Trader Joe’s Beauty Products; Better for Your Health?

 

 

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Lavender & Chamomile Hand Soap.

 

A couple of years ago I came to realize that most soaps, lotions, and other beauty products sold in stores today contain a lot of worrisome ingredients. Seeing lists of common ingredients and what the chemicals in them can do to your health made me want to look for safer alternatives. Since Trader Joe’s sells a lot of affordable, natural products, I wanted to take a closer look at the ingredients in their soaps and lotions. In this post I will review some of these products, list their ingredients, and highlight those that might be of concern. There may also be other harmful ingredients that are not familiar to me, but at least I will show you some of the big ones. 

There are few regulations regarding what can be added to personal care products, so I have learned to check ingredient lists, even on “all natural” or organic products, which can sometimes be far from natural or safe!

Pure Haven Essentials (former Ava Anderson Non Toxic) has a convenient list of chemicals to avoid that I also have seen listed on multiple other reputable websites.  So I will use their list as a guide when comparing Trader Joe’s products and their ingredients. The list from Pure Haven Essentials is in a PDF format, or you can look at the same list written down by another blogger but in a different format, both very informative in their own ways.

 

Need more information? Some links to helpful articles and websites:

This article from Huffington Post explains the concern really well and includes several excellent links to more information, studies etc. And here’s another great article with references that shows the study behind it along with the findings. Find any chemical you wonder about on NCBI, The National Center for Biotechnology Information. Also, look up specific products on  EWG, Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database.

This article looks at both sides of the issue of safety regarding the use of parabens and the research still needed. The industry will use questionable ingredients because they work for the intended purpose and are inexpensive. So when they are switch to better quality ingredients, the price will go up. This is why I was intrigued by Trader Joe’s; their products often contain healthier, natural, non-toxic ingredients but still at an affordable price.  SEE PRODUCT REVIEWS UNDERNEATH!!! 

 

Some additional things you should know:

 

Vitamin A:

A warning: Vitamin A can go under several names, such as retinyl, retinol, retinyl palmitate, or retinyl acetate. According to this website it may be best to avoid skin and lip products containing Vitamin A, on areas of skin that will be exposed to sunlight. The combination seems to be linked to faster growth of skin cancer lesions!! Ugh! Who needs that!?

Alcohols:

There are a lot of different alcohols and they are quite different from each other. This short article, and this one too, both help explain alcohols and which ones to avoid in beauty products. But in short, these following fatty alcohols are moisturizing and considered good or OK, depending on who you ask: Cetyl, Stearyl, Cetearyl, Behenyl. And the bad, very drying ones, are: Ethanol, such as Isopropyl, Denatured, or SD (specially denatured). Phenoxyethanol is another ethanol that Pure Haven Essentials says to stay away from.

 

Disclaimer: Please do your own research regarding ingredients safety. I do not have an education in these things and I have not done any extensive research personally. I am just a mom who is looking out for my family and trying to provide you with helpful information at the same time. I still have a lot to learn and many of my readers will know much more than I do, and it is likely that I have missed some questionable ingredients. To help us all out, feel free to add information, corrections, or start a discussion in the comment section below. Thanks in advance! 

 

Products at Trader Joe’s


A Guide to My Product Reviews:

As you’ll see, most Trader Joe’s personal care products do contain a couple of ingredients from the no-no list above. Still much better than most brands from our local super markets though, it’s definitely a step in the right direction! And with so many high quality ingredients it’s amazing they’ve been able to keep their prices so low!

In the ingredient lists for each product I will highlight the “bad” ingredients that I can find so you can come to your own conclusions, but again, there may be more that are not highlighted. In addition, I will omit some of the scientific names if the common name was also used, to help clarify what these ingredients actually are. I’ll also tell you how I liked each product myself.

I will include a lot of links to Amazon and other sites so you can look at various  reviews and details. However, purchasing Trader Joe’s products directly from one or their local stores is usually much cheaper than via Amazon.

SKIN PRODUCTS

 

Coconut Body Butter

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's coconut body butter.

