Next up in the company checkup post series is Yves Rocher, a company that has been on the green beauty market for a long time. Personally, I’ve always associated Yves Rocher with coupons – all those coupon magazines that were sent to our house without anybody really being interested, always contained a full page of Yves Rocher coupons. Before now, I’d never really tried any of their products, but now I got the chance. Let’s take a close look at Yves Rocher – their brand, their claims and their products.
Yves Rocher In Their Own Words
From Yves Rocher, I didn’t recive direct answers to my email questions, only some more general info. Here’s a sample of what they wrote on animal testing and environmental issues.
We invest in research programs working with alternatives to animal testing to support alternative testing methods and make them more frequent. For example, our work has resulted in new ways of noticing if natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions with the help of in vitro-testing.
Our internal rule system regarding the ingredients in our products is very strict: we do not use animal ingredients apart from honey and beeswax. For example, we do not use cochineal red, a pigment that cosmetic companies often use in eyeshadows, which is made from the cochineal insect.
In 1992 the french animal rights foundation Société Protectrice des Animaux awarded Yves Rocher with a golden award for our pro-animal work.
(…) Our lathering products – shampoos, shower gels and bath products – contain ingredients that are easily biodegradable and not dangerous to the environment. (…) Regarding production, we have created techniques to reduce waste already at the source. These techniques has meant a reduction of our packaging of a total of 3,500 tons in just five years. Lighter packaging also means reduced consumption of raw materials, water and energy for production and transportation. We have also eliminated all lead in our lipsticks, removed all PVC and created refills for many of our products. Finally, we use, as often as possible, packs in a single material, ie. mono material, which means that the bottles, corks and labels are made of the same materials to facilitate recycling.
The main production facilities in the Yves Rocher Group has obtained the environmental certification ISO 14001 for Environment, ISO 9001 for Quality and OHSAS 18001 for Health and Safety. Yves Rocher Group is also the first cosmetics company that received a triple certification for quality, environment and safety.”
Yves Rocher: The Products
Yves Rocher did not have any ingredient declaration of their products on their website, as far as I could see. So I asked them to send me a few INCI listings of their products. These are the products they sent.
Size: 45 ml / 1.5 fl. oz
Ingredients: BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII BUTTER
Comment: Nothing to complain about regarding the ingredient (note the singular form), but there are many cheaper options if you’re looking for pure shea butter. For this price you can literally get ten times as much if you buy it from a raw material shop.
Size: 5.0 fl.oz. Jar / 150 ml
INGREDIENTS : AQUA • BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII BUTTER • GLYCERIN • COCO-CAPRYLATE/CAPRATE • BEHENYL ALCOHOL • BRASSICA CAMPESTRIS SEED OIL • C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE • METHYLPROPANEDIOL • DIMETHICONE • CETYL ALCOHOL • ARACHIDYL ALCOHOL • TRIBEHENIN • MYRETH-3 MYRISTATE • MANGIFERIN • METHYL GLUCOSE SESQUISTEARATE • PHENOXYETHANOL • PARFUM • ARACHIDYL GLUCOSIDE • XANTHAN GUM • ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER • SORBIC ACID • TOCOPHERYL ACETATE • SODIUM HYDROXIDE
Comments: The first ingredient (after water) is shea butter, which means there is quite a lot of shea butter in this product (=good). This product looks like it contains a lot of nasty ingredients, but more of them are ok than you might think. For instance there are three ingredients called “xx alcohol”, but all three of them are fatty alcohols and therefore not drying for your skin. But there is a fourth alcohol hidden in this list which is PHENOXYETHANOL, which is drying and irritating for the skin. In addition, I am concerned about the use of silicons (DIMETHICONE) and perfume.
Size: 1 fl. oz / 30 ml
Price : $35
INGREDIENTS : AQUA/WATER/EAU • DIMETHICONE • GLYCERIN • ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE •
METHYLPROPANEDIOL • HYDROGENATED COCONUT OIL • BETAINE • ALCOHOL • SORBITAN STEARATE • ACER SACCHARUM (SUGAR MAPLE) EXTRACT • BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER • AGAVE TEQUILANA LEAF EXTRACT • SODIUM PCA • APHLOIA THEIFORMIS LEAF EXTRACT • STEARYL ALCOHOL • CETETH-20 • PARFUM/FRAGRANCE • DIMETHICONE CROSSPOLYMER • XANTHAN GUM • SALICYLIC ACID • ZINC SULFATE • SORBIC ACID • SODIUM HYDROXIDE • TOCOPHERYL ACETAT
Comments: This product mainly contains acceptable ingredients, but there are three ingredients that unfortunately destroy it all. The second ingredient (after water) is a silicon, which covers your skin and can be a factor in breakouts. A bit later comes alcohol, which I of course mentioned before, and also perfume, that you frankly never can know what it is but it’s more often than not potentially harmful. Sorry, but no thanks.
Size: 50 ml
INGREDIENTS : • AQUA • HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA WATER* • GLYCERIN • ALCOHOL • OCTYLDODECANOL •
GLYCERYL STEARATE • BEHENYL ALCOHOL • SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS OIL* • BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII BUTTER* • TRIBEHENIN • STEARYL ALCOHOL • OLUS OIL • CETEARYL ALCOHOL • DICAPRYLYL CARBONATE • CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE • ARACHIDYL ALCOHOL • GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE • PASSIFLORA INCARNATA EXTRACT * • TROPAEOLUM MAJUS EXTRACT* • OLEIC/LINOLEIC/LINOLENIC POLYGLYCERIDES • XANTHAN GUM • CETEARYL GLUCOSIDE • ARACHIDYL GLUCOSIDE • PALMITOYL PROLINE • SODIUM BENZOATE • HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL • CAPRYLYL/CAPRYL GLUCOSIDE • LIMONENE • JUNIPERUS VIRGINIANA OIL • CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS OIL* • SORBIC ACID • SODIUM PALMITOYL SARCOSINATE • MAGNESIUM PALMITOYL GLUTAMATE • CITRUS AURANTIUM AMARA OIL* • CANDELILLA CERA • CHAMOMILLA RECUTITA EXTRACT* • CITRIC ACID • LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA OIL* • CITRUS NOBILIS OIL • LINALOOL • AGAVE TEQUILANA LEAF EXTRACT* • GERANIOL
Comments: This product contains a lof of ingredients, which in itself isn’t a bad thing, but it always makes me more on my guard. The first three ingredients are ok – water, witch hazel and glycerin. Then comes alcohol, which means there is probably quite a lot of it. Again, many of the ingredients here are ok, but I wouldn’t recommend a product that contains this much alcohol.
Yves Rocher was one of the few companies from my email list that sent me some samples to try out. I got a whole bunch of different facial creams to try out, and what I can say about them is that while the texture was decent, they did feel like they contained a lot of alcohol. There was this stinging feeling to them, that I (and probably others with me) until a few years ago associated with effectiveness – if it stings, it must be doing something good for my skin, you know. Now I know that it’s not necessarily true – alcohol is actually very drying for the skin, especially the kind made from grains. When looking at the ingredients in the product INCI they sent me I can confirm that they seem to contain a lot of alcohol. In addition to this, there are a lot of ingredients that shouldn’t be used in cosmetics, in my opinion. So, my verdict about Yves Rocher is that I do not recommend using them.