Sukin Body Wash for Men Product Review

 

Sukin
Body Wash
— For men

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Products on the market for men’s skin and body care are extremely limited, let alone products under the natural or organic umbrella. Given the limited product diversity in men’s skin and body care, we’ve noticed a big need for education in this area. Truth be told, it’s slowly escalating.

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 anyone. The Body Wash for Men is a no-brainer for the blokes, however, fortunately for the natural and organic cosmetic industry, you get what you pay for. We can be pretty confident that a price point of $13.95 is definitely too good to be true.

 
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Brand integrity

Claims:
This product claims to be 'Naturally Derived'
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.

 
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First impressions

Fragrance: 
Incredibly subtle, this scent is perfect blend of the sweet and tangy Baobab coupled with earthy cinnamon tones and fresh citrus. The blend curates a natural “earthy” scent, making this particular fragrance stand out among the Sukin range for the ideal target consumers – men.

Texture: 
The texture is thick and viscous, from the coconut oil derivatives and fatty alcohols and glucose components. This thick texture allows less of an application onto hand, however the low-foam component may make you reach for more. Bear in mind naturally-derived products have low-foam properties, in order to restore a natural oil balance in your skin’s health.  

Efficacy:
The formulation of ingredients makes for deep-cleanse for courser skin types. Baobab is a key ingredient in skin types that need extra hydration, and generally in formulas that target dryer skin due to its antioxidant content equating to roughly double the amount of goji berries or pomegranates. Combined with Vitamin C, its antioxidant content is boosted further, helping to promote the production of collagen. Of course, we know that the therapeutic benefits of these ingredients are found when each ingredient is of high-quality, which for a $13.95 price point, we may find isn’t exactly what we think we’re paying for.

 
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Ingredient watch

read our full Formulation Analysis

The Good

Baobab, is a powerful antioxidant due to its rich Vitamin A, C and E component.
Sesame Oil, contains high levels of natural antioxidants packed with Vitamin E for keeping the skin strong and supple.
Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, a highly hydrating and soothing ingredient.

The Questionable

PEG 150, a common emulsifier and thickening agent.
Cocamidopropyl Betaine, a surfectant commonly used in ‘natural’ ingredients.
Phenoxyethanol, a harsh irritant linked to many skin conditions and allergies.

 
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Packaging review

This product uses 3 types of plastic in its packaging and a plastic label.

Bottle: PET- See more about PET and its impact
Pump: PP- See more about PP and its impact
Stainless Steel Spring
Label: OTHER - See more about Plastic Film 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

The Good

Baobab is an underdog ingredient. It has absolutely incredible benefits to our skin’s health, however you may not have heard much about why. To be used topically, Baobab is extracted from the fruits seeds into an oil through a cold pressing process. The Vitamin A and E component of this ingredient provides natural retinol to the skin, to stimulate the production of new skin cells, particularly helpful if the skin is sun-damaged or dryer than normal. The Vitamin C concentration in the freshly extracted oil make it a powerful antioxidant for the skin – almost seven to ten times higher than what oranges can offer. The Omega-3, -6 and -9 essential fatty acids help with retaining moisture in the skin, regulating oil production and maintain elasticity. Omega-3 in particular lessens UV-induced photodamage, and external signs of ageing.

Sesame Oil we know is a common ingredient used in food, however the topical benefits of this oil have been valued for thousands of years, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine. This oil contains high levels of natural antioxidants packed with Vitamin E for keeping the skin strong and supple, B-complex vitamins treating conditions of the skin such as rosacea, acne, eczema, dermatitis, hyper pigmentation, sun-damaged and dry skin (to name a few). Rich in amino acids, Sesame Oil helps build up proteins in the skin allowing production of collagen and elastin.  

Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice is found in high concentrations in this product. For many different skin types, this ingredient is soothing, and serves as an anti-inflammatory. It’s incredibly hydrating and includes many minerals, amino acids, vitamins and active enzymes that nourishes the skin surface.

 

The Questionable

PEG 150 is used in beauty products as an emulsifier and thickening agent, and predominantly found in shampoos. PEGs are notoriously controversial ingredients in cosmetics, particularly their ability to be easily absorbed into the skin alongside assisting other ingredients do the same. Molecular weight plays a huge role here – any PEG that is greater than 75 have a high molecular weight, therefore harder for the skin to absorb; PEG 150 is a high weight and therefore not easily absorbed. Further, PEG 150 is not considered to be an irritant and has been approved for use by CIR and FDA, as long as it’s not on used on broken skin. However, the Cosmetic Database finds PEG 150 to be a moderate hazard depending on usage – and a study published in the International Journal of Toxicology labelled it as containing a harmful impurity called Ethylene Oxide which has been recorded to be linked with uterine and breast cancers, as well as brain cancers. Given that this ingredient has been marked as relatively safe due to its molecular weight, it still lists as fifth on the ingredients of this product, causing concern for the quantity used in the 500ml bottle.

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.

 

Thoughts?

Are you a loyal Sukin customer?

Would any of the ingredients deter you from buying their product?

Share your thoughts with us below!


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