Weekend Beauty 101: Simple® skincare review

By Elyssa

For the last few months I have been on a dermatological hunt for the best cruelty and animal-product free face wash that isn’t a million dollars. Sorry Whole Foods… can’t afford ya all the time.

Anyway, during my hunt I ended up at Target. A bunch of green products on the very bottom shelf caught my eye. The price was right. The products ranged from about$7 to $8. The fancy stuff such as soothing eye balm was at most $13.

I picked up the bottle of Simple® Refreshing Facial Wash Gel and scoped the label for ingredients and to make sure it was noncomedogenic and hypoallergenic. The ingredient list was generally short compared to other face washes, however, that doesn’t mean I can pronounce half of the words listed.

The label ensures the product is suitable for all skin types, especially sensitive skin. Simple has no dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh irritants that can upset your skin.

The label makes it clear that Simple skincare contains no animal derived ingredients. However, the possibility that Simple might test on animals worried me. So, I phoned a friend. She looked the brand up online and found out that Simple does not test on animals although it lacks the cruelty-free logo. The reason behind it was that the peeps at Simple do not feel it’s necessary to choose one company such as Leaping Bunny over other cruelty-free logos. Well, I took her word for it.

Target was out of the moisturizer so I ventured to Walgreen’s to see what they had to offer. They had the same stuff, and everything was on sale for under $6. Score!

In addition to the facial wash, I purchased the replenishing rich moisturizer and exfoliating facial wipes. Unfortunately, the moisturizer does not have any SPF in it but you can always pair it with makeup such as Bare Minerals foundation which has SPF 15.

For the last couple of weeks I have been using the face wash in the morning and at night. I use the moisturizer before I put makeup on and use the exfoliating wipes about three times a week. So far, so good. A small amount of the facial wash gel does the trick. It’s also nice to have a moisturizer that’s light and doesn’t leave my face all greasy. I’m not quite sure if the exfoliating wipes really contribute to much, however, it feels good on my face! I’ll probably skip out on them next time though. I personally like Say Yes to Cucumbers hypoallergenic facial towelettes much better.

Everything feels really clean, as face cleansing products should. But, you know what I mean… no dirt left behind. Overall, Simple skincare products are a great alternative to those expensive brands. Another plus is that it can be found in regular stores like Target and Walgreens.

After doing some more research, I learned a few things about Unilever, the company that owns Simple. The company is based in the UK and just started selling Simple in the U.S. this year. The company also states its views on animal testing. After reading this, I was a little iffy if I wanted to use this product or not. Since I already made the purchase, I decided to go with it. The company seems pretty progressive and I feel is on the right track in terms of their motives. I can’t say I will definitely buy this brand again due to the company’s current policy but I will keep checking back to see when it goes fully animal-testing free.  If after reading the disclaimer* below, the policy doesn’t bother you then I say go for it.

*Disclaimer: At Unilever, using non-animal approaches is the norm. Most of our products reach consumers without testing any of their ingredients on animals. We do not test our actual products on animals (any testing is undertaken on individual ingredients), and we do not undertake animal testing in our own laboratories (any studies are conducted by third party laboratories). A few countries still undertake product testing in their government laboratories. We are working with the local authorities to ensure the implementation of non-animal methods.
Animal testing is a contentious issue, and there are strong and diverse opinions on the need for animal testing to underpin the development of new consumer products, particularly cosmetics. Unilever is required to provide animal data to comply with the safety regulations in place in different countries across the world. Where we are legally obliged to commission animal studies, we ensure that the minimum numbers of animals are used.
Unilever is committed to the elimination of animal testing for its business, and is at the forefront of research into non-animal approaches for assessing consumer safety. Currently, a very small amount of animal testing is still necessary to deliver innovative products that provide consumer benefits and are market competitive.

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5 Responses to Weekend Beauty 101: Simple® skincare review

  1. Wow, $13 for the eye balm? Must be an import price! Simple is on the budget end of the spectrum here in the UK, where most products cost just a few pounds, and the eye cream costs 3 (about $5): http://www.gordonsdirect.com/simple-kind-to-eyes-soothing-eye-balm-15ml.html Although my favourite (super) budget products in the UK are Superdrug own brand (Superdrug is one of the major drugstore chains, similar to Walgreens or CVS); they label which products are vegan and most are a pound or two or even less!

    I believe Simple used to be their own company but were bought out by Unilever. So, it’s possible they maintain their own stance on animal testing separate to Unilever’s; I’m not sure. Of course, it comes down to whether or not you want to accept the parent company too! It does say on their site most products are suitable for vegans: http://www.simple.co.uk/skincare-solutions/faqs/questions/are+any+simple+products+suitable+for+vegans–173.aspx However it looks like they sell in China, which means they probably do test…

  2. Sam says:

    Unilever are unfortunately one of the biggest animal testing companies in the UK. As Caitlin mentioned, Superdrug label their products according to if they are vegetarian or vegan, and are also Leaping Bunny BUAV approved, I have been buying Superdrug own brand products for a few years now, and they are great. The only products I have an issue with are the skincare ones, as none of then seem to be right for my skin. I was reading this article thinking I’d found another product to try, such a shame its Unilever!

    • Elyssa says:

      Sorry to hear that. But in better news, I just purchased a bunch of LUSH Cosmetics to test out. The entire company is cruelty-free. Check back for the review!
      - E

  3. Pingback: Beauty 101: Winter Moisturizer Roundup | I Eat Grass

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