The big deal with Sothys Beauty Garden products is that 95% of the ingredients they contain are of natural origin. Interestingly, Sothys isn’t sure of the exact percentage because on the same page of their Web site they also state that the ingredients of natural origin account for 99.5%–100% of the product’s contents! Sigh. Either percentage (you have to choose) may seem impressive, but the fact is just because an ingredient has a natural source doesn’t mean that the source retains all (or even some) of its natural properties when it is turned into a cosmetic ingredient. Angelica root water, a main ingredient in this scrub, contains phototoxic substances, although that’s not much of an issue in a rinse-off product like this. The real problem with this scrub is its abrasive agents. Walnut shell powder and pumice are harsh and can damage the skin’s barrier; they definitely are not preferred to a scrub formulated with rounded polyethylene beads or simply using a plain, soft cotton washcloth with your regular cleanser. The abrasive agents are buffered by oils and emollients, but this remains a questionable (and overpriced given the small amount you get) scrub for normal to dry skin.
Sothys Beauty Garden Helianthus & Walnut Shell Exfoliant uses Walnut Shell and Sunflower Seed Oil to polish away dirt, oil, and debris, while imparting essential moisture for softer, smoother, and more radiant skin.
Water, Crataegus Oxyacantha (Hawthorn) Flower Water, Angelica Archangelica Root Water, Glycerin, Sunflower Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Behenyl Alcohol, Myristyl Myristate, Octyldodecanol, Walnut Shell Powder, Pumice, Cetearyl Glucoside, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Benzoate, Sorbic Acid, Linalool, Tocopherol, Potassium Sorbate, Geraniol, Citronellol, Bitter Cherry Bud Extract
We have to admit we weren't looking forward to reviewing this line. We've been aware of Sothys for some time, and over the years many women have asked us what we thought of it. We don't ever mind being asked what we think of a product line, but in this case it was the way we were asked that we found depressing. Somehow this spa-oriented line has developed an almost reverent reputation for being a superior skin-care line.
A question would go like this, "What do you think of Sothys?" We would reply, "Not much, the formulas are either out of date or contain problematic ingredients and the price tag is silly for what you get." Inevitably, the response would be, "Really? I thought it was one of the best lines around … it's French, you know?" Sigh. Yes, we do know. But …
Despite a long French-heritage, dating back to 1946, this spa-oriented brand with a vast array of products doesn't deserve a reputation for being anything other than an overpriced spa brand to avoid.
Most of Sothys skin-care formularies are so far behind the times that using them is akin to using a typewriter instead of a computer—the formulations are as ordinary and mundane as it gets. Almost all their moisturizers lack any reasonable amount of antioxidants, skin-identical ingredients, or cell-communicating ingredients. Also consider that there are no effective products for those struggling with blemishes or blackheads, despite their claims. It is astounding that in a line with dozens of facial moisturizers (most with repetitive formulas), not a single one includes a sunscreen. How can this brand be so incredibly blind to the number one cause of wrinkles and skin aging? If they aren't aware of the critical importance of sun protection, then how much do you want to trust them in any other aspect of helping your skin?
Sothys makes much ado about the training it provides to aestheticians. Not having attended any of their classes, we can't speak specifically to the content of what they teach, but if their products are even vaguely representative of what they inculcate, woe to those aestheticians who rely on Sothys as their source of skin-care education.
When all is said and done, and you've gotten past the smoke and mirrors, nothing else matters if you don't have well-formulated products, sunscreens, exfoliants, acne products, options for rosacea and sensitive skin, and/or reasonable pricing. And that's where Sothys falls flat on its scrubbed, steamed, masked, and spa "purified" face.
For more information about Sothys Paris, call (305) 594-4222 or visit www.sothys-usa.com.
Note: Several names on Sothys Web site and other sites retailing this brand list one name on the product page and another on the product itself. In our reviews we list the name on the product itself.