These facial cleansing pads are a great example of natural not being the better or safer solution for skin. Although some of the natural ingredients these pads are stepped in are great, others, like main ingredients witch hazel and alcohol, are a distinct problem for all skin types. Witch hazel is highly astringent and irritating, while alcohol causes a host of problems for skin (we explain further in the More Info section).
If the witch hazel and alcohol weren't enough trouble for skin, Trader Joe's also saw fit to add fragrant irritants lavender and lemongrass oils. Of the two, lavender oil is particularly problematic, as we explain in the More Info section.
The tea tree oil brings a medicinal scent and disinfecting properties, but if you want the benefits of tea tree oil, look for it in other products (or all by itself) to spare your skin the irritation these cleansing pads are extremely likely to cause.
- Contains some soothing, beneficial plant extracts.
- Main ingredients of witch hazel and alcohol are irritating for all skin types.
Alcohol in Skin Care: Alcohol in skin-care products causes dryness and free-radical damage, and impairs the skin's ability to heal. The irritation it causes damages healthy collagen production and can stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making oily skin worse (Sources: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1,410–1,419; Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, January 2011, pages 83–90; "Skin Care—From the Inside Out and Outside In," Tufts Daily, April 1, 2002; eMedicine Journal, May 8, 2002, volume 3, number 5, www.emedicine.com; Cutis, February 2001, pages 25–27; Contact Dermatitis, January 1996, pages 12–16; and http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh27-4/277-284.htm).
Lavender Oil: Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).