Coconut Body Butter Ingredients: 
Water, Coconut oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Capric / Caprylic Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Aloe Leaf Juice, Clary Extract, Vit. E, Grapefruit Extract, Yucca Extract, Dimethicone, Orange Peel Extract, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Marshmallow Extract, Lemongrass Extract, Carbomer, Centella Asiatica Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Polysorbate 20, Hops Exract, Sodium Benzoate, Disodium EDTA, Lemon Peel Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit / Leaf Extract, Fragrance, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Sorbate.
Cruelty Free.

This site also has the list of ingredients plus info on each.

I love this lotion; it feels very thick and smooth, yet soft at the same time and goes on wonderfully! I think it works very well. It also smells wonderful of coconut and shea butter, and although I don’t find the scent overpowering, it may be a bit too strong for sensitive individuals. It feels a little oily for a while, so for hands it would be best to use it at night. But it absorbs pretty well.

 

 

Moisturizing Cream Extra Dry Formula

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Moisturizing Cream Extra Dry Formula.

Moisturizing Cream Extra Dry Formula Unscented Herbal Blend with Aloe. Ingredients:
Water, Safflower Seed Oil, Butylene, Glycol, Petrolatum, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Leaf Juice Powder, Panthenol 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Ceteareth-20, Allantoin, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Symphytum Officinale Rhizome/Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Vitamin E, Stearic Acid, Sodium Carbomer, Methylisthiazolinone, Phytic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Clary Oil. Cruelty Free, No animal testing, with no animal by-products.

A person from a different site states that this product is 100% vegan, per manufacturer. I have not been in contact with the manufacturer myself, so I can’t say for sure.

This lotion works very well as a body lotion, but ever so slightly greasy to the touch if you use it for hands. It is also fragrance free but has a mild, insignificant, but pleasant scent from other ingredients. But I am not thrilled to see that there are several ingredients from the list of chemicals to avoid, and some of them pretty high up on the list. So that concerns me.

 

 

Nourish Shea Butter Hand Cream

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Nourish Shea Butter Hand Cream.

Nourish Shea Butter Hand Cream Ingredients:
Water, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Stearyl Alcohol, Shea Butter, Steareth-21, Stearic Acid, Steareth-2, Dimethicone, Cocoa Seed Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Cellulose Gum, Disodium EDTA, Polysorbate 20, Polyocrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Metylisothiazolinone, Sodium Hydroxide, Citric Acid.
Vegan. No Animal Testing

I love this hand cream; it absorbs well and works great! It feels slightly greasy for a couple of minutes but then dries to the touch pretty well. I like the snap cap too, easy to open and close. And I think the color and design of the bottle is pretty.

 

 

Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream.

Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream Ingredients:
Water, Shea Butter, Dimethicone, Coconut Oil, Glyceral Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, PEG-100 Stearate, Polyacrylamide, Phenoxyethanol, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Fragrance, Sunflower Seed Oil, Ceteareth-20, Benzyl Alcohol, Xantan Gum, Laureth-7, Ethylhexylglycerin, Rapeseed Sterols, Rosemary Leaf extract, Alcohol, Linseed Seed Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Sweet Almond Fruit Extract.
No animal testing.

Also check out this link on the ingredientNote: I highlighted isopraraffin because it is a petroleum derived ingredient and it may or may not contain carcinogenic impurities. I also highlighted benzyl alcohol as this ingredient too, seems to be of concern

I do not like this hand cream for a couple of reasons: It contains a lot of concerning ingredients, and several are high up in the ingredient list. In addition, it has a very strong, unpleasant (to me) perfume in it that I find over powering. It is also quite greasy for being a hand cream although it does absorb somewhat after several minutes, but not as much as it should. In addition, it comes in a metal tube, which is unusual and not to my liking. But I suppose it gives it a little bit of a retro look, which some people may like.

 

 

Spa Lavender Hand & Body Lotion

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Spa Lavender Hand and Body Lotion.

Spa Lavender Hand & Body Lotion Ingredients:
Water, Aloe Leaf Juice*, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Dimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Sunflower Seed Oil*, Stearyl Alcohol, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Polysorbate 60, Lavender Oil*, Lime Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Shea Butter, Avocado Oil, Lavender Extract*, Camilla Sinensis Leaf Extract*, Camomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Echinacea Angustifolia Extract*, Allantoin, Arginine, Beta-Glucan, Bisabolol, Vitamin E, Potassium Hydroxide, Xantan Gum, Alcohol*, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Citral, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Certified Organic Ingredient.
Cruelty Free. Produced without any animal testing or animal by-products.

