It's Saturday afternoon and I have every intention of hitting the streets for Sydney Mardi Gras. It's one of our world's largest celebrations and I'm fortunate to actually be in Sydney for the event. It's also really hot outside, so I know the sun is ready to beam its rays right on my face. I ran out of my SPF last week and picked up Natio Aromatherapy Daily Protection Face Moisturizer (the Lindrum Hotel, where I had stayed in Melbourne last month, stocked Natio for its bathroom amenities and I quite liked it).

Natio has been around for almost 16 years, and you can find it in Australian department stores, health stores and even pharmacies (where I got mine). Unlike most Australian brands, it's not 100% organic or all natural. But they do try their best to offset chemicals with better ingredients (for instance, they use botanical extracts instead of mineral oils, and essential oils instead of fragrance).

With that said, I was happy to smell the fusion of orange, lavender and ylang ylang oils. They all have a calming, soothing effect. The moisturizer is pretty light on the face, another way to score with the purchase (only about $14 AUS).

However, some ingredients do devalue the product. The active ingredients are octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, all of which are sunscreen agents. I hate to say it but these aren't the best ingredients. For instance, octyl methoxycinnamate has been found to kill mouse cells even at low doses. Yikes! It also contains toxic iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, and methylisothiazolinone. A general rule of them I abide by: the longer the word, the more hazardous it is (I apply this to ingredients on food labels, too).

Even though the oils smell nice, it doesn't make up for these ingredients. To make things worse, the entire list of ingredients is not on the package at all, or web site, so I've emailed the company for this information.
In the meantime, I'm going to look for another sunblock before I hit Mardi Gras.
www.natio.com.au