October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and a host of cosmetic companies are coming out with 'Pink Ribbon' versions of their products and donating a portion of profits to breast cancer awareness and research. There are few things as satisfying as preening for a cause, so I was looking forward to trying out Verikira Natural's Pink Grapefruit Shampoo and Pink Grapefruit Conditioner ($28 each).

I was not disappointed. The zesty pink grapefruit essence is refreshing, but not overpowering. The shampoo works up a nice lather that rinses out very efficiently. The conditioner is almost the consistency of a clay mask, but goes on easily. The result: soft, shiny tresses.

I think the results must be due to the conditioner because the shampoo, it must be said, is unexceptional. The mild, coconut derived surfacants can be found in most run-of-the-mill shampoos. Ditto the pro-vitamin B5 and wheat proteins, although they are helpful additions. I would prefer a product that doesn't have the preservative and potential irritant, phenoxyethanol.

On the other hand, there are plenty of things to like about the conditioner. There are two good antioxidants, rooibus tea (in fact, not a tea, but a pea) and green tea. I particularly like the addition of activated charcoal. This is a purifier (of water, for example) and an effective warrior in the fight against toxins. It binds with poisons and stops them being absorbed by the body (as was famously demonstrated by one Professor Touery in 1831 when he drank a lethal dose of strychnine in front of his colleagues at the French Academy of Medicine and survived because he'd combined it with activated charcoal). Perhaps it will neutralize phenoxyethanol.

Ingredients in Verikira Pink Grapefruit Shampoo:

Aqua (Water), Decyl Glucose, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Paradisi (Pink Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Calcium d-Pantothenate (Pro-Vitamin B5), Hydrolized Wheat Proteins, Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid.

Ingredients in Verikira Pink Grapefruit Conditioner:

Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ricinus Communis (Castor Seed) Oil, Stearalkonium Chloride, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Pink Grapefruit) Essential Oil, Camellia Sinesis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Aspalathus Lineans (Organic Rooibos Tea) Extract, Phenoxyethanol, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), Hydrolized Wheat Protein, Activated Charcoal,
d-Calcium Pantothenate (Panthenol Vitamin B5)

Translation: Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Fordi Oil is made from rapeseed oil. Methylsulfonylmethane is a sulfor compound that helps ingredients dissolve.