Green People At-A-Glance
Strengths: Relatively inexpensive with some exceptions.
Weaknesses: The products are loaded with plant extracts and fragrant plant oils that cause irritation and a host of other skin problems; sunscreens that encourage tanning; no effective products for acne-prone skin; lackluster moisturizers (the same formula tends to be recycled again and again and again); no options for oily skin; general lack of exciting, modern ingredients research has shown are helpful for skin as it ages.
We're trying to get past the name for this brand. We know the "green" is supposed to refer to plants and the movement to go green and be more environmentally conscious. Still, every time we see or say it we think of Martians, you know, the little green people from outer space, and fail to see the connection between space invaders and sensible skin care.
As it turns out, United Kingdom–based Green People missed the connection to good skin care, too. Instead of focusing on what research (rather than folklore) has shown that skin needs to best maintain its healthy state and to resist signs of aging, Green People hopped on the natural bandwagon, cracked the whip, and went full speed ahead. Had they stopped to look back, or ahead for that matter, more carefully, they might have picked up on the fact that although there are many natural ingredients that are great for skin, there also are many that are a problem. Some of the good ones show up in their products, but they're of little use because they're joined by other natural ingredients whose only purpose is to add fragrance and cause irritation.
So how did this line come to be, you ask? It was started by a mother frustrated that she couldn't find anything to alleviate her daughter's eczema-prone skin and the intense itching she suffered. Apparently, this resourceful mom has a nursing background along with some experience in herbal medicine and the in pharmaceutical industry, so she made the leap into skin-care entrepreneur.
We wish this concerned parent and her team put more thought into this line because in some ways it's as close to natural as you can get while still maintaining an effective preservative system (the preservatives are synthetic) and creating somewhat elegant textures. That's great for fans of natural products, but not so great when you consider that almost all of these products contain problematic natural ingredients that would not be good for her daughter's skin, or for anyone else's for that matter. Why not leave the problematic ingredients out and instead focus on the natural ingredients that are proven to be helpful for skin? We suspect we know the answer in this case—fragrance. Green People loads the fragrance on, and how that is supposed to help skin, whether it's itchy and eczema-prone or oily, is something the people behind this brand don't bother to explain.
These products contain organic ingredients, but they are neither 100% natural nor chemical-free. The whole notion of using skin-care products "free from chemicals" is ludicrous and, in truth, impossible. Think about how long a head of lettuce lasts in your refrigerator. For example, one of the ingredients in Green People products is levulinic acid, an ingredient that is produced by heating a sugar with concentrated hydrochloric acid.
There are both good and bad synthetic and natural ingredients, and whether or not a cosmetic is all natural tells you nothing about the benefits or the negative impacts of the formula on your skin. In the end, Green People is just another crop of natural-themed products that mix some of the good and enough of the bad to make them not worth strong consideration if your goal is smooth, healthy skin that is fortified with what it needs to look beautiful.
For more information about Green People, call 44-0-1403-740350 or visit www.greenpeople.co.uk.
Note: All prices are in United States currency.