A couple of months ago, a representative from Organic Natural Beauty sent me samples of some of their Naturalis line. Certified organic, the products are declared 99.6% organic and contain no phthalates, sulfates, or other harsh ingredients. Instead, the line is replete with components like all-organic aloe vera, argan oil, and shea butter. Of all the products I was sent, the Naturalis Easy Cream ($65.95, Organic-naturalbeauty.com) was by far my favorite. Here’s why:
Aloe Vera as a Top Ingredient
Aloe vera has been a popular folk remedy since the 1930’s, during which time the ingredient was used primarily as a soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredient. Aloe vera’s efficacy as an anti-inflammatory ingredient was verified in a study in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, and according to a 1999 review of ten aloe vera-related studies, aloe might be effective for healing flare-ups of genital herpes and psoriasis as well.
While some studies have concluded aloe is not effective in helping patients undergoing chemotherapy prevent dry skin (International Journal of Radiation Oncology, 1996), another study from the Sylvester Comprehensive Medical Center in Miami found that very high concentrations of aloe (> 2,700 cGy) applied daily over the course of five weeks does make a dramatic difference in treating radiation-induced dermatitis (dry skin). The effect has been found to be cumulative, with increased softening occurring over time.
Interestingly enough, in the aforementioned review of ten aloe vera-associated studies, researchers could not decide whether or not aloe really does help wounds to heal. Different studies produce varying conclusions using similar concentrations of aloe and time periods; therefore, at this time, purchase aloe-containing creams like Naturalis Easy Cream on the basis of their skin-softening and soothing abilities, not so much for wound healing.
One of my favorite derms, Dr. Leslie Baumann, once summed it up best: “Unlike other exotic resources such as caviar and marine algae, argan oil offers the best of both worlds – It’s an antiager and it’s eco-friendly.” Dubbed ‘the gold of Morocco,’ argan oil contains essential fatty acids (linoleic and oleic acids) and three times the amount of antioxidant vitamin E found in olive oil. According to in-house clinical tests from Aveda (who manufactures their own argan oil-based product), subjects showed a 38 percent improvement in lines after eight weeks of using their argan-rich firming face cream.
I personally like argan oil because it drinks into the skin quickly and is one of the few oils that helps protect from UV light, as it absorbs rather than reflects UV rays (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2005). Still, always make sure that you use Naturalis Easy Cream or any other source of argan oil with a bona-fide sunscreen product with a measured sunscreen rating.
Personal Use and Opinions
Naturalis Easy Cream is of medium weight and texture, and drinks into the skin quickly. I exfoliate often, but Naturalis Easy Cream is one of those products that induces little flecks of dry skin to come off your face anyway as you rub it in, which is a welcome feature. It dries to a soft and smooth finish, without any tackiness or stickiness, suitable for follow-up make-up application. I’ve been using it for three days, and the very high aloe content really does make your skin softer with time. I will also say it is wonderful to use a little on your hands – it makes them incredibly soft! My only qualm about the product for some of my readers is that it has a rich aloe-like fragrance that is not for everyone. The scent (and lack of sunscreen) in Naturalis Easy Cream makes me more inclined to use it as a night cream over a potent retinol/peptide serum than to use it during the day.
I really like Naturalis Easy Cream. It is 99.6% organic with a very high concentration of aloe vera, and leaves skin feeling softer with repeated uses over time. Its medium texture makes it suited to all skin types except oily and acne-prone. If you’re looking for a great all-organic, soothing night cream, Naturalis Easy Cream is wonderful, so long as you don’t mind an aloe-esque fragrance.
Product Rating: 8.5/10 (High or optimized concentration of proven ingredients: 3/3. Unique formulation or new technology: 3/3. Value for the money: 2.5/3. Sunscreen: 0/1).
Ingredients: Aqua (Water, Eau), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf extract*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Extract*, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Triticum Vulgare Germ Oil*, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii*, Cetearyl Glucoside and Cetearyl Alcohol, Argania Spinosa Kernel extract, Sodium cocoyl glutamate, Hidrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus extract and Dextrin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Parfum,
*FROM ORGANIC FARMING – *DE L’AGRICULTURE BIOLOGIQUE.