Bargain Alert: Queen Helene Naturals
Photo from Queen Helene website
A lovely reader asked me a question about a new facial mask from Queen Helene and it reminded me to post my review for some of their new body care products.
Perhaps Queen Helene's most well known product is the cult favorite Mint Julep Mask. I used it in college when I had dry skin. It seemed to work (by making it ultra dry) for the short term. I didn't know about the specific ingredients at the time (avoid them!), but I liked that i could buy it at the East Avenue Wegmans and that it was only 3 bucks.
Most of the Queen Helene skin care should be avoided. Between the parabens and Triethanolamine and the Diazolidinyl Urea, the products are just too full of questionable ingredients to recommend. Even their most gentle honey scrub has SLS has its number two ingredient.
Their whopping bottles of body lotion can be found for under $2 in most stores, but their most popular body lotion has this list of ingredients:
Water, Mineral Oil, Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Theobroma Cacao (Coco) Seed Butter, Stearyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Lanolin, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea, FD&C Yellow 6, FD&C Red 40, D&C Red 33
Now that I've said what I needed to about the mainstay facial masks and subpar body care, Queen Helene has really impressed me recently. They just launched a line of Organic Fair Trade Certified body products.
I recently made a purchase for some supplements at Lucky Vitamin and came across the new range of Queen Helene items. They offer great discounts of products, so I ordered the following items:
Cocoa Butter Cream 6 ounces
Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter+, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Vegetable Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium PCA, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Natural Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit. E), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Carbomer, Potassium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance Oil Blend *Certified Organic +Organic and Fair Trade Certified
Cocoa Butter Body Wash 12 ounces
Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Vegetable Glycerin, Cocamide MEA, Acrylates Copolymer, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Natural Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Avena Sativa (Oat), Kernel Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Panthenol (Vit. B5), Sodium PCA, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Glycol Stearate, Polyqyaternium-7, Potassium Hydroxide, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance Oil Blend
Cocoa Butter Body Lotion 12 ounces
Ingredients: Aqua (Purified Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Gel*, Vegetable Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter!, Vegetable Glycerin, Dimethicone, Glycereth-2 Cocoate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Alcohol, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Natural Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit. E), Persea Gratissima (Avacado) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rose Hips) Fruit Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum (Brown Algae) Extract, Allantoin, Panthenol (Vit. B5), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Benzoic Acid, Fragrance Oil Blend. Certified Organic Organic and Fair Trade Certified
Before shipping, the total of the 3 items was $17.76
My impressions of each:
It is always a wonderful experience when you can find a high-end caliber body product without paying a fortune. To find large sizes such as these and get fantastic quality, however, is just the best part!
I don't make any body creams and lotions anymore. In fact, 99% of the time, I prefer to use coconut oil or shea butter on my skin. It's pure and gentle and I can use it on the boys as well. I use coconut oil every single day in this house for something--whether it be in my hair, my feet, even on the kiddos after their baths. I used up everything I had a couple of weeks ago and when I saw the Queen Helene at these prices (12 ounces for under $6!), I couldn't resist.
The Body Lotion is excellent. It smells like and like a very soft cocoa butter--not too chocolatey but oh so nice--and applied like a dream. All too often, body lotions don't sink in well, but this is lightweight, glides right on and absorbs quickly. It is surely going to be a staple for me this spring and summer.
The Body Wash is another decent product. I find it to be very nice--not stellar, as it contains a sulfate called Sodium Myreth Sulfate. On the sulfate scale, it is not nearly as harsh as Sodium Laureth or Lauryl Sulfate and the same feel on the skin as Sodium Coco Sulfate. In the end they are all sulfates, but the form used in this rates a 1 (GOOD!) on the hazard scale at the Cosmetics Datebase.
The Body Wash isn't as soft and gentle on my skin as a good bar of cold processed soap, but it is probably the best body wash I have used in a very long time. The scent is a bit more floral than I would have expected, but it dissepates quickly and does its job as a gentle cleanser. I still prefer the ingredients in the Dr. Bronner's Fair Trade Shikaki All in One, but for people desiring a lather, this one from Queen Helene will hit the spot.
My favorite item by far was the Cocoa Butter Body Cream. It feels quite luxurious--something I wouldn't expect from Queen Helene--and was rich, very nourishing and comforting in texture and scent. It does contain a bit of dimethicone, but I am not as restrictive when it comes to a tiny bit of silicones. I don't like how they feel in my hair, nor would I want to apply a face primer to clog my pores daily with it, but in a cream for my knees, feet and elbows, it is just fine. People with dry skin will especially adore thuis formula.
The Bottom Line
Queen Helene's new line of Fair Trade and Organic products is most impressive. All three items I plan to buy again after the large containers run out. The most impressive item in the line, by far, was the Body Cream. The other 2 I tried also left be with a positive impression. I look forward to seeing what else QH may develop in the future following the same philosophy.