March 14, 2013

Really Natural Skincare for Girls: Willa Naturals

Willa Naturals is a brand I am not familiar with, so as always, I refer to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Unfortunately, EWG only evaluates beauty products for hazards to your health and not whether a product is truly natural. These products appear to not be too bad for you, but I have some suspicions about Will Naturals being natural. I can't pronounce or recognize the name of many of the product ingredients.

Willa Naturals was developed for young girls:

Hi. I'm Willa.

For the past 3 ½ years we have been developing a skincare line for girls called willa® . It all started when my mom and I looked for skincare products for me and we couldn't find them - at least not natural products.

My mom always nagged me to wear sunblock, wash my face, moisturize - you know the drill. But even though I knew it was important to take care of my skin, I never enjoyed doing it...the products available just didn't feel good-and believe me I tried everything.

willa consists of 17 products; each is special and different from other brands because they were developed by girls, for girls. We worked with the best skincare laboratories in the USA to develop natural skincare formulations girls would love to use. Each product also underwent rigorous testing to ensure they were both safe and effective. Willa products are free of harsh chemicals, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, DEA and of course are not tested on animals.

We were sent four products to try:

As I mentioned above, I am concerned about some of the ingredients. I am always wary if an ingredient has a number after it, as I feel it indicates it is a chemical. I briefly researched a few ingredients from the above products:
Polyquaternium 51: The Good Guide finds there are no health concerns, but the products it is listed in are from cosmetic companies such as Maybelline and L'Oreal. Obviously, these are not natural brands.
HYDROGENATED POLYDECENE: EWG gives this ingredient a hazard score of two stating it is "an end-product of the controlled hydrogenation of Polydecene(q.v.)".
sodium C14-16 olefin sulfonate: Can be derived from coconuts, like sodium lauryl sulfate, but is an even harsher surfactant. Paula's Choice asks:
Used primarily as a detergent cleansing agent, but is potentially drying and irritating for skin and is also tricky to formulate with due to stability issues, though it does produce copious foam. Secondary surfactants can be used with this cleansing agent to minimize its negative impact on skin, but why not just use a cleanser that contains gentler cleansing agents?
Is using a sulfonate any better than using a sulfate? It is if you want to claim your product is sulfate free.
Acetyl Dipeptide-1 Cetyl Ester: According to Bio Inc Beauty, this ingredient "is based on lipo-dipeptide Tyr-Arg - a peptide found naturally in the body. This peptide was discovered to promote the natural release of signal agents that trigger happiness and feelings of well being". Being based on a natural peptide in the body does not make the ingredient natural. I am not sure how it is made.
Laureth-3: I can't figure out how this differs from sodium laureth sulfate, unless of course, you are avoiding that word sulfate.

I think that our beauty products should be simple. The ingredients should be understandable. True our skin may require different things at different ages, but it is especially important our young girls are not exposed to chemicals when they are entering the world of beauty products.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at March 14, 2013 2:02 PM

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