This site also has good ingredient info on this product.  Most of the ingredients seem to be very good, although several main ingredients are alcohols. Although some of them are considered good, moisturizing alcohols, I am not sure whether it’s OK to use a lotion that contains alcohols as a base. Fortunately aloe comes before alcohols in the ingredient list, but I’m still not sure. At any rate, it does contain phenoxyethanol, which is definitely on the no-no list.

Otherwise this lotion works well but it is a little bit greasy for a few minutes if you want to use it for hands. Being a fragrance free lotion, it has a pretty strong scent from lavender and various plant oils and extracts, and to me it can be a bit too much. In one way I like the scent, but I don’t really want to smell like that when going out in public.

 

 

Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer

Nourish Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer Ingredients:
Water, Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Ethylhexyl (Octyl) Palmitate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Polysorbate-60, Cetearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Sodium PCA, Ethylhexyglycerin (Preservative), Shea Butter Fruit, Vitamin E Acetate, Xanthan Gum (Thickener), Tocopherol (Antioxidant), Sorbic Acid (preservative), Soluble Collagen, Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin C Palmitate, Pomegranate Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Extract, Coffee Seed, Chamomile Flower/Leaf Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sorbitan Sterate, Vitamin K1, Vitamin K3, Hydrolyzed Silk, DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol), Copper PCA, Vitamin A, Vitamin A Palmitate, CO Q-10, Thioctic Acid (a-Lipoic Acid), Vitamin D3, Polysorbate-20, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Phospholipids.
No animal testing.

I have had a fair amount of trouble with dry, flaking skin in my face. I’ve been happy to find that this lotion seems to work very well for me, to the contrary of most other lotions I have tried. Most lotions either make my skin break out (too oily?) or they are too “thin” to keep my skin from drying out and peeling.

Although not a Trader Joe’s product, I feel I have to tell you that vegetable glycerine also has done absolute wonders for my skin and has actually almost entirely healed my peeling skin! It’s like a miracle product to me! If I use it only twice a YEAR, I can do away with using other lotions once a day the rest of the time. If I don’t use glycerin at all my skin will eventually start peeling, but one application of glycerin gets me all better again! I don’t like to use glycerin too often as it leaves a very greasy, sticky feeling. So I only use it as a treatment now and again, and only at bedtime and with a towel on my pillow to keep it clean.

But I digress: Trader Joe’s Nourish Facial Moisturizer has a thin consistency and quickly dries to the touch without a greasy feeling. Mild, pleasant scent but fragrance free. The bottle has a nice little pump that pumps out lotion in a skinny stream and allows you to control the amount that comes out quite well. Some negative points: It contains phenoxyethanol and also several different vitamin A’s. Vitamin A is a safety concern for skin that will be exposed to sun.

 

 

Aloe Vera Gel Body Moisturizer

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Aloe Vera Gel Body Moisturizer.

Aloe Vera Gel Body Moisturizer Ingredients:
Water, Aloe Leaf Juice, Propanediol, Tocopheryl Acetae (Vitamin E), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A, concern for sun exposed skin), Ascorbic Acid, Allantoin, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Acrylates/ C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Panthenol, Glycerin, Disodium EDTA, Menthol, Polysorbate-20, Phenoxyethanol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Benzoate.
No animal testing.

This gel feels fairly thick while in the bottle, so it’s not runny at all. It is very easy to spread though, it doesn’t feel thick or stiff by any means once it’s out of the bottle. It quickly dries to the touch without a greasy feeling. This gel is fragrance free but has a mild menthol scent.

 

 

SOAPS AND SHAMPOOS

 

Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash.

Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash:  Ingredients:
*Tea Tree Oil, *Peppermint Oil, *Eculaptyus Oil, *Rosemary Oil, *Nettle Oil, *Thyme Oil, *Chamomile and *Soybean Protein Extracts, Menthol Sodium Cocoyl Glutiamate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Vegetable Glycerin, Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Citric Acid (Corn), Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate.
Contains no laurel / Laureth Sulfates. *Certified Organic.
Cruelty Free.

