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How pure are 100% pure cosmetics?


Grace is not gullible: I’m watching QVC and they are featuring 100% Pure Cosmetics. Everything sounds so wonderful… earth based, all 100% natural,fruit pigmented, vegan friendly, no preservatives, no harmful chemicals, fragrance free, full of antioxidants, no animal testing, it is like organic food for your face, etc. etc. I’m wondering what is really in their products????

The Left Brain responds:

Good question, Grace. Looking at the ingredients in their products it appears that they do indeed have simplified, formulas that avoid the use of many traditional surfactants, preservatives, thickeners, and fragrances. How do they do this? By providing very basic formulas that rely on naturally-derived functional ingredients surrounded by a lot of non-functional natural ingredients that sound good but don’t really do anything.

100% Pure ingredients

For example, here is their ingredient list 100% Pure Organic Lavender Foaming Shower Gel.

All Natural Ingredients: Organic Lavender Hydrosol, Organic Lavender Honey, Gentle Coconut Cleanser (coco betaine), Organic extracts of Jasmine, Chamomile, Calendula and Rose, Organic White Tea, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Vitamin E (a-tocopherol), Vitamin C (ascorbyl palmitate), Natural Food Preservatives from salt and cranberries (less than 0.1% of Sodium Benzoate, Potassium sorbate)

They take some liberties with the labeling guidelines and try to hide the ingredients that actually make the product work. If you strip away the nonsense you get…

Water, Coco Betaine, Salt, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate

These ingredients are found in many other products. Coco betaine is chemically derived from coconut oil and is a very close cousin of cocamidopropyl betaine which is found in almost all mass market shampoos and cleanser. While it’s milder than some other foaming agents (like sodium lauryl sulfate) it is also not as effective of a cleanser.) Interestingly, they say their products contain no preservatives but then they have Sodium Benzoate & Potassium Sorbate which are both preservatives.

Go figure.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

I’m sure these are fine products but they aren’t any better for you than the much less expensive products you can buy at your local grocery store. It’s really your choice – if you like these products then buy them. But don’t be tricked into buying them just because 100% Pure tells you they’re more natural.

What do YOU think? Would you be willing to sacrifice performance just to get a product that’s more “natural?” Leave a comment and share your thoughts and concerns with the rest of the Beauty Brains community.

{ 36 comments… add one }

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    • confused November 6, 2014, 9:56 am

      what? you’re not making any sense!

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  • Anonymous July 9, 2014, 10:27 am

    I understand your skepticism, greenwashing is found common in the beauty industry because of the lack of regulation by the FDA. But, 100% Pure is not one of those brands. They are focused on providing natural, good-for-you products. And I am one to do my research.

    • Randy Schueller July 9, 2014, 6:24 pm

      Don’t blame greenwashing on lack of FDA over site! Rather, blame the companies who are misleading people by trying to make money of enviromentally conscious consumers.

  • Kelli March 11, 2015, 6:40 pm

    I just saw now saw this post and had to mention a couple things about this company.
    I came across their website a little over a month ago after my sister spent an exorbitant amount of money buy some of their products. She asked me to look at some of the product ingredients to see if they were good since they claim to use no preservatives or synthetic ingredients. I noticed that quite a few of their products that contain water and oil listed no preservatives other than honeysuckle extract but they also listed no emulsifier and yet the pictures of many of those products shows a beautiful white cream. Huh??? When I emailed them and got a reply, they told me they dont need a special ingredient to emulsify because they have a special machine that automatically emulsifies it for them. Hahahahaha! When I emailed again and decided to share the fact that I am a cosmetic product formulator they did not email back. Hmmm?? Guess they are just duping the public out of their hard-earned money by lying. They are just one of three deceptive companies out there that are trying to make everyone believe they are 100% natural, when in fact they are not!!

    • Randy Schueller March 12, 2015, 6:44 am

      Very interesting. There is some new technology that allows emulsions to be made without surfactants (http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Formulation-Science/New-tech-mixes-water-and-oil-without-surfactants?nocount) but I don’t think it’s been used to produce commercial products yet. It would be interesting to see the full ingredient listing of the product.

