Posted by Vicky on | September 18, 2011 | No Comments
Clarins products contain tree nut and peanut oil. Inca peanut oil at that. This information is readily available and is of course easy to spot in the list of ingredients on the side of the box. Easy, that is if you are some sort of biochemical botanical expert. Plukenetia volubilis ring a bell… anyone? That is Inca peanut oil to me and you. Let’s give it another go, anacordium occidentale, for the less discerning nut enthusiast it translates to cashew nuts. Confused yet? Wait, there is more.
Enquiring to the Head Office (UK) as to whether Clarins products are safe to use if dealing with severe and anaphylactic nut allergies, I showed a little shock at the heavy use of nut oil. They retorted that it should “be obvious” that they use nut oil, they are botanical after all. It was not and is still not an obvious inclusion. The information provided by the Head Office (UK) claimed that they used the oil of 5 different nuts. No mention of Inca peanut oil here, and strictly speaking peanut is not a nut, but it is usually bundled with nuts when enquiring about nut allergies. A forgetful Head Office; or one that does not wish to talk about the inclusion of peanut oil (Inca or otherwise) in their products?
So how extensive is the use of peanut and tree nut oil? 5 different tree nut oils mentioned by Head Office (UK) – no mention of Inca Peanut oil. 4 different tree nut oils are mentioned via email by Clarins Customer Service and they included peanut oil so that takes us to 5. Not the same 5 as mentioned by the Head Office (UK) I hasten to add. However to get into a complete spin, check out the Herbarium section on the Clarins website. 7 tree nut oils and Inca peanut oil are mentioned – that takes us to 8.
A list of Clarins products and the “botanicals” they contain (happily not just in Latin) is available on the Herbarium site. For some reason though no products are listed under Inca peanut oil, Hazelnut oil or Walnut oil. Why not? Hazelnut oil is, for example, used in the Face Treatment oil, Inca peanut oil is used in their HydraQuench moisturizing range (not the masks though), and walnut oil is used in Gentle Day Cream – this is by no means an exhaustive list. Why include partial information, in some kind of half-hearted manner? It looks suspicious, even if it is not. It begs the question: “something to hide?”
The official reply to the question whether or not their products are safe for those with a peanut or tree nut allergy is as follows: via email from Customer Services “A food allergy to a component does not necessarily presage a topical allergy. In addition, cross-allergies exist between these ingredients but these are difficult to control. In case of an allergy, it is recommended before using a new product, to perform a test by applying a small amount of product at the elbow and record changes after twenty minutes. If discomfort or a reaction were to occur during this test, rinse the area where the product was applied and not re use.” Is this something that people with a severe or anaphylactic allergy should be doing? Who knows they did not answer my question “Is it safe to use if you have a severe allergy to nut and or peanuts”. Head Office (UK) said: “it should be allergen free”. Should be is not a guarantee, what does “should be” really mean? Clear? No, I didn’t think so!
Here is the full list of nut and peanut oil used in Clarins products:
Candlenut, Cashew, Hazelnut, Horse Chestnut, Inca peanut, Macadamia, Sweet Almond and Walnut.
I have written three times asking if the products are safe to use if you have severe or anaphylactic peanut or tree nut allergies, and if they check for nut protein. I’ve still not had an answer to either specific question. If and when I do, I will let you know!
This is the first in a series of posts on the use of peanut and nut oils in Clarins skincare products.
Please click here for a link to the Herbarium section on the Clarins Website