WOW!! I can not find any bad ingredients in this product (although maybe I have missed some?), and it works very well! I initially thought that a soap as safe as this one seems to be, would be watered out or would not feel like a read body wash, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried it! A small amount goes a long way, and for the low price on this product you get a lot for your money! It suds nicely (at least in our water) and I don’t have to use any more than other body wash products. It seems quite concentrated, actually. The only thing I’m not wild about is the peppermint scent. It smells nice and is not especially strong, but I’m not sure how I feel about smelling like peppermint while out and about. I guess I’ll have to get my kids to try it out so I can get a better idea.

A lady at the store who saw me looking at the Tea Tree Tingle products, pointed out that she loves the conditioner. Personally I have not tried the shampoo or conditioner but while looking for other information on the net I found the shampoo ingredients listed. So I’ll just add them here for your convenience. Maybe many of these ingredients are organic too, since several in the body wash are? Again, personally I could not find any objectionable ingredients! Hurrah! I hope this following list is correct:

Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo ingredients:  Tea Tree Oil, Peppermint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Rosemary Oil, Nettle Oil, Thyme Oil, Birch Leaf oil, Chamomile, Clary, Lavender, Coltsfoot Leaf, Yarrow Oil, Mallow, Horsetail Oil, Soybean Protein, Coconut Derived C12-14 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Vitamin E, Trace Minerals, Citric Acid (Corn), Sodium Hydroxymethyglycinate, Sea Salt, Grapefruit Seed.
Contains no laurel/laureth sulfates. Suitable for all hair types.

 

 

All for One, One for All Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. All for One, One for All Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash.

All for One, One for All Shampoo Conditioner & Body Wash  Ingredients:
Water, Sodium C14 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamide MIPA, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Silicone Quaternium-17, Laureth-9, Polyquaternium-10, Butylene Glycol, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Cloride, Polyquarternium-7, Fragrance, Cornflower Extract,  Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, St.John’s Worth Extract, Marigold Flower Extract, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Linden Flower Extract, Trideceth-12, C11-15 Pareth-7, C12-16 Pareth-9, Disodium EDTA, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, Vitamin E, Sodium Chloride, Citric Acid, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone.
No animal testing.

This site lists the ingredients on a nice spread sheet plus shows the function of each, and even lists the safety levels of them.

I do like this all-in-one wash, it does a great job in getting the job done. It is thick, suds well, cleans well, and a small amount goes a long way. Mild and pleasantly scented, but unfortunately not fragrance free. I can’t say I’m impressed by the conditioner factor; it really doesn’t feel like it does much. But when I compared with using a shampoo and no conditioner added at all, there actually is a difference! When using the All for One wash I can brush through my short hair a little bit easier, and it’s just enough for my needs. But with my daughter’s long hair, forget it! She’d have to use additional conditioner.

 

 

Nourish Spa Shampoo

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Nourish Spa Shampoo.

Nourish Spa Shampoo Ingredients:
Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sea Salt, *Argan Oil, *Rosemary Leaf Extract, *Orange Fruit Extract, *Mango Fruit Extract, *Lemongrass Extract, *Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, *Echinacea Angustifolia Leaf Extract, *Willow Bark Extract, *Kelp Extract, *Chamomile Flower Extract, *Soybean Seed Extract, *Lavender Flower Extract, *Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance. *Organic extracts.
No animal testing, no animal products.

So close. SO close! Almost perfect, just those two ingredients toward the bottom that aren’t great, as far as I can tell. This shampoo works very well and smells wonderful! But of course it should smell nice since it has fragrance added. But yes, this shampoo is great otherwise.

 

 

Refresh Citrus Body Wash

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Refresh Citrus Body Wash.

Refresh Citrus Body Wash Ingredients:
Botanical Water Extracts of Chamomile, Ginseng, Lemongrass and Sage, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide DIPA, Isoceteth-20, Jojoba Oil, Glycerin, Essential Oil of Sweet Orange, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Essential Oil of Grapefruit, Essential Oil of Tangerine, methylisothiazolinone, Idopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Sodium Chloride.
Cruelty Free. No animal testing. No animal products. 100% Biodegradable.