    • Cr3ativegirl April 20, 2015, 8:51 am

      I make my own stuff without an emulsifier using my kitchenaid mixer on the top speed. Works really well. No chemicals needed….

      • Randy Schueller April 20, 2015, 9:29 am

        I’m curious what you’re using to keep the oils separating from the water. (And BTW you realize that EVERYTHING in your kitchen is a chemical, right?

        • CRAP BUSTER May 3, 2016, 2:44 pm

          @Randy Oh for Pete’s sakes!!!! Schuyller, you do realize that when people use the term” chemical” in the context of talking about natural food products and type “no chemicals”, they do mean “no tox-chems” as in “no synthetic chemicals”. Quit playing the clueless tart! But since I have to spell it I spell it out for you, that means no toxic, no synthetic, no man-made poisonous, dangerous, lethal chemicals. Are you a Monsatan plant, perchance?! @_@

        • CRAP BUSTER May 3, 2016, 2:46 pm

          “your comment is awaiting moderation.” It figures! So much depends on not to publish the truth. n’est-ce pas!?

          • Randy Schueller May 4, 2016, 7:02 am

            That’s the way the comment approval software works. We have to manually review each comment from a new email address to prevent spam. Please calm down.

    • Cristina January 21, 2017, 2:09 am

      I totally agree, it’s not fair to trick people by doing false advertising. I am really suspicious of their ingredients, they are not what they really are. Any cosmetic formulator could pinpoint all the chemically processed ingredients that are plant derived…. yes plant derived but they went through a lot of processes that need the use of chemicals. I’m thankful this article/comments came out in an open.

  • Kelli March 11, 2015, 6:42 pm

    Oops! I really meant one of three companies I have just come across within the last 2 months. I am sure there are many more.

    • innetta March 27, 2015, 5:07 pm

      I was also sceptical about their ingredients list. It felt to me as if they are under listing their full list

      • L October 14, 2016, 8:40 pm

        I agree, they are hiding ingredients and lying to their customers. Japanese honeysuckle is in many products and that is a derivative of parabens with possible harmful effects. A product with “seaweed” had no types of seaweed in the ingredient list at all. The sales associate said she would contact corporate. I won’t purchase from them.

  • Debby April 10, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Do you have any companies to recommend that don’t do any animal testing and are not full of chemicals? What are some of your favourites?

  • Laura July 27, 2015, 3:53 pm

    I own Green Willow soap in Ellijay, Georgia. I have people come into my shop every day. I’ll ask them what do you use, comments will include different products. A lady today told me about this company. Basically I tell all my customers” if it has water in a product it must have a preservative” the only time that is not true is when I’m making cold process soap. If they don’t have a preservative the products will grow little nasties. That is what this planet is all about.

    • Randy Schueller July 27, 2015, 4:56 pm

      Good point, Laura. Thanks for the comment about the need for perservatives!

    • Jared June 6, 2016, 12:37 am

      hey… Understand what your saying but the company living libations uses spring water in some of their products and they don’t use un natural preservatives. The essential oils they use have preserving properties and make the product last.

  • Jay December 3, 2015, 11:14 pm

    You said you are looking for natural and effective, Have any of you tried Immunocologie? This is an amazing product line that performs, they use ionic therapy which delivers to the skin minerals and vitamins essential for a healthy skin, your skin will be amazing after you use it and it is simple to use-you can feel it working.

  • Michelle February 25, 2016, 1:40 pm

    There is a brand called OM GLOW 100% organic that is literally all natural! Only herbs and and totally works! They don’t sell makeup though. Just skincare but it changed my skin and life!

  • Kayleigh Rogers July 31, 2016, 4:20 pm

    Yes I am absolutely willing to spend more money to protect myself. I think you missed the point entirely, because this product has a few of the same ingredients as many other products you think that means it’s no better but that’s far from truth. If you but drugstore makeup you are getting those chemicals plus a million other bad ones. These products use just a couple lightly. There’s a huge difference, I can’t believe you don’t see that. Just go into EWG website and this to drugstore products, it’s night and day!

