June Junk Claim #1: Josie Maran Mascara and Petrochemical Free

So, I recently blogged about how I was tired of chemical free claims when it comes to beauty and cleaning products. And that gave me an idea. I thought for each day of June, I’d talk about a “junk” claim when it comes to beauty and cleaning products.

My first “junk” claim is Josie Maran Cosmetics’ Argan Mascara. I’m picking on Jose Maran Cosmetics to start because of a recent Twitter party that included promoting the products as safe for pregnant mamas, including that they were free of petrochemicals. And while I can’t say whether or not the products are safe, I can say that many of the products are not free of petrochemicals as advertised.

The Argan Mascara, for example, is advertised as free of petrochemicals, free of animal testing, and free of toxic chemicals. The claim “free of petrochemicals” should mean, well, that none of the ingredients are petrochemicals. Petrochemicals are generally considered chemicals derived from petroleum.

So, if the advertising is true, none of the ingredients should be derived from petroleum. The ingredients are:

White Beeswax, Carnauba Wax, Polyisobutene, Isododecane, Propylene Carbonate, Quaternium-18, Hecorite, Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Isoeicosane, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Oil, Simmondsia Chinenesis (Jojoba) Oil, Linseed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Hexylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Black Iron Oxides, Mica.

Okay, let’s look at some of these ingredients. And, don’t be worried, there isn’t too much chemistry – just a little.

Let’s start with polyisobutene. Polyisobutene is a synthetic rubber, a copolymer of isobutylene with isoprene. Isobutylene is produced from oil, and 95% of isoprene is synthetically produced from oil, although it is possible that the isoprene comes from a natural source. Unlikely but possible. And I could not get a response from Josie Maran Cosmetics.

Isododecane is produced from isobutane, which is produced from oil.

Propylene carbonate is basically produced from propene, which comes from petroleum, natural gas or sometimes coal.

Phenoxyethanol is virtually always derived from phenol and ethylene oxide. Phenol is usually produced from benzene derived from oil, and ethylene oxide comes from reacting ethylene with oxygen. Ethylene is derived from oil.

So, you tell me, how is this mascara free of petrochemicals?

Seems to me that the claim the Jose Maran Cosmetic Argan Mascara is free of petrochemicals is nothing more than junk greenwashing.

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Comments

  1. I’m so glad you called Josie Maran out. I’ve had several people ask me about them so I’ve been researching them myself. Many green beauty bloggers, especially from LA, tout them often. However, they have many unsafe ingredients and are not really a green company. It’s been frustrating because so many green beauty bloggers who you’d think would know better really love them.

  2. Good point. Personally I don’t have an issue with petrochemicals as a class – some petrochemicals are harmful, but the harmful ones aren’t used in cosmetics. Cosmetics made in Europe and America are not a major risk to health and you can use them without fear. But companies making false claims like this undermines trust. The worst thing is if my experience is anything to go by it is probably down to ignorance in the marketing department rather than straight dishonesty.

  3. Jennifer, Thanks for this analysis. The ingredients in these products are extremely confusing for most of us. I appreciate the a-to-b-to-c way you make the links. Do you know anything about Josie Maran lip gloss? I recently purchased a tube to give it a try, but haven’t gotten to the bottom of all those ingredients yet.

  4. Jojoba oil is also great for acne sufferers because it can penetrate oily pores.

  5. Yet another example of how I’ve been fooled by marketing. I thought I was doing so many things right. Guess not! Consumers are being lied to all over the place… all in the name of greed!

  6. this is so helpful, thank you, i was so fooled by Josie Maran, can’t believe it! I just found your blog through a chat on SheWrites. this is super!

  7. Does anyone know anything about JM self adjusting foundation, her moisturizer with spf40, and her new primer? I just ordered all these things (before reading this article). It’s suppose to be delivered tomorrow and I’m considering sending it all back.

  8. People are nuts. Might as well put yourself in a bubble, because even the air we breath has chemicals. Go live in the woods and put mud on your face. That’s natural right

  9. Love your honesty & knowledge. Wish the makers were as honest and concerned.

Trackbacks

  1. […] My first “junk” claim is Josie Maran Cosmetics’ Argan Mascara. I’m picking on Jose Maran Cosmetics to start because of a recent Twitter party that included promoting the products as safe for pregnant mamas, including that they were free of petrochemicals. And while I can’t safe whether or not the products are safe, I can say that many of the products are not free of petrochemicals as advertised. […]

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