Lime and Orange Blossom Hand Wash

 

Grace Cole Boutique Collection
Lime and Orange Blossom
— Hand Wash

Grace Cole Boutique Collection Lime and Orange Blossom Hand Wash Product Review Noema
 
 

The Lime and Orange Blossom Hand Wash in Grace Cole’s Boutique Collection is a favourite among the range. Marketed as a luxury product aiming to condition and cleanse the skin, its fragrant formulation is for normal skin types to leave them feeling silky soft. Bittersweet hints of sparkling lime and a punch of citrus through the orange blossom, this is a gentle hand cleanser to cleanse yet moisturise the hands.    

The packaging’s black detailing has a slight feminine touch with the addition of a black ribbon around the pump bottle. The ingredients at a glance don’t show to have any natural derivatives of the lime and orange blossom stated in their headlined scent, in contrast extremely high levels of sulphates, surfactants and preservatives.

 
Grace Cole Boutique Collection Lime and Orange Blossom Hand Wash Product Review Noema

Brand integrity

Grace Cole’s story is summarised on their website homepage for “grown-up glamour, everyday”. The UK born brand prioritises the distinguishable fragrances and packaging over thought-out ingredients and considered packaging, despite their statements toward using “the best ingredients from home grown English manufacturers”. The objective for Grace Cole is to balance delicious perfume accords to smell unique and addictive, obsessing over textures, colour palettes and presentation.  

There is no mention on the website homepage of any environmental initiative, or transparency of on the manufacture of their products.

 
Grace Cole Boutique Collection Lime and Orange Blossom Hand Wash Product Review Noema

First impressions

Fragrance: 
The Lime and Orange Blossom hand wash is a highly fragrant product that has an almost synthetic citrus scent, perhaps due to the Parfum (Fragrance) ingredient listed. Since the ingredient listing does not show any natural derivatives in their product, it is assumed the fragrance does come from a synthetic compound. 

Texture: 
This is a gel liquid soap that forms a high lather once in contact with water.

Efficacy:
As the gel lathers generously, it’s hard to not feel completely clean and nourished after using the Boutique Collection Hand Wash. Its liberal in suds, and washes away leaving skin feeling drenched in new citrus scent. The moisturizing component is small comparatively to the cleanse, perhaps as the only moisturizing ingredient listed is Glycerin, amongst a long list of sulfates, surfactants and fragrance which are all known to be skin irritants.

 
Grace Cole Boutique Collection Lime and Orange Blossom Hand Wash Product Review Noema

Ingredient watch

read our full Formulation Analysis

The Good

Glycerin, an odourless, colourless, viscous liquid that reduces loss of moisture.

The Questionable

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), a foaming agent correlated with skin and eye irritations and organ toxicity.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine / Lauramidopropyl Betaine is commonly used in the cosmetics industry but is considered a moderate hazard by the EWG.
Benzyl Alcohol is a commonly used chemical found naturally in some essential oils or synthetically derived.
Fragrance (Parfum), is an ambiguous ingredient in any listing, even if it’s been labelled “from natural sources”, or “natural fragrance”.

 
Grace Cole Boutique Collection prioritises fragrance, glamour and luxury aesthetic over sustainability.  Image via Grace Cole  Pinterest

Grace Cole Boutique Collection prioritises fragrance, glamour and luxury aesthetic over sustainability.
Image via Grace Cole Pinterest

Packaging review

The Boutique Collection Hand Wash is in a plastic rectangular bottle with a black plastic pump bottle. There is an additional black ribbon tied around the pump bottle for presentation.

 

Formulation full analysis

The Good

Glycerin is an odourless, colourless, viscous liquid known as a humectant – a substance that reduces the loss of moisture, hence its ability to moisturize and hydrate effectively. The way that Glycerin can do this is by drawing moisture from the air around us and help keep it in the skin, essentially like a sponge that pulls water to the outer skin layer. Once glycerin is applied, it also has the ability to signal superficial skin cells (on the surface) to mature more rapidly, and thus increasing cell turnover for fresher, softer skin.

The Questionable

Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) has one key job, and that’s to make product foam when in contact with water. 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 use these products almost every 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.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine is the fourth ingredient found in this product, which means it’s in high quantities. This ingredient is used as a surfactant in cosmetic and personal care products, which means it helps clean skin by helping the water to mix with the oil and dirt to be rinsed away. It’s often marked as “natural” as it originally comes from plant oils, however it is a harsh skin and eye irritant, has an overall health concern hazard of “moderate” on EWG, and was voted allergen of the year in 2004 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

Benzyl Alcohol is a common preservative found in almost every cosmetic product, and we know that small amounts of this ingredient aren’t necessarily harmful, although has been found to instigate immune system responses such as itching, burning, hives and blistering at particular concentrations. Similar to Phenoxyethanol, if all the products on the bathroom shelf include benzyl alcohol, we’re then looking at high, and potentially toxic exposure of the chemical.

Fragrance (Parfum) is an ambiguous ingredient in any listing, even if it’s been labelled “from natural sources”, or “natural fragrance”. According to the EWG, the average “fragrant” can be any of 3,163 chemicals that aren’t normally listed on labels. Many of these chemicals are linked to hormone disruption and allergic reactions as they fall usually under phthalates, oxtoxynols and nonoxynols. If a fragrance is natural, we would assume it would be labelled on the ingredients list in its botanical name.

 

Thoughts?

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