Remember when we all started hating on fragrance in skincare?
You’d think brands got the hint and stopped using it altogether. Wrong. They’re just switched from synthetic fragrances to essential oils.
I know what you’re thinking. Essential oils are natural and natural = safe? Right.
NO. Essential oils are every bit as irritating as synthetic fragrances.
Here’s the deal: a plant is composed of thousands of substances. Some of these substances are good. Like antioxidants. They make them to protect their cells. Others are bad. Like fragrant components. They’re how plants keep bugs away so they don’t get eaten.
When you put them on your skin, they can cause irritations and allergies. If you have sensitive skin, you don’t want to go anywhere near this stuff.
Some of the worst culprits are peppermint oil and citrus oils. It totally sucks. I adore the smell of anything citrus – it’s so cheerful and summary. But I still wouldn’t want it anywhere near my face or hands.
So when I realised that Cowshed Cow Slip Soothing Hand Cream had more peppermint and sweet orange oil than Shea butter, I knew we wouldn’t get along.
To add insult to injury, the packaging clearly states: “due to the high ratios of essential oils used in this product, a skin test is advisable.”
Look, I’m all for doing patch tests because the ugly truth is that anyone could become allergic to something at any time. If that’s the case, you want to find that out before slathering the cream everywhere.
But if you know that using a high ratio of essential oils could be especially problematic, why are you adding them to the hand cream in the first place? And then go as far as to call it “soothing”? I. Can’t. Even.
The hand cream’s not even that hydrating. Its lightweight texture isn’t a match for my dry hands. I wash my hands a lot so a good hand cream is a must for me.
I find I’d have to reapply this way too often and given the potential for irritation, I wouldn’t do that. Now, if things were reversed and the cream had way more Shea butter than essential oils, I may be tempted to give it a go.
It does smell divine, I give you that. But if that’s all the good you can say about a hand cream, you know you’ve got a problem.
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