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These days, with some many natural beauty brands to choose from, simply being chemical-free isn’t enough. We need our natural products to be effective. This is the mission of Dawn Lorraine, a brand that is mostly sold through estheticians. I decided to try it by starting with a cleanser, on the grounds that the way a cleanser is formulated speaks volumes about a beauty brand — especially one that wants to keep it all natural but deliver on anti-aging.
The Dawn Lorraine Green Tea Nourishing Cleanser ($37) had me at hello. The ingredients include some effective anti-agers, well-chosen botanicals and a lovely fruity scent. Even after only the first use, I was proclaiming Dawn Lorraine’s cleanser a keeper.
Opting for cream makes a natural cleanser’s life easier. There’s no foam, so no need for chemical surfactants. The bases are aloe vera and olive oil, which — like most of the botanicals — are organic. I am a light make up person so cannot vouch for this cleanser’s ability to remove layers of mascara, but it works well for me and leaves my skin looking very clean and feeling soft.
Although the name gives a shout out to green tea, among the most useful ingredients are the papaya and pineapple extracts. These are both natural exfoliators and work by harnessing an enzyme called pepain that can break down peptide bonds and loosen dead cells (it has been used for centuries as a meat tenderizer). Someone once told me that papaya enzymes “eat” skin cells. Surprisingly, this is kind of what happens: papain is a proteolytic enzyme, meaning that it digests proteins.
Given that this cleanser thinks it is a serum, it is a good idea to leave it on for a few minutes and get the full benefit of ingredients such as alpha lipoic acid, a very able free radical scavenger and anti-inflammatory, and DMAE, a controversial ingredient that is said to reduce sagging.
The antioxidant power of green tea is rounded out by rooibos and pomegranate extracts and there are oils from lime (I think that is partly responsible for the scent and I happen to love lime), avocado, rosehip and cranberry, as well as vitamins E, B and A. Well chosen botanicals include extract of horsetail, which is good for broken veins, as is geranium (as well as being helpful for breakout control) and dandelion gets rid of unwanted skin bacteria. Best of all, apart from phenoxyethanol, there’s nothing to dislike.