Following my post about aloe, which you can find here, I have some titillating opinions about the Hey Gorgeous Soothing Aloe Moisturiser. I purchased two moisturisers from Hey Gorgeous a while back and I have used the aloe one now for about 3 months after exfoliation or cleansing as a night cream. Not every night but I’d say 3 or 4 nights of the 7.
(Also can all of Google and WordPress please stop trying to fix “moisturiser” to “moisturizer”. I live in South Africa – stop trying to Americanise me!)
Hey Gorgeous – the brand
Hey Gorgeous is a local South African company which prides itself in being a handmade small batch type brand with a focus on “natural products”. I reached out to them on Instagram and they were very responsive. They answered my questions and were willing to have a conversation. That is until I found some differences in the ingredient lists on the product and the website. Then the responses were a bit more curt. Who can blame them really. I can be a little too to the point, I recognise that…
Let me start with what I like about the brand. They are Beauty Without Cruelty (BWCSA) accredited which means no animal testing. Yay! They also say that they are big on sustainability although I find this one hard to measure. They use local sources where they can and grow some of the botanicals themselves. *Stay tuned for a post about natural vs sustainability.*
Hey Gorgeous uses recycled PET tubs. Woohoo – recycling is never bad! I love the branding and aesthetic they’ve created. It fits really well with their “natural” approach. They really do stick to their mission of using “natural ingredients” which is cool. Even their preservative systems are as natural as possible. No issue with natural brands if that’s their thang but…
Then there’s this:
Our products are free from any harmful synthetics.-On website and product
If you’ve read nothing else on my blog, please go read my post about natural versus synthetic ingredients here. I don’t agree with this type of fear based marketing. Synthetic ingredients are not “more toxic” than natural. Its a myth, and just shows a misunderstanding of chemistry. It uses people’s fear of “chemicals” to push their product as being better than the rest which they indirectly label as dirty-synthetics-using brands. Its wrong and creates a misunderstanding among consumers. Unfortunately its a trend and no brand wants to be left standing on their own, irrelevant. Got to stay relevant yo.
Ingredients on product: Shea, coconut oil, aloe gel, aloe oil, calendula, lavender & chamomile
Ingredients on website: Antioxidant Micro-Clustered Ionized Water infused with Aloe Juice, Aloe Gel, Jojoba Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Cetearyl Olivate and Sorbitan Olivate (Olive Oil Emulsifier), Shea Butter *Calendula *Xanthan Gum, *Olive Squalane, *Citric Acid *Radish Root Ferment Filtrate (Natural Preservative System).
So a lot more on the website and the ingredients have changed order so either the concentrations have changed or the order was wrong on the product…
Like I said previously, I bought this a while back – I’m going to say October last year. So maybe the recipe changed since then. They do say on their website they are in the process of changing the labels to match the website. Maybe they realised that the labels were very misleading with people thinking there were no thickeners or emulsifiers and oil and water ingredients just magically mixed. Which is maybe what the person who replied to my Instagram message thought. At first, they said there were no thickeners or stabilisers. Then when I pointed out that on the website there were indeed these things (xanthan gum is a natural thickener), they said the website is right. I have no issue with those ingredients, they are necessary and well-studied and not harmful. I just think that maybe the people running their marketing should be a little more informed. But they were lovely in all other interactions.
Aloe is the main active ingredient but the moisturising agents shouldn’t be ignored. They are what most likely provides the moisture while the aloe soothes and potentially heals “wounds” like blemishes or sunburn.
What I do find strange is that they are careful to put potassium sorbate away from the rest of the ingredients listed – on the bottom of the tub in fact. Its also not listed on the website ingredients but further down the page they talk about it so I’m not sure what’s happening there. I’m glad its in there, especially because its a tub where you use your fingers or spatula. Potassium sorbate has proven to be very effective and, at the concentrations its used, its safe. Remember, dose is one of the most important factors to consider when looking at toxicity of an ingredient.
Lastly what is “Antioxidant Micro-Clustered Ionized Water”? Anyone know? Sounds like a pseudoscience but if you have info – drop me a comment please!
*Update – 22 April 2020*
The idea behind micro-clustered water is that water molecules exists in clusters of 12-13 molecules. Micro-clustered water has been treated to have smaller clusters, say 5-7 molecules. This apparently improves hydration because it easier to absorb. From what I can find, this is specific to drinking it and I read a few articles about how this is difficult to prove and that there isn’t a good way to test the water after its been “treated”. The “treatment” even has different definitions. Some talk about ionising pure water which is impossible because pure water is not conductive. Some talk about adding minerals (like salt) and then performing electrolysis to separate the alkaline and acidic components which would make more sense because you’re essentially making sodium hydroxide (or something similar).
The clusters they mention could be due to ion complexes that form colloids which act as anti-oxidants and scavenge Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). All in all I think this is mostly unsupported claims and I am not convinced. Additionally, Hey Gorgeous uses “alkaline” water. It most likely has dissolved ions to increase pH. I think its actually their way of adjusting pH without adding extra alkaline compounds. If you want more info and a breakdown of why this is pseudoscience, click here. This is a blog post that looks at the science in detail. More references at the end.
Price and volume
The 100mL tub costs R250 and lasts really long. Maybe too long in fact. Its recommended on the tub that you use it within 18 weeks of purchase. I think that would be fine if you used it every morning and night but I didn’t, so I still have quite a bit left before the recommended time runs out. I would love a smaller tub with less in it for a lower price. What is convenient is that they deliver (for a fee of course) but you can also find it in Foshini and I swear I’ve seen it in Clicks or Dischem, but I can’t seem to find it on the websites now.
My experience using the product
Despite all the shortcomings of the ingredient list and fear-based marketing, I actually quite like the product. Its got a lovely light gel-cream texture and doesn’t leave a sticky feeling on your skin. Its not too heavy for my oily skin so it doesn’t leave you feeling congested. It absorbs quickly and leaves no unpleasant residue.
The smell is quite botanical – thanks to all the plant oils. I quite like it but I think it could be quite strong for some. I’m not a huge fan of essential oils in skincare but its not overwhelming here or the main ingredient.
If you have read my aloe post, you would know that its recommended (and accepted by industry) to filter aloe extract which is called “decolourising”. (Again, why won’t the internet let me spell it the British/South African way without shaming me with the red underlining!?). They did confirm that they filter their aloe ingredients. The moisturiser is, however, green… so I have to wonder if they add anything or if its filtered enough. Maybe one of the other ingredients give the colour. No issue. Just wondering.
I used it at night and the next morning, after every application, my skin was super soft and supple. I’ve also used it after a day in the sun and it does seems to have a calming effect.
All in all, not a bad product but I think this brand is still figuring our some kinks now that they have become popular and expanding. Like ingredient lists… Still, support the local brands and try them for yourself. Ask them questions, they seem to respond quickly.