This body wash works great and also suds well. Unfortunately, fragrance has been added but the result is a nice, mild citrus scent. I wish the natural citrus essential oils in this product would be left to “speak for themselves” instead of adding chemicals or other undisclosed ingredients to add additional scent.

 

 

Nourish Herbal Blend Liquid Soap

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Nourish Herbal Blend Hand Soap.

Nourish Herbal Blend Liquid Soap Ingredients:
Water, Clary extract, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate (looks OK; not the same as SLS / sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Decyl Glycoside, PEG-120 Metyl Glucose Dioleate, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extraxt, Glycerin, Aloe Leaf Extract, Hops Flower Extract, Centella Asiatica Leaf Extract, Rosemary Extract, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract, Vaccinium Myrtillus Leaf Extract, Equisetum Arvense Leaf Extract, Polyquaternium-10, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Isoceteth-20, Clary Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Alcohol, Fragrance.
No animal testing.

I love this hand soap, it works great, and is quite concentrated so only a little bit is needed. The pump is quite stiff but glides very smoothly, letting you easily control how much you pump out. This can save money and our environment by not pouring money (soap) down the drain. However, young kids may have trouble with this stiff pump. Some of the ingredients are not great, including the addition of fragrance. But it does smell really nice, not over powering, just pleasant.

 

 

Lemon Hand Soap

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Lemon Hand Soap.

Lemon Hand Soap Ingredients:
Water, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Sodium Chloride, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance, Lemon Peel Oil, Citric Acid, Citral, Limonene.

This hand soap works well, is very thick and nice and lets you use just a little bit. You’ll get a lot for your money in the end if you use only what you actually need. It smells pleasant, which it should with the added fragrance. I do not like the pumps on these bottles as they tend to be rigid and jerky with soap sometimes squirting where I don’t want it, especially if I try to pump out just a little bit. One of them gets stuck for a few seconds after pumping before finally coming back up again. They just seem like low quality pumps.

 

Lavender & Chamomile Hand Soap

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Lavender & Chamomile Hand Soap.

Lavender & Chamomile Hand Soap  Ingredients:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Coco- Sulfate, Cocamidopropylamine Oxide, Sodium Chloride, Fragrance, Lavender Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, Chamomile Oil, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-4 Laureth /Myreth-5, Glycerin.
No animal testing, no animal products.

Also see this site for ingredients info.

Surprisingly, even though the bottles look the same and the labels very similar to the Lemon Hand Soap above, they are very different from each other both ingredient wise and in consistency. The Lavender & Chamomile Hand Soap is quite a bit thinner than the Lemon Hand Soap, and you end up needing more to do the same job. Regarding the bottle pumps, see Lemon Hand Soap immediately above.

 

 

Fresh Linen Hand Soap

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Fresh Linen Hand Soap.

Fresh Linen Hand Soap Ingredients:
Water, Decyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Acrylates / Steareth-20, Methacrylate Copolymer, Aloe Leaf Juice*, Vitamin E, Equisetum Arvense Extract*, Clary Extract*, Rosemary Extract*, Althaea Officinalis Root Extract*, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract*, Centella Asiatica Root Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Hops Extract*, Yucca Extract*, Lemon Peel Extract*, Grapefruit Extract*, Orange Peel Extract*, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit / Leaf Extract, Polysorbate 20, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Fragrance. *Organic.
No animal testing.

Yikes! Where do I even start!? Sigh… I don’t know how this product made it to the wonderful shelves of Trader Joe’s! This soap is goopy, gummy, sticky, and has a very, very strange consistency! It doesn’t feel like hand soap at all and takes “forever” to wash off. In addition, whenever it leaks onto the side or the counter top, it dries very hard and is extremely difficult to wash off. It takes some real scrubbing and this is not something I feel like dealing with! In addition, the scent is very strong and completely over powering to me! Knowing this intense fragrance could be just about anything (they are not required to list what it is) I really don’t like the idea of having to smell it! There are other objectionable ingredients too, although low on the list with a lot of excellent ingredients listed first. Another positive is that the bottle has a cute design with a pretty label. But I hope they will cut the fragrance and those other two in bold letters and fix the sticky, gummy consistency.

