I recently bought a couple of facial scrubs, which I mentioned in a recent post. One was a cheapie, by French budget brand Callibelle and the other was an expensive one from niche French firm Elevation 3196 – Alchemilla Exfoliating Cream. Both were based on ground almond kernels.
At 39 euros for a 50ml pot for the Elevation product, you might expect something remarkable, but in fact the two appeared to be very similar, except that the Callibelle, which costs only three euros, had a rather nicer texture and smell. It was, however, full of parabens while the Elevation product was all-natural, so the latter played into my preferences for natural products. The Elevation product was also much more nicely packaged, in white card outer packaging and a glass pot rather than the Callibelle's cheapie plastic tube.
It’s not a given, however, that natural means plain sailing – just look at what the Elevation 3196 scrub did to my face. This image is taken around 15 minutes after I’d applied it, when it was already starting to cool somewhat, but the burning, tingling, stinging feeling lasted for several hours. My face was absolutely on fire. Luckily I work from home, and didn’t have to go out that day and once the heat in my face had cooled, there was no permanent damage.
I do accept that these things sometimes happen, but I was somewhat bemused as to which ingredient could have caused it. Unfortunately I had already disposed of the ingredient list, which was on the outer packaging, so I wrote to the company’s customer service department to ask advice, as obviously I would like to avoid this happening again.
And? Nothing. No reply. It’s been a week now and I think that’s long enough. For obvious reasons, I won’t be buying any products from Elevation 3196 again.
It is a shame when even a niche company cannot be bothered to reply to a politely worded query sent via their own website. I had really rather liked the sound of this firm, but that's the end of that relationship.
For those who are interested, btw, I later found the ingredients list online. It is: water (aqua), helichrysum italicum flower water, glycerin, polyglyceryl-4 caprate, caprylyl/capryl glucoside,chondrus crispus (carrageenan), benzyl alcohol, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate, sucrose laurate, potassium sorbate, alcohol, spiraea ulmaria flower extract, artemisia umbelliformis extract, fragrance (parfum), limonene and linalool.