparently as possible.
The Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash has the trifecta of scents – citrus, woody, and herbaceous. The citrus notes are embedded into the liquid upon first smell thanks to the Mandarin Rind, however the woody anchoring scent of Cedar Atlas is activated once hands are run under water. The Rosemary Leaf is a strong pine-like scent that contributes to a herbaceous scented hand wash. The unison of these scents makes it easy for a unisex bathroom, as the scents are easily refreshing and grounding.
This hand wash is a low-foaming gel texture, which works really well in not stripping the skins natural oils. Due to the blend of ingredients, this hand wash can feel intensely cleansing, and perhaps even abrasive to those with irritations. Usual hand wash users may feel they need more product to match the foaming consistency of other products, however don’t be fooled, this is an incredibly cleansing hand wash if appropriate single-pump is applied.
Suitable for most skin types, we wouldn’t recommend this for those with irritabilities due to the formulation of ingredients and intensity of citrus oils. Ensuring hands are damp prior to using the product will allow the most out of the product. The addition of Sea Salt provides an gentle exfoliating experience in conjunction with Citrus and Cedarwood Bark Oil. This product is particularly recommended for those that may have tougher skin, to ensure as the same suggests, “Resurrection”.
Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, with naturally antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil, an all-around winner used to warm joints, uplift the respiratory system with its scent, and tone skin.
Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, a powerful antioxidant.
Citrus Aurantim Dulcis (Orange) Oil, used for its content in alpha hydroxy acids.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), a foaming agent correlated with skin and eye irritations and organ toxicity.
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, a big red flag in any ingredients list.
D-Limonene, a major constituent in many citrus oils with adverse affect on sensitive skin.
Phenoxyethanol, a noted allergen with links to skin conditions such as eczema and toxicity in the nervous system.
This product uses 3 types of plastic in its packaging and a plastic label.
Aesop are incredibly design-focused in relation their design aesthetic. Their priority unfortunately doesn’t lie where the external vessel is concerned, more-so the quality of product within.
Our first question was how to reuse the plastics of the product. Unfortunately, Aesop doesn’t offer refills due to “hygiene and logistics” nor product stewardship for the same reasons, however encourages their consumer to recycle them by providing some examples of make-shift ideas for around our homes – from vases to storage containers. Aesop use PET plastics, as indicated on the bottom of their plastic bottles. Although PET plastic doesn’t contain BPA or Phthalates, unfortunately this plastic isn’t advised to be reused as temperature affects the chemical structure of the bottle.
Studies all over the globe are beginning to emerge regarding plastic health to humans, particularly the surprising investigations of PET plastics may contain estrogenic compounds that leach from the plastic. This is the same plastic used in many water bottles that we used to buy and drink from prior to understanding the effect of our carbon footprint. The way we see it, this is just another nail in the coffin for plastics, no matter how conscious the choice may be.
Even aside from the 500ml plastic bottle we must attempt to ‘reinvent’ in our homes, but what about the plastic pump we have no use for afterward? Unfortunately, pumps are of a higher plastic density than what the actual bottle is – and doesn’t necessarily mean that it is recyclable. Metal springs are commonly found in most pumps and are detrimental to the plastic recycling system unless separated, and therefore makes the pump non-recyclable.
Formulation full analysis
Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil is plastered on the front of Aesop’s Hand Wash packaging and frankly, should be commended for its concentration in the product. This oil is packed of antiseptic properties, perfect for a hand wash that aims to thoroughly cleanse. The naturally occurring d-Limonene component in Mandarin Oil makes it a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Read more about the effects of added d-Limonene in cosmetics below.
Cedrus Atlantica (Cedarwood) Bark Oil is a hero ingredient in Aesop’s Resurrection Hand Wash, and rightly so. It is an incredible ingredient as its warm, dry and woody scent acts as an aphrodisiac in aroma, as well as provides strong skin conditioning properties. Cedar Atlas in particular is often used to warm joints, uplift the respiratory system with its scent, and tone skin. It’s particularly effective for combination to oily skin types, and in conjunction with the other ingredients in this product, will soothe roughness in the skin. And that’s all we ever ask for in a hand wash!
Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil is another effectively grounding ingredient in the Resurrection Hand Wash. This oil is a powerful antioxidant and has the same free radical fighting power as goji berries. This is what provides the product with its invigorating and purifying properties, leaving the skin feeling clean and fresh.
Citrus Aurantim Dulcis (Orange) Oil is usually used for its content in alpha hydroxy acids. AHA’s are used in modern cosmetics for their exfoliating properties and therapeutic benefits of minimising photo damaged skin and promote ‘youthful’ looking skin. Apart from their ability to rid skin of unnecessary dead cells, AHAs have a moisturising effect, and contribute to reducing dryness and combating flakiness. This ingredient can be a little too active to those with sensitivities, so best to avoid this if you suffer from irritated skin.
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) has one job when it comes to hand wash, and that’s to make it foam under the tap. This is the second most potent ingredient in Aesop’s Resurrection Hand Wash after Water – so we thought it was important to dive into the details. Many studies have reported the dangers of SLS and SLES, in particular skin and eye irritations and organ toxicity. After all, these ingredients are strong enough to cut through grease on motor vehicles, and work by corroding surfaces. Originally these ingredients are derived from coconuts. Manufacturing SLS and SLES means many other chemicals are added to the process, however they can also become contaminated by ethylene oxide, nitrates and 1.4-dioxane, making SLS and SLES toxic and even carcinogenic. As we wash our hands more than once a day, it’s particularly important to check for these ingredients, how much is concentrated within the product, and how often you plan to use it. The over-exposure of these ingredients can cause some incredibly detrimental effects to skin, making it more work and even more expensive to reverse.
PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil is a big red flag in any ingredients list. Again, sitting more than halfway up on the list on Aesop’s Hand Wash, we know that it’s been added in high amounts. According to the Cosmetics Ingredients Review, PEG-40 “can instigate immune system response that can include itching, burning, scaling, hives and blistering of the skin”, as well as “contain harmful impurities” referring to carcinogens Ethylene Oxide and 1,4-Dioxane. Need we say more?
D-Limonene is a major constituent in many citrus oils – particularly orange, lemon and grapefruit. Topically, it’s an incredibly strong antioxidant and has the ability to calm the skin. However, when exposed to air, the antioxidant compounds can oxidise and become capable of sensitising skin. Despite the risk of eventually sensitising skin, it’s particularly important to avoid this ingredient if your skin is already sensitive or irritable, or if you suffer from skin conditions such as rosacea, dermatitis, or psoriasis. The added d-Limonene in this product is minimal, but when naturally found in oils that are included, this could cause some irritations to those who already have skin sensitivities.
Phenoxyethanol is one of those ingredients we would see right at the bottom of the list of many products, and probably don’t think twice about it… What’s the harm in one little long word in the mix of all these beautiful botanical ingredients? The truth is, this bad boy has been linked to many allergic reactions and skin conditions such as eczema, and toxicity in the nervous system, particularly in infants. The European Union has classed it as an irritant, and Japan has restricted the ingredient. Juxtaposed to this, The Scientific Committee of Consumer Safety (SCCS) has deemed the chemical safe to use as a preservative if concentration does not exceed 1.0%. However, when taking into consideration reapplying the same product, as well as many other products on the bathroom shelf, we may be applying and absorbing more than what we think.
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