Wednesday, 24 February 2016

What is Eco-Cert? (Practicing Safe Skincare with. Schaf Products)*

*Press Samples
Schaf Skincare Moisturizer, Eye Cream, and Scrub Review

Here's a question for you. What are you willing to sacrifice for safe skincare?

It takes a lot of money and time to get a product Eco-Cert certified (at least ~$1500). It takes even more money and effort to get an entire line of products certified and Schafproducts, originating from Toronto, are all ECO-CERT certified.

ECO-CERT is an independent inspection and certification body. It is a benchmark for international organic certification and sustainable development. For cosmetic products to become certified, a minimum of 95% of the ingredients must come from natural origins. The products under go an annual audit to ensure that not only the ingredients are organic but that the formulas, packaging, and cleaning procedures of the company follow specific guidelines.  You can read more about this rigorous process here.

Many companies might think twice about getting this certification due to its difficulty and expense but Schaf has undergone the process and their products are made without:
- parabens
- sodium lauryl sulfate 
- artificial colors, sulfates
- mineral oil
- silicone
- phthalates
- petroleum
- animal byproducts
- GMOs
- gluten
- propylene glycol.

Also, there is no animal testing and consumers aren't asked to pay a lot for Schaf products. They are all affordable. I was able to try out a few of their key items and it made me realize that some things are sacrificed when using pure organic products and that you have to decide what your priorities are when it comes to your skin.

Schaf Skincare Eye Cream

The Schaf Nutritive Daily Eye Cream* ($40CDN, 15ml) is suitable for all skin types. It is supposed to restore and renew the eye area with hyaluronic acid and peptides. It is supposed to smooth and reduce the appearance of lines and contains Coenzyme Q10 which reduces UV damage and stimulates healthy collagen production. It doesn't mention how often it should be used but is good for men and women.

Schaf Skincare Eye Cream Ingredients

The pump bottle disperses a generous amount so I only press down for a quarter pump. My eye area has not been dry when I have been using this.  The cream is bit thick and doesn't absorb very quickly. It tended to crease my concealer and slow concealer dry down. I've stopped using it during the day when I will be applying make up because of this. It's perfect for the evenings though. I still continue to use this even though I prefer a thinner formula because this is Eco-Certified. The skin around the eye is thin and eyes are precious. Taking care of those areas with organic ingredients seems like a smart move.

Schaf Skincare Moisturizer

The Schaf Nutritive Daily Moisturizer* ($45CDN, 50ml) is supposed to be lightweight and deliver oil-free hydration with anti-aging benefits. Again, there is hyaluronic acid and peptides in the formula. It contains avocado, grapeseed, pumpkin and shea butters. It is suitable for all skin types and can be used day and night.

Schaf Skincare Moisturizer Ingredients

One pump gives more than you need. The moisturizer is, for all intense and purposes, scentless. I would say it has 'empty plastic container scent' which is neutral and doesn't linger. This medium weight moisturizer, like the eye cream, didn't absorb very quickly and if you over apply, it tends to sit on the face. It makes my makeup move around so I've, again, reserved this for night time use. It has been perfect when used this way. My skin has been very smooth and soft lately because of it.

Schaf Skincare Scrub

The Schaf White Lava Purifying Scrub* ($30CDN, 120ml) is supposed to be a gentle foaming cleanser which is suitable for all skin types. The scrubs are white lava particles and ground apricot seeds. It is supposed to leave your skin smooth and clean.

Schaf Skincare Scrub Ingredients

The scrub is very thick in the bottle and difficult to pour or squeeze out. Storing it upside down has helped. Once dispensed, it is as creamy as promised. For something without silicones, it still gives good glide but it doesn't foam as suggested (which I don't need anyways so whatever). It definitely cleaned and rinsed cleanly away. 

The scrub particles are the size of St. Ive's Apricot Scrub but a touch smaller in diameter and with smoother edges. Not something I would use everyday since this scrub is intense. This unscented cleanser exfoliated really well but don't press down too hard. The particles distributed very evenly which doesn't always happen and my skin was not left feeling tight. If you don't like a brisk abrasive scrub, I would avoid this. 

Schaf Skincare Moisturizer, Eye Cream, and Scrub Review

Schaf Skincare Moisturizer, Eye Cream, and Scrub Review

I don't doubt that using these products are (potentially) much safer and (definitely) more organic than most other items I've used. I can also be free of doubt that the practices used in their creation are, for the most part, sustainable and considerate of the environment. That can go a long way with consumers. 

 But using organic products does feel different than using non-certified products. The truth is, if you want slip and glide, silicones help. If you want foaming, SLS helps. If you want long shelf life, preservatives help. And some of these conditions are going to have to be sacrificed for a more sustainable and organic product.

As a consumer, you'll have to decide where you draw the line. Do you need super absorbency at the expensive of some 'safety'? Do you need something to foam in order to feel clean? The Schaf products have a lot going for them but someone who wants pure performance may think these are underperforming. And they may potentially be sacrificing some health because of it.  As with anything, your decision and preferences depend on your priorities. All in all though, I would recommend these products.

Where do you draw the line? 

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