 

CLEANERS

 

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap comes in several varieties and scents, but only peppermint is found at Trader Joe’s. The bottle itself is quite an interesting read with small print in every possible spot on the label! Unique, for sure! You’ll find lots of suggestions and recipes on the bottle on how to use the product, labels of certification of almost everything under the sun, poetry, words of wisdom, and even Dr.Bronner’s philosophy!

Dr. Bronner’s 18-In-1 Hemp Peppermint Pure Castile Soap :  Ingredients: Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide (none remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin), Organic Olive Oil*, Mentha Arvensis*, Organic Fair Deal Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Peppermint Oil*, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.  *Certified Fair Trade.
100% post consumer recycled plastic bottle. 100% Biodegradable. Certified under the USDA National Organic Program. Certified Fair for Life, OTCO, Not animal tested, Cruelty Free, Vegan, Non GMO.

And just for comparison:
Dr. Bronner’s 18-In-1 Hemp Rose Pure Castile Soap
 Ingredients (not found at Trader Joe’s):  Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide (none remains after saponifying oils into soap and glycerin), Organic Palm Kernel Oil*, Organic Olive Oil*, Natural Rose Fragrance, Organic Hemo Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.  *Certified Fair Trade.
100% post consumer recycled plastic bottle. 100% Biodegradable. Certified under the USDA National Organic Program. Certified Fair for Life, OTCO, Not animal tested, Vegan Org., Non GMO.

Castile soap is an excellent alternative to other cleaners and it works very, very well! I discovered it fairly recently but I can tell you right now that I will be using this product to clean bathrooms, floors, kitchen counters etc. for many years to come! However, though some people like to use it for skin, I found that it was too drying for me. It does cut grease very well, so to me it is only logical that it will dry out skin as a result.

 

Next to Godliness Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Cedarwood & Sage

A look at ingredients and safety in soaps and lotions at Trader Joe's. Next to Godliness Multi Purpose Cleaner with Cedarwood and Sage.

Next to Godliness Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Cedarwood & Sage Ingredients:
Water, Cedarwood and Clary Sage Essential Oils, Grain Alcohol, Natural Surfactants, Color (???!!!) and Water. Contains less than 0.00005% DC or FD&C Colors.
No animal testing, Biodegradable.

Hmmm… What are these natural surfactants and the color? I wonder why the company decided not to be more specific in disclosing these ingredients? And although I don’t like the idea of alcohol in my cleaners, it seems to me that the amount must be minuscule in this case since it is listed after essential oils. Essential oils are very powerful and just a few drops are needed to make a difference. Perhaps the alcohol is used with the essential oils as an emulsifier to get them to mix with the water?

This cleaner works well as an all-purpose, around-the-house cleaner. Unfortunately I could not find a good link to reviews on this product for you. But it seems safe enough to me, so for this cleaner I am mostly worried that I am wasting money by buying it, knowing how easy it is to make your own; just click this link for a few recipes. Making your own cleaners can be as simple as using vinegar water, or you can mix in a little bit of castile soap (or use a castile / water mix). Essential oils can also be added, although it is best to mix them into an emulsifier first to get the oils to mix with the water.

 

All in All

I really do like the products at Trader Joe’s! Even if there are some ingredients that are best avoided, the amounts of chemicals in these beauty products are much lower than in most soaps and lotions from the super market. While looking for safer, more natural alternatives, this is definitely a very affordable step in a better direction. I hope this article has been helpful to you, and I would love to hear from you in the comment section! I wish you well in your journey to healthier living!

About Terese

2 Responses to “Trader Joe’s Beauty Products; Better for Your Health?”

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  1. Carol Murphy says:

    Hi Terese— great post! Very informative. Glad you mentioned Pure Haven too. I do use products from both places. I was looking for a review of TJ’s Head to Toe Balm. I love it and use as bedtime lip balm especially. Looking forward to seeing more of your blogs.

    • Terese says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, Pure Haven has wonderful products! I appreciate you leaving a comment, and maybe one of these days I’ll try the Head to Toe Balm. If so, I’ll edit in a review for that one, too. 🙂

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