When shopping for sweet-smelling bath and body products, you typically have to sacrifice skin-soothing quality for chemical-laden quantity. Amid heaps of synthetic fillers and a dense cloud of artificial fragrance, it's hard to cut through the bad to unearth traces of good. Yves Rocher is changing the sub-par mass-market bodycare supply with the launch of a brand-new collection of botanical bath and personal care products: Les Plaisirs Nature.
From soaps, exfoliants, and creams to lip balms, eau de toilettes, and fizzy bath cubes, the assorted line specializes in highly concentrated active botanicals, which are organic whenever possible. Besides drawing from nature, all products are manufactured from raw materials that minimize their impact on the environment. Organized into seven distinct fragrance families, each product evokes the delicate scents of exotic fruits and plants. Instead of contrived seasonal blends, you get natural bouquets, transported to another place by the mouthwatering aromas of AOC Provence olive oil, Bourbon vanilla, wild blackberry, organic oats and raspberry, Malaysian coconut, and yellow peach.
The collection's most recurring botanicals seem to be shea butter
, aloe vera
, and sweet almond oil. The latter two of these ingredients trail water at the top of the hand cream's formula. Shared among all of the moisturizers, shea butter is an exceptional emollient for its ability to mimic the sebaceous glands of the skin. As a natural moisturizing factor, it not only regenerates skin, facilitates the skin's healing process, and keeps bacteria out, but it also acts an an anti-inflammatory and UV-absorber. Glycerin
is another noble emollient, known for balancing the water levels in skin to increase smoothness and softness.
Other popular botanical oils in Les Plaisirs Nature include avocado, olive, and the central fruit featured on the label. The soap bars, shower gels, and hand soaps are formulated with a botanical cleansing base, vegetable glycerin, and organic witch hazel water (a natural cleanser and astringent). Meanwhile, the lip balms make use of castor oil and jojoba oil. Each formula also gets an antioxidant boost from vitamin E.
In spite of their back-to-nature branding, the products hardly stick to a pure slate. All of the water-based formulas (ie. creams, lotions) rely on icky parabens
to prolong their shelf-life, and a few throw in a dash of BHT for good (or bad as it may be) measure. Though many of the emollients are plucked from the earth, synthetic silicones
are a common theme. It is a near minefield to get past the common pitfalls of mainstream skincare products, such as artificial fragrance, mineral oil, and the odd PEG
But if you traverse the ingredients list unscathed, you'll find a relatively decent product for the money. For the same price point as a certain American bath and body retailer that has infiltrated every single shopping mall across the continent, Yves Rocher has developed a line that delivers on its promise of botanical benefits. This French company has secured more than 50 patents on plant actives since 1959. As of this month, Les Plaisirs Nature line is ripe for the picking through Yves Rocher's website or catalogue.
Ingredients in Olive Oil Hand Cream:
Water, Aloe Barbadensis (Leaf Juice) Gel, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Isononyl Isononanoate, Caprylicicapric Triglyceride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Coco-Caprydimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Methylparaben, Fragrance, Glyceryl Stearate, Isohexadecane, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylparaben, Cetearyl Glucoside, Allantoin, Polysorbate 80, Propylparaben, BHT, Limonene, Linalool, Citral.
Ingredients in Yellow Peach Silky Lotion:
Water, Mineral Oil, Propylene Glycol, Stearic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Urea, Prunus Persica (Peach) Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Triethanolamine, Cera Microcristallina, Panthenol, Fragrance, Paraffin, Carbomer, Cetyl Alcohol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Phenoxyethanol, Glyceryl Stearate, Allantoin, Butylparaben, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Limonene, Linalool, Benzyl Salicylate, Methylparaben, Cl 15510 (Organce 4), Cl 19140 (Yellow 5).