Wednesday, June 11, 2008

AMALA Shines In A Sea Of Confusion

Natural, organic, pure …what product doesn’t scream one of these on their label these days? Where does it stop? I recently tried a body scrub that smelled so good - the packaging was great and the company philosophy was about using natural aromatherapy ingredients and fine spices like “ground cinnamon” and “crushed cloves.” I was starting to write the scrub up when I looked at all the ingredients. Argh! White petroleum, Mineral Oil! How can a company’s mission be to “provide 100% safe, all natural elements” blah, blah, blah and then put those really bad ones inside? Don’t get me wrong, I have used products containing those ingredients and have no real issue with them. What I have a problem with is stating something and turning around and delivering another. So needless-to-say, my dander was up when I got to this AMALA skincare line. Let’s investigate, shall we? Amala_2

The name is pronounced AMA-la, like Pamela without the P. They come to us from Germany and take their name from the Sanskrit word for “most pure.” Their products are certified organic by Ecocert (like our Natural Product Association but to the 10th power. Ecocert doesn’t mess around). Phew, I’m calming down now. Amala believes in using whole plant ingredients and the products are 100% free of synthetics, chemical preservatives (expiration date stamped on the bottom of each box) and their line is the first to be formulated with exclusive organic emulsifiers. There’s really so much more to this line then what I have here so if you curious, you can read it on their site.

Onto the products – they come in three categories: Purify, Hydrate and Rejuvenate, depending on your skin’s needs. For the face, there’s Cleansers, Toners, Moisturizers, Mattifiers, Eye Treatments, and Yogurt Masks in each collection to name a few. Right now, the Purifying line is the only one available to purchase on their site with the other two rolling out September 1st. They even have products for the body, one of which was my favorite out of the few I tried. The Detoxify Body Butter ($27/1.7oz) was really nice feeling but I wasn’t too wild about the earthy-crunchy scent. I was able to overlook it, as it didn’t linger. My skin didn’t feel greasy at all, just soft and hydrated, which must be due to the fig and olive oil. I even gave it the ultimate test by shoving my arm in front of the SO to touch. He also approved. 

As with any “natural” line, especially this proven one, spot testing is recommended – just because it’s natural or plant-based doesn’t mean it’s gentle. All @ amalabeauty.com

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Comments

Shannon

I do not disagree that some products that claim to be 100% natural are not, or can have some questionable product, but within the realm of the debate about mineral oil and petrolateum - they are absolutely safe and natural.

There are a few all-natural cosmetic movements with a vested interest in seeing the demise of mineral oil in favor of other plant-derived oils. Use of these short-shelf life, quickly rancid, very expensive, non-effective, non-efficient alternatives are their attempts at a new, "angle" or point of difference and a disservice to the end user.

These entities do admit that using mineral oil, a NATURAL byproduct of gasoline from crude oil, is good environmental practice because it is recycling it rather than dumping the enormous quantities of it into the environment. However, their self-serving (for profit) argument is that our bodies cannot assimilate mineral oil…We are not seeking to assimilate it! If we wanted the oil to be systemic we'd take a supplement orally. On the contrary, we are seeking to use the emollient as a protective barrier on top of the skin.


Crystal - Beauty or Bust

I'm the type of girl who loves natural products, so this line looks great to me! I think we really have to be careful about what we put on our skin, just as we watch what we eat. Love the blog!

Beauty or Bust

The ingredients sound really good. Great post -Im going try it now!!

Cybele

Hi Shannon! I am only stating with the first half of the feature that the company making all those "all-natural" claims about their scrubs is totally off and they are misleading the customer. Mineral is not a naturally occuring substance on our planet, which is what the term natural is primarily used for in beauty. It is a by product. We would have to debate what the true definition of "natural" is to reach a common ground on this one! Thanks for reading and for sure presenting the other side on this issue. It still has a ways to go in terms of what companies can claim what but I, for one, am quite excited to see what will happen.
~Cybele

Cybele

Hi Beauty or Bust - I like the point that Shannon brought up. And I think the consumer has to do some research on their own these days and not just take a products word for it, which is somewhat a shame.
Now we have never claimed to be ingredient queens here and we are quite the opposite but as you read, that product really got my feathers in a ruffle. Hopefully we will have something in place like Ecocert soon. Europe does set all the fashion trends that the rest of us follow sometimes a few years afterward so hopefully that is the case in this topic.
~Cybele

Kezia

Hmmm... "There are a few all-natural cosmetic movements with a vested interest in seeing the demise of mineral oil in favor of other plant-derived oils". That's not my motivation at all. I love beauty products as much as the next girl, but there is a growing amount of evidence linking toxic chemicals like parabens, petroleum-based chemicals-- the list could go on-- to a whole host of scary health issues. We aren't all alarmists and and being dismissed as such is insulting and misleading.

jennetqu

I'm new to www.cybelesays.com. I hope I can be a regular here!

annette

I just have to comment on this one: "their self-serving (for profit) argument is that our bodies cannot assimilate mineral oil…We are not seeking to assimilate it! If we wanted the oil to be systemic we'd take a supplement orally. On the contrary, we are seeking to use the emollient as a protective barrier on top of the skin."

What you put ON your skin, gets absorbed by the body, through the skin, which is semi-permeable otherwise sweat would not be allowed out of our pores, and likewise we can take things in, by "in" i mean it goes into our cells, into our lymph system, into our blood stream, and gets filtered through the organs of the body, as if we had ingested it. A substance that sits ON TOP of your skin and forms a protective layer is not good for the skin or the body. Good oils and lotions are absorbed by the skin, but a protective barrier clogs the skin, and inhibits your body's natural ability to get rid of toxins. Mineral oil does eventually get absorbed into the body anyway. I don't know to what extent mineral oil will actually harm you, however there is good support for avoiding this substance in a natural skin care line, especially if you care about what you put on and in your body.

annette

I just read what you wrote in your Ingredient Disclaimer section, and I think that makes sense!! Nice job :) I'm looking forward to trying Amala, it seems like a REALLY nice product....

Cybele

Hi Annette - thanks for your thoughts on the issue! It's a long road to some kind of solution, I think.

beauty products

Lovely products. Thanks for another great giveaway.

aromatherapy oils

Maybe they add aromatherapy oils for those facial stuff to keep it smelling nice and relaxing?

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