MooGoo TradeoffWe spend a lot of time talking to our customers at MooGoo, we’ve always been like that. They’re the ones that tell us where we can improve, what new products they want to see and the reason we do all of this in the first place.

Many questions we get from customers (or people thinking about being customers) are based around the effectiveness of natural products, and if they are going to be different than what they’re used to. More and more people are looking to switch over to natural in some form or another, so we wanted to let you know what you’re in for. It may seem a bit odd why a company that makes natural products would make any mention to any downfalls or trade offs for natural products, but different things work for different people, and we like managing expectations.

When the first wave of natural products started to show up on shop shelves, some people easily made the switch from more conventional, non-natural products. Others tried to switch, but ended up switching back. When changing over to natural products, what some people don’t realise is that there may be a difference in how they’re used to experiencing a product. When this expectation isn’t met, many people assume that the product isn’t working properly, and its often easier (and cheaper) to switch back to what they’re used to.

While this is understandable, we thought it’d be a good idea to outline some of the differences you may find between non-natural products that you’ve used for ages, and more natural products that you are interested in trying. It’s easiest to explain what we mean by simply diving into some examples.

Shampoo Trade Off

 Shampoo – switching to a natural shampoo means that all non-natural ingredients will be excluded. Duh. Some of those non-natural ingredients are responsible for the epic foaming action you get when you lather up. SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) is a pretty common one, or ingredients that look similar to this and end in –fate are other common culprits. While natural cleansing substitutes are great (much more gentle on the hair and scalp, and also better for the environment), the shampooer should know that the suds factor will most likely be lower than they’re used to. This just means a little more agitation required to build up the lather, which if you look at it another way, a great excuse for a prolonged head massage.

Conditioner Trade Off

Conditioner – switching to a natural conditioner is a bit easier since no agitation is required. The difference here will be the ingredients that give your hair that silky smooth feeling, and what you’re washing down the drain. Silicone is the main ingredient used in conditioning products, and you can find them by looking for words that end in –cone on our product labels. But what’s wrong with silicone? Silicone is responsible for limp and a feeling of heaviness on your hair.  Over time it can coat the hair and scalp and can be hard to get rid off. Not to mention it can irritate the scalp. We think it’s funny to see shampoos targeted to get rid of build up. Instead of silicone, we prefer using natural oils that give the same silky feeling without the build up. To be honest, the trade off here is next to none and natural oils are also better for the environment, so double win there. Ever think about what happens to your wash products after they go down the drain? Yah, neither did we.

Body Wash Trade Off

Body Wash – very similar to shampoo as they both do the job of washing, body wash products made with natural ingredients will also be less bubbly and foamy than the commercial versions you might be used to. This is again because we don’t use any SLS related ingredients. With natural ingredients, the cleaning job is done just as well, but the perception can be (or so we’ve been told) that it doesn’t give the same ‘feeling’ of clean that the non-natural washes do. This is because the skin isn’t left feeling squeaky and tight after, which is generally what happens when the oils are stripped out. While we get this, and we do love bubbles, we don’t love dry skin so this is a trade off we are happy to make. While SLS is super cheap to use in formulation, it can also irritate the skin. Coconut and Glucose based cleansers are better in our books and much better for Mother Earth too.

Moisturiser trade off

 

Moisturiser – being in the skin care business means we know a lot about skin care ingredients. We help people make the switch to natural products but a lot people don’t know what they’re switching away from. It’s not common knowledge that most commercial moisturisers are made using petroleum-based ingredients. To us it seems obvious; a cream made from the stuff you put in your car can’t be the best choice for you skin. But the reality is, it’s cheap to buy and it makes your skin feel moisturised by coating it, similar to what silicone does for you hair. In the same way we prefer natural oils to hydrate our hair, they’re also our first choice for the skin. As for a trade off, you won’t find one using natural oils, but using natural ingredients can make the colour and smell of a cream not what you’re used to. Some of the ingredients we use, such as Raspberry Seed Oil have a dark colour. When mixed into a cream, it can make it look like a tan colour. Many customers contact us thinking that the product is off, but that’s only because we’re trained to expect moisturisers only to be white. Another ingredient we use is Hops Extract. This is our natural preservation system, and if you know anything about Hops (think beer), they come with an “earthy” smell. Sometimes, this smell can be detected and while it’s not a bad one, it isn’t what people are used to. We’ll gladly take an off-white, earthy smelling cream over a stark white, synthetically preserved one any day of the week. 

Deodorant Trade offDeodorant – the confusion here seems to endless. The biggest question we get about our natural deodorant is “But does it work?” . Well that depends. In comparison to antiperspirant products, which just like the name implies are anti perspiration, then no, ours doesn’t work. The reason for this is because it’s a deodorant, which means it deodorises. No natural deodorant is an antiperspirant because ingredients that stop you from sweating by clogging your sweat glands contain aluminum, and putting aluminum under your arms isn’t exactly the most natural thing in the world. Whether a crystal, a paste, or a roll-on like ours, the effectiveness of a deodorant is how well it controls your smelliness. Specifically we use an alkaline formula to control odour-causing bacteria from throwing a party (no bacteria = no smell), but others like to use essential oils. We’re just not that into smelling like a Tea Tree Forest, and essentials oils can sometimes sting the delicate, thin skin of the armpit. The trade off here is significant, but to be expected: you will still sweat – a natural process, and one we prefer not to mess with.

Toothpaste Trade Off

Toothpaste – this seems to be the natural product with the slowest uptake. Many people switch over the natural everything else, but toothpaste seems to be the last to go. You’d think it’d be the first one since it actually goes in your mouth, but people seem to be stuck on, or dare we say addicted to the strong minty flavour of conventional toothpastes. Yes, we won’t deny that natural flavours will never be able to replicate that kind of intense minty-ness, but I think we come pretty darn close. Aside from Fluoride, which is why most people want to move away from regular toothpaste, the other ingredients you may find in them can be quite startling. Without going into a rant here, just take a look at the ingredient listing on your toothpaste at home. You may be surprised, even shocked to see what you’ll find. The trade off here, other than the aforementioned less mouth-burning minty flavour is also the foaming factor. Just like shampoo and wash products, toothpaste often contains SLS. This just means a little bit more elbow grease needed to get the foam going, but all that brushing will actually leave you with cleaner teeth.

Sunscreen trade offSunscreen – out of all of the products, we think switching to natural sunscreen has not only the biggest trade off, but also the biggest benefit. We’ll start with the bad news first. Natural sunscreens like ours, are Zinc-based. The mention of Zinc probably brings images of white nosed surfers to mind. Using Zinc in a sunscreen makes it thicker than commercial sunscreens, and therefore a little bit harder to spread and apply. But for that little bit of extra effort comes a lot of extra benefit. Zinc provides the skin with a physical barrier against UV rays. Spray sunscreens seem a whole lot more convenient but it can be hard to tell if you’re covered properly. Many commercial products use penetration enhancers to make application easier, as well as UV filters which we’re just not into. We sold out of our sunscreen a few times last summer so we think that lots of people are on board with putting in the extra effort for the extra results. And mums seem to love it.

 

We’ve spoken a lot on our Facebook page, maybe even got a bit ranty about products that claim to be natural but aren’t, and natural products that claim to work miracles but then come up short. We’re still on the fence about which is worse. But the selection of natural products has improved vastly, particularly in the last few years. And that’s mainly due to the lean towards green, and the improvement in the natural ingredients available. Every year they keep getting better and better, and in our opinion, even with a slight trade-off, many natural products are light-years better for us and the environment than their cheap, synthetic counterparts.

What trade off for natural products have you dealt with in switching over?