    • Randy Schueller August 1, 2016, 8:49 am

      EWG does not accurately assess the risks associated with chemicals used in personal care products.

      • Larissa October 14, 2016, 8:43 pm

        The app “think dirty”
        is an excellent source for ingredient toxicity

  • Pandora August 2, 2016, 11:32 am

    Summary: 100 Percent Pure’s naturally derived chemicals affect my skin much differently (markedly better) than even the nicer store bought brands. This company is worth every penny and no I am not an employee, marketer, etc. Just a loyal customer who wants to share the beauty <3

    I am extremely sensitive to various chemical ingredients, especially when they are derived from gluten, corn, soy, and harsh synthetics. Rashes, acne, redness, pain, etc are what I experience when using "regular brands" and even "higher end brands" from Sephora that use the same kinds of ingredients. Even xanthan gum makes me break out.

    The products from 100% Pure have not hurt my sensitive skin — they have worked wonders on me. People ask about my health and beauty routine now because my skin looks so flawless without a drop of makeup or extra product in my hair (since 100% Pure's shampoo and condition are also the best I've ever used).

    Addressing other commenters: To the commenter who wrote about Om Glow — the Om Glow company still uses xanthan gum and other harsher things I am sensitive too. (Only one product in the entire 100% Pure line uses xanthan gum).
    To the commenter who wrote about EWG — EWG is amazing…they really do an excellent job of providing info on ingredients. My chemical engineering major roommate in college was the first to start showing me the concerning info about bad chemicals, parabens, imi and azo complexes in her chemical engineering trade magazines. The industry knew about this crud way before the public did…the public did not care about it until word got out that these chemicals arent that great for skin. That's where EWG comes in — knowledge is power and power means putting your dollars into products you like. I personally want to only use products with ingredients that work for me, not against me and my super sensitive (but now gorgeous) skin.

    I have spoke with 100% Pure time and time again at great length asking about how they source their ingredients and yes, their ingredients are from legit natural sources. This seems to make all the difference in my 30yr old skin that has been through everything from horrid dermatitis to cystic acne to extreme dryness and cracked and bleeding skin.

    Now, with 100% Pure, my skin is nearly flawless. Oh and they have an incredible return policy too. 😉

  • Sum August 29, 2016, 6:55 pm

    I’m sure the products are better than most stuff on the market, but what gets me is the false advertising. They state all natural and no preservatives, yet I went to their website and read the ingredient lists of many of their products and this is just not the case. I make my own skincare products and have a fair idea of what is considered a preservatives and what is considered all natural.

    I question if their vitamin E is synthetic, since it does not say soy or sunflower like it should if it actually was natural. I also saw a number of items with the ingredient “natural flavors”, and we all know those are not natural and are usually toxic! This particular ingredient was on the lip glosses mind you! All of this makes me think they are not as transparent as they seem.

    To be honest I’ve seen more natural products out there than 100% Pure, they just bury the chemicals with all the fruit and flower fluff. There are too many so called natural product lines that state all natural when they really are not, making it impossible for the truly natural products to compete, so frustrating.

  • angelina October 16, 2016, 10:57 pm

    Can anybody name a few companies that are better than 100% Pure? Man this is changing the way I see 100% Pure. 🙁

    • Lily October 27, 2016, 2:23 am

      In what way?

    • Sum December 20, 2016, 1:57 pm

      There are a number of small business owners on Etsy.com that make truly natural products. Make sure they list the ingredients and maybe even asked if that is the full ingredient list. Good Luck!

      • Julia January 21, 2017, 2:29 am

        I love these companies at Etsy.
        1) Dab Herb Makeup ( personally the best ingredient list for makeup, vegan, certified organic ingredients and totally plant based, a hidden gem that needs to be discovered by media/consumers)
        2) Herbolution (skin care top notch, almost all-natural, owner has passion for skin health, )
        I adore these two, they deliver freshly made cosmetics that don’t sit long on the shelves soaked in preservatives, who can beat that quality ? Therefore no, no, no to giant companies that offer pricey tags in exchange for false advertising .

