This week on my travels to Japan I spent a lot of time picking up skincare products and reading ingredient lists. Okay so it’s kind of a habit for me with my job but I’m constantly surprised by what I read.

Probably the most surprising is the expensive stuff. And the best place to check out expensive skin care is the duty free department.

While scanning the aisles of products in Sydney duty free I came across a pretty bottle of face cream that was selling for $535. Now you would think for that kind of money you would be getting liquid gold or perhaps the most expensive and best ingredients money could buy. Short answer is no. In fact, I was horrified. The first five ingredients were listed as follows:
1. Aqua
2. Alcohol
3. Isotridecyl Isononanoate
4. Diglycerin
5. Glycerin

This horrified me because I know that these ingredients are inexpensive to purchase, making the product ridiculously overpriced. I was also appalled because the synthetic nature of these ingredients limits their benefits for the skin and would irritate the heck out of anyone with sensitive skin.

Perhaps more worrying were some of the other ingredients listed including:
• Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate – UV absorber (commonly used in chemical sunscreens) that has been shown to disrupt hormones.
• Parfum (fragrance) – this pretty little word can describe all manner of synthetic chemicals, most commonly known to irritate skin and inflame allergies.
• Colours including CI 15985 – a synthetic dye produced from either a petroleum base or ground cochineal bugs.

These ingredients do nothing to support the health of the skin, never mind the health of your body or the environment. They are synthetic ingredients that do more harm than good.

When you’re shopping for a new skincare product please take the time to read the ingredients listed on the packaging. If you see any of those listed above, run. If you’re not sure if the ingredient is natural or not, there are a range of online databases you can use to search including:

• Think Dirty app:
• Environmental Working Group (EWG):

Primarily your concern should be the ingredients and what effect they could have on your skin, your body and the environment. But I think it’s also worth considering the company that you’re supporting. Does that company’s values align with yours? Are they putting their money where their mouth is?

I like to think that’s why our customers choose Clémence Organics.

, Clémence Organics