Herbivore Botanicals prides itself on its use of all-natural, organic ingredients. With that though, comes challenges, as last week the brand's cult favorite Pink Cloud Moisture Cream was issued a warning by Health Canada, Canada’s department of national public health, calling for consumers to immediately stop using the product. A statement released by the department noted "the affected products are not likely to cause an adverse health consequence in healthy individuals, however, may pose a risk to people with weakened immune systems."
Following the warning, Beauty mega store Sephora then recalled the product as it was found to have mold contamination. It was reported by Health Canada that approximately 800 units of the face cream were sold in Canada; with the recalled products being sold between Oct. 2017 to Sept. 2018.
As consumers become more conscious about what is being put into their skincare products, an all-natural revolution has sparked as skincare companies continue jump onto the clean beauty bandwagon. As with a majority of organic ingredients, though, comes an expiration date. Unlike synthetic ingredients and chemicals, the shelf-life of all-natural products is limited. A statement on Herbivore's website reads, “since our products are truly all-natural and we do not use any unnatural preservatives at all, our products have a shelf life of typically 12 months. If our products are kept out of direct sunlight and at room temperature or below, they will stay fresher longer.”
Consumers took to the social platform Reddit to share their disappointment and past experiences with the company. Based off of various comments it seems that this is an issue that Herbivore has dealt with in the past. Customers described products as being moldy, smell “funky,” and to have even changed color.
“Mine initially had off-white clumps settling at the bottom of the bottle and I thought it was just the oil solidifying, so I continued to use it,” said one Reddit user. “However, some time later I started seeing little dark brown/black dots at the bottom and that was when I decided to toss it.” Some of these comments come just after three months of having the product, when the website states that product life should last 12 months. This has caused some customers to have to throw out half-used products. “Mine turned a weird green and started to smell weird and I had more than half left,” read another comment.
The green revolution has led to consumers moving away from products that feature parabens or any other synthetic chemicals, but according to Everyday Health, “[Parabens] often get a bad rap in cosmetic and skincare products thanks to few different studies that linked their use to an increased risk for cancer. However, experts agree the research is weak at best.” This does not necessarily mean that consumers should use a heavy amount of products containing parabens. The article went on to describe how parabens are used to add value to products, but should not be used excessively.
When it comes to deciding between all-natural products and products that contain synthetic ingredients, professionals suggest using products with clinically proven ingredients in them. It also helps if it has organic seals from the USDA. To put it simply, the ingredients should be known to have benefits.