Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Green People Organic Babies range
Babies have such delicate sensitive skin that I love the idea of using natural, organic products that are free of nasty chemicals and additives, so Green People's ethics immediately appeal to me : "Give your child the best start in life with pure, organic products from Green People. Our award winning natural baby range is made with the very finest, purest ingredients. They are the gentlest products you can buy for your baby. They are not made with Lanolin, Petrochemicals, Parabens, SLS, SLES or artificial fragrances that are found in many of today's baby and children toiletries." I'm not even sure what half of those things mean but they're bound to be nasties that I'm sure we can do without.
However, having a green, gentle product is no good if it doesn't do the job, so I was keen to try out these products from the Green People Organic Babies range and see if they did the job as well as the less natural, organic brands.
First up was the Chamomile Baby Wash and Shampoo (also available in Lavender or No Scent varieties). It comes in a handy squeezy tube with a flip-top lid, a design that I love for baby wash because it passes the "can be used with one hand" test, essential when dealing with a baby, especially at bath time. It also means you're not constantly rummaging around trying to find the lid before it gets knocked over and spilt everywhere and the upside-down tube means you never have to shake the tube like a loony trying to get the last bit out !
This is advertised as "suitable for washing body, hair and nappy area" and is said to "protect young, delicate skin from dryness and irritation". It's great to have one product that can be used for everything so I squeezed some onto a sponge and set to washing Pierre. It smells clean and fresh and natural and the smell wasn't too overpowering. I was intrigued by the words " Gentle cleansing properties to retain natural skin and scalp oils" and I must admit, Pierre's skin did feel nice and soft and not at all dried out, so I didn't feel the need to smother him in moisturising lotion as I do after some baths. They also say on the website that it is "Excellent value – a little goes a long way and will last you considerably longer than off-the-shelf products". It did seem very concentrated and I only needed a tiny squeeze to wash Pierre all over, whereas with some other products I have to go back and lather up the sponge again with some more product.
Next up was the Nappy Cream Baby Balm. My initial reaction was, why is a company which such green values selling a product with so much excess packaging, as it comes in a tub within a completely superfluous cardboard box with a thick inner plastic seal on top of the cream. (**Update** See Green People's answer to this question in the comments below the review ! ) The tub also seems smaller than my usual brands, containing 40ml.
Packaging aside, the product smells lovely. Despite being in the same chamomile fragrance as the baby wash, I didn't think it smelt the same - it smelt stronger and slightly medicated or possibly menthol. It was a pleasant smell though and didn't smell at all chemical or overpowering. The cream is yellowy-white, which is surprising after using so many Persil-bright white creams, but that is probably the sign of a natural organic product and didn't put me off at all.
If you put on a thick layer of the cream, it will sit on the surface as a barrier cream. However, if you apply a thin layer and rub it in for a few seconds, it will be totally absorbed by the skin. When I rubbed the excess cream into the dry skin on the back of my hand, I could really see the difference compared to my other hand without the cream, which was much rougher, redder and drier in appearance. I did have a slight greasy residue left on my fingers, which wasn't unpleasant but I did want to wash my hands before typing or picking up papers. That was an interesting test in itself, as the skin on my hands where the cream had been rubbed in had become waterproof and repelled the water. I used soap to get the greasiness off my fingers but didn't put soap on the backs of my hands - the moisturised sheen on this part of my skin remained after rubbing them on a teatowel to dry. This cream is therefore absolutely perfect as a nappy cream as it will keep out the moisture and resist being rubbed off by clothing or nappies.
It also feels light, smooth and creamy, unlike some stodgy, slightly gritty barrier creams I have tried in the past. If Pierre gets a sore chin and neck when he's teething and dribbling everywhere, I think this would be the perfect product for that as well and I will definitely try it out. It's a fantastic nappy cream but could certainly be used on other parts of the body if your baby has very dry skin (or possibly eczema, although I haven't tested it for this).
It's great to find products that are gentle to baby's skin but also the planet and that manage to combine green ethics with efficiency. I'll definitely be using them on Pierre, and I might even "accidentally" have to keep rubbing the excess into my hands because it makes excellent handcream too and that will be perfect for the colder wintry weather that's on the way !
All they have to do is ditch the excess packaging on the nappy cream and they could have a perfect 5/5 !
******* UPDATE ******
Please read the reply from Green People in the comments below about why they need to use the "excess packaging" for legal reasons - it's great to see a company taking things to heart and really thinking about their decisions as well as actually listening to their customers. So yes, they get the extra half point I penalised them for - especially as it turns out it's not as un-green as I first thought !! ;-)
Baby Wash & Shampoo : £6.50 for 150ml
Nappy Cream Baby Balm : £8.95 for 40ml
star rating : 5/5