  • Regan Denise Al-Bayaty March 1, 2017, 12:05 am

    I am a terrible writer but listen, first of all, you say you’re concerned about the cost of 100%PURE products not being worthy in comparison to other natural beauty products_what “others” were you referring to? Secondly-If the cost is the concern than what about a business minded approach of accountability for their prices; organic products cost more because they are fresh ( compare fresh produce with processed foods), preservatives are absolutely necessary, especially for such a large map of consumers to service…why? because if you make a truly fresh and low as possible toxic beauty product it will expire very fast ( again: compare fresh produce with processed foods) , and If they expire fast then they are going to throw away product faster and lose money having to raise costs- Third point of interest- the cost of 100% PURE beauty products is better than and comparable to most Organic/Natural/Vegan beauty products available whether they be well known or emerging co…Moreover, even the cheapest and most toxic cosmetics available are at half the cost, so why on earth would you not pay the extra cash for a better and longer lasting product. IF Costs are truly the issue here than it only proves 100% PURE to be the Best Value because when you’re buying a higher quality production of something than you are making an investment in longer lasting and more effective products. The price you pay is literally an investment in shaping the future of these products for the betterment of men and women…..it seems so simple that looking at the diminishing health of such a rich country would be enough reason for people to stand back and evaluate the problem…which is the very purpose of such a business as the 100% PURE co.. If people are advised on HOW TO SPEND THEIR HARD EARNED PENNIES, they should very well be advised to choose quality over quantity and think of businesses in a more personal manner { Is my purchase which is an investment, aiding in the betterment of this production?} If a company is truly geared toward helping and positively changing the lives of its supporters then they will be informative and willing to provide this information. I dont know for sure about the company, but I have bought from them and am simply saying, if were going to be opinionated, then lets make our opinions count by providing resources and encouraging economical but healthy growth in all our businesses. Its so easy to pick apart a company, but how much are we doing to establish resolve for our said issues if all we do is “talk smack” about the only efforts being made by those few who are???????????????????

  • Chelsea Nolan March 30, 2017, 1:30 am

    “because if you make a truly fresh and low as possible toxic beauty product it will expire very fast ( again: compare fresh produce with processed foods) , and If they expire fast then they are going to throw away product faster and lose money having to raise costs-”

    -expire very fast

    “. IF Costs are truly the issue here than it only proves 100% PURE to be the Best Value because when you’re buying a higher quality production of something than you are making an investment in longer lasting and more effective products.”

    -longer lasting

    I am confused. I’m not even trying to be rude and I have nothing negative against the company nd I also respect the beauty brains opinion, either way it’s helpful to know. I am confused about the fresh made expire faster mor expensive but also longer lasting ? I may have read it wrong .

    • Randy Schueller March 30, 2017, 6:56 am

      Chelsea, if you’re asking Regan for clarification on her comment I guess we’ll have to wait and see if she responds. She seems to be basing her comment on assumption that 100% PURE products are of higher quality and that has not been proven.

      Our main point on this post is that you shouldn’t be tricked into spending more on products that claim to be more “pure’ or “safer” or “less toxic” because there’s no evidence that these products are better for you than less expensive options.

  • Arialynx April 20, 2017, 3:27 pm

    I have used some 100% Pure products before and found them to be okay. The quality I would say is middle of the road. I find the ingredients list for most of their products to be overly long and complicated. I’m always leery of that. Most things can be made very simply with few ingredients.

    Cost is middle of the road as well. I’ve tried some very expensive “green” or “eco-friendly” brands that are not worth the money or quality. The only way to really find out if it’s worth it for you is to try it. Everyone’s skin is different so no telling how a product will affect you.

    When trying new products I always see if I can get a sample size first. That way you’re not blowing all your hard earned money on a worthless product. I also agree that the Think Dirty App is a good resource but it’s not perfect. There needs to be more alternatives in there. They mostly recommend brands that they pair with. So in my mind there’s a bit of a question about favouritism.

  • mneha May 12, 2017, 1:37 am

    Many women report that as the skin ages, there is a loss of elasticity and moisture along with darker pigmented spots. There are several unique and powerful ingredients for skincare that come from nature to help with these issues.

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