Jason Natural

Jason Natural At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; several very good, value-sized water-soluble cleansers; Sunbrellas sunscreens; outstanding eye-makeup remover; a few moisturizers and serums that qualify as beauty bargains; one good AHA product.

Weaknesses: Jar packaging for many antioxidant-rich products; boring to irritating toners; no product to effectively address the needs of acne-prone skin; no skin-lightening products; potentially problematic topical scrubs; most of the lip products contain peppermint oil; several otherwise top-notch products ruined by inclusion of one or more irritating plant extracts.

It may not come as a surprise to those who have read previous editions of this book to learn that the Jason Natural line of products, which presents itself as a "green," environmentally friendly alternative skin-care line in health food stores (its primary distribution point), also includes in its products a majority of ingredients that are decidedly unnatural. Yes, many natural ingredients are included in these products, but Jason Natural is not practicing what they preach by "giving consumers effective, environmentally friendly alternatives to mass-produced, synthetic chemical products." As far as mass-produced goes, Jason Natural fills the bill. The product line has been available since 1959, and is distributed worldwide.

Owner Hain Celestial plans to increase the line's presence by entering new retail outlets, meaning that this isn't a batch of products cooked up in a home-style manner and made fresh to order. And the company uses plenty of synthetic ingredients, including preservatives, thickeners, slip agents, and film-forming agents. These aren't bad for skin; in fact, they're essential to create products people will actually want to use—but claiming they're all natural or purer than other brands is false. Natural or otherwise, many of these products are not only outstanding options to consider, but also exceptional values. Of particular interest are the antioxidant-rich Sunbrellas sunscreens, some water-soluble cleansers, and a few state-of-the-art moisturizers.

Jason's penchant for natural means that several products are problematic due to the inclusion of essential oils (which are really unessential because they cause irritation and often sun sensitivity or cell death), along with other ingredients that, while natural, are not helpful for skin. The company claims that everything they put into their products is from the earth, and that's true. But if you think about it, where else would the ingredients come from? Mars? Every cosmetics company is using ingredients from the earth, so just because Jason Natural outfits theirs with a selection of plants doesn't mean they're inherently better (and in some instances, the plants are even a detriment). Still, there are enough high points in this line to make it worth considering. This line is huge, however, so be prepared to zero in on what's best or you may be overwhelmed by the choices.

For more information about Jason Natural, call 1-866-595-8917 or visit www.jason-natural.com.

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