If Aveda is the smooth marketing missile fired at consumers, then its full name inscribed in lower case below is the flower scented exploding jargon shrapnel: The Art and Science of Pure Flowers and Plant Essences. I’m not entirely sure what that all means, but I was utterly confused by their name which seems at a glance like it should stand for Aveda. Luckily they made up a slick name and didn’t turn their full name into an acronym, because ASPFPE would have been an ugly mouthful.

The Good

Aveda claims they are the first beauty company to manufacture with 100 percent certified wind power. They package their products in containers made of at least 50 percent consumer recycled materials. They claim 89 percent of the essential oils they use are certified organic. They give large sums of money to charity, and they boastfully (as they should) display all of this information on their website. Aveda packs their products with good, natural ingredients like argan leaf extract which is high in linoleic acid, aloe vera, witch hazel, and an ingredient that Marta had never heard of, but had experienced in Be Curly Conditioner as part of her daily hair care routine for years, abtes balsamea.

The Bad

After Marta’s recommend of the Green Science Face Firming Cream, Pascal chimed in about a strange phenomenon occurring on the Aveda website: a staggering number of staggeringly uniformly positive reviews about the product. This might, at a glance, not seem like a bad thing. But since these reviews were posted on the company website and 97 percent positive, Pascal didn’t buy their validity. He found that the product smelled nice, made skin soft, contained natural ingredients that had nice properties, but ultimately the product didn’t have long-term firming effects.

The Truth

Good, natural, green – all words that accurately describe Aveda products. Aveda cares about being environmentally friendly and they care, dearly, about communicating that fact as a tool to sell to consumers who care, dearly, about skin care and being environmentally friendly, too. And their products will make your skin soft for a time and hair curly. But as Pascal put it, the “big player’s glass-floor” rule applies: the product will never be much worse than your lowest expectations. In other words, because consumers believe in Aveda and their apparent mission, regardless of the relevance of their claims, Aveda can get away with seductively scented, but mildly potent products.

Featured Products

Green Science Firming Face Cream

Aveda Hand Relief

Aveda Be Curly Conditioner

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist

Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Clay Conditioner


Reviewed and Recommended: Aveda Green Science Firming Face Cream

Aveda Firming Face Creme: experiental pleasure over function

Aveda's Green Science range with argan oil

Tickled pink by Aveda Hand Relief

Aveda Be Curly Conditioner - Tested and Recommended

Battle of the toners: Kinara Re-Balancing Tonic V. Aveda Botanical Kinetics Toning Mist

Reviewed and rejected: Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Clay Conditioner