Sukin Cleansing Hand Wash
— Hand Wash
The Sukin Cleansing Hand Wash is an aromatic cleansing gel that is targeted specifically for dry hands. Jojoba, Rosehip and Avocado oils contribute to moisturising and replenishing dehydration in dry hands, and the soothing properties of Aloe Vera, Chamomile and Lavender leaves the skin feeling clean, hydrated and soft, whilst repairing any damage.
Sukin landed into the cosmetic market over a decade ago, targeting consumers that are conscious of the earth and simultaneously, their bank accounts. The familiarity of the brand has attracted consumers from far and wide, with some key signature products that are for everyone. However, fortunately, for the natural and organic cosmetic industry, you get what you pay for. For $20.95 per litre for this product, we’re not too sure how pure the ingredients are.
This product claims to be 'Sulphate’ and ‘Paraben free'.
What does this mean?
You may have seen Sukin stacked on shelves of supermarkets, health food stores, and chemists alike, with their extensive range of all-natural skin and body care. The brand values embody vegan and cruelty free ingredients, carbon neutral in manufacture and are bottled in very attractive, easy-to-use recyclable packaging.
The brand prides themselves on an extensive ‘No’ list, excluding mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, harsh chemicals, parabens (to name a few) in all of their products. As consumers, the integrity behind Sukin is really important to our purchase behaviour, environmental footprint, and of course, a clear conscience.
What we’re not sure about – is the product organic? The brand name Sukin Organics assumes so, however when if we take a closer look into the ingredients list, there’s no real explanation as to where these chosen ingredients come from.
The Sukin ‘signature scent’ has high hints of citrus and vanilla create an uplifting blend. The scent is easily unisex with the base notes of vanilla grounding the mandarin orange. Vanillin is a synthetic alternative of vanilla bean, which may have been added to enhance the vanilla component of the scent, which for some, could be overpowering.
The texture is a gel and forms a gentle lather when in contact with water.
The hand wash leaves hands feeling soft and clean after use, and the gentle leather doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils.
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, a soothing, anti-inflammatory plant extract.
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Chamomile), extract of the camomile (Chamomilla Recutita) flowers used for calming sensitivities.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine / Lauramidopropyl Betaine is commonly used in the cosmetics industry but is considered a moderate hazard by the EWG.
Phenoxyethanol, a common ingredient linked to allergic reaction, eczema and toxicity in the nervous system.
Benzyl Alcohol is a common preservative found in almost every cosmetic product.
This product uses 3 types of plastic in its packaging and a plastic label.
Bottle: PET- See more about PET and its impact
One of Sukin’s core philosophies is their commitment to creating product that is at minimal cost to the environment. Sukin uses a material called PET plastics to create their bottles and pumps (including the internal metal springs) which are BPA free and 100% recyclable. Despite the conscious choice to use this material for their packaging, we know that unless Sukin’s consumers are recycling, these bottles are single use plastics that end up in the bin.
For a bit of backstory, our current recycling epidemic is real. As of recently, our stopgap solution of exporting our recyclables to China has come to a halt and poses a difficult reality for our local recycling centres, which are already beyond capacity and no longer accepting new material. Because of this, waste disposal companies have been exposed to illegally dumping household waste into Queensland’s rural areas. If companies aren’t offering refillables on their products, or offering product stewardship, we can almost certainly admit that this is part of the problem. Sukin has promoted their formulations are grey-water safe and biodegradable, which avoids contamination to the waterways, however what about the physical vessel? With what looks to be not refillable option, simply encouragement to consumers to recycle may not be enough anymore.
Studies all over the globe are starting 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.
Formulation full analysis
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract is soothing for many skin types, and serves as an anti-inflammatory. It’s incredibly hydrating due its high-water content and includes many rich antioxidants such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C, as well as active enzymes that nourish the skin surface. Many manufacturers find this ingredient particularly useful in large quantities due to its effectiveness as a skin moisturizer, as well as its ability to cool the skin. Not only is this music to a beach-goer’s ears, but those who naturally hold more heat in their skin will benefit from buying skincare products that use Aloe Vera as a core component.
Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Chamomile) is a gentle ingredient in relieving inflammatory skin conditions and helps calm sensitivities. Chamomile provides some antioxidant protection and assists in inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine is the third 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.
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.
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.
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