This Obnoxious Face Lotion is “Chemical-Free” and Infused with Magical Thinking

Have you ever felt like you have too much money and that your skincare products don’t have enough energy infused in them? Are you afraid of chemicals? Good news, I have the perfect solution for you!

Welcome to the world of Sodashi skincare! I was naturally curious when I came across this product, since it’s described as “chemical-free,” which is a holistic way of saying “it doesn’t count as a chemical if it comes from a flower that you’ve heard of.” Because no poison ever came from a flower or plant. I’m pretty sure chemicals are all derived from… uh, something like toxic sludge? The details really aren’t important here, in the fact-free world of skincare products.

From the manufacturer’s website:

Sodashi’s absolute commitment to working in harmony with nature is reflected across all areas of the business. Not a single synthetic chemical, preservative or fragrance is used in the Sodashi manufacturing process. Products are never tested on animals and Sodashi packaging is recyclable and printed with natural vegetable dyes.

I suppose that could be true, although the products are packaged in plastic bottles. Probably derived from a plastic tree or something.

This Captain Planet villain is the inventor of chemicals. Literally. (Source)

If you’re wondering what the ingredients list looks like for the face cream, here’s an example (for the Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Creme):


Bullshit: naturally derived from a bull’s poop. May increase blood pressure.

This face cream is truly revolutionary. It sounds like if you had enough, you could practically heal any sort of skin condition! (But then maybe you’d end up like Clayface from Batman: The Animated Series.) It’s only $495 for a 50 mL fun-size* container!

So, what exactly is that first ingredient, “purified rose quartz crystal water”? (I should probably stock up on this cream, because reading through all the gibberish is making my blood pressure rise, and as you see in the ingredient list, this skin cream may reduce that.) It turns out that chemicals (er, I mean, naturally-derived non-chemicals) are not the only ingredients in this skin cream–the other ingredient is good ol’ crystal healing powers. In addition to being made with water purified using rose quartz energy (yes, that is a thing that people actually do), the cream also comes with “two rose quartz crystals to massage the treatment into the skin for maximum benefit.” (You can read more about this skin cream at the Sodashi website, but I’m going to warn you that the descriptions are essentially what Eat, Pray, Love would be like if it were just some fancy lotion for your face.)

Unsurprisingly, this skincare company is endorsed by Goop (owned by Gwyneth Paltrow, noted money-haver). The lifestyle blog recently featured an article, The New Secret Beauty Formula: Intention, about Sodashi (and two other similar skincare companies), that started off as:

At first it sounds beyond out-there: beauty company employees earnestly chanting to, praying over, even playing music to… jars of face cream. Or bottles of oil, tubes of cleanser.

But then consider the fact that people bless food all the time. Studies show hospital patients who are prayed for—even by strangers they never meet—do better than those who aren’t. Then there’s the work of Masaru Emoto, whose experiments on and photography of the effects of music, words, and intention on water became the bestselling The Hidden Messages in Water.

You know a product is legit when it’s compared to hospital prayer studies and some book about hidden messages in water. I wonder if this skin cream comes with some pieces of the Shroud of Turin as well?

This skin cream is totally legit, or my name isn't White Jesus (source)

This skin cream is totally legit, or my name isn’t White Jesus (source)

At Sodashi skincare in Australia, employees meditate with the company’s meticulously crafted skincare as a group together every afternoon. “We want to ensure that the energy going into making the product is the best it can be,” says founder Megan Larsen. They also play an Ayurvedic rain melody in the laboratory to cleanse the space where the luxe, highly active skin treatments are made.

Energy, and the best darn non-chemicals that money can buy, that is! (To be honest, it does sound kind of cool to work in a lab that meditates on the regular and plays relaxing music. I’d like to know what their office politics are like though. And I’d like to see their office kitchen, because you know some drama has happened there.)

“The skin is an organ that is deeply emotional and subtly connected to our heart energy—and it holds a particular vitality for women,” says Denise Leicester, founder and chairman at Ila

Yeah we all know how important skin is to women, since we’re not allowed to show our age. Maybe they have some chants they can do for the wage gap too?

“We put crystals around the oils. As we macerate the herbs, we play music. As we add the base oils, we use more music, crystals, and meditation. Then when we add the flower essences, they sit out with music, too.” She estimates the whole process takes about six to eight weeks. She blends the oils the way a perfumer blends notes: “In the blending room we say blessings of love and grace and gratitude; I add the oils in a certain order, and I chant as I blend them. I like to burn frankincense as I do it, to clear the room—it’s sacred, energizing, and such a pure smell.” Each product has its own chant. Once the blend is ready I meditate. Usually three words of intention come up for me in that meditation, and I like to put those on the label. Then it macerates for two months.

I don’t have much to add to this word salad, except for that scene from The Simpson’s where Ned Flanders’ house is rebuilt by the community and the following scene happens:

Homer [about the Flanders’ newly built house]: Sure! Hope you like it, neighbor. We didn’t have the best tools or all the know-how, but we did have a wheelbarrow full of love!

Apu: And a cement-mixer full of hope, and some cement.

We didn’t have the best chemicals or know-how, but we did have a factory full of chants! And a water-purifier full of hope, and some rose quartz. And chemicals.


By the way, if you do an image search for women putting on lotion, you get white ladies, wearing white, sitting on white, putting on white lotion. Subtle!

The benefits, in the end, are what it’s all about: Take a bath with Ila’s oils or salts, smooth on De Mamiel’s face or body oil, cleanse with Sodashi’s bamboo-and-lavender-infused wash or exfoliating cleansing grains, and you do feel something different, something exceptional.

So basically, use about $10,000 worth of skin care products. It’s totally worth it.

It’s not that a product instantly spiritual-izes you (as if that were possible),

HAHA. Yeah, what were you thinking, some skin cream could instantly spiritualize you??? That’s not how this works, how could you be so easily fooled! As if such a thing were even possible. *scoff*

You need to spend at least $50,000 if you want to be instantly spiritualized! Duh! (source)

You need to spend at least $50,000 if you want to be instantly spiritualized! Duh! (source)

it’s more that your skin—and spirit—picks up on the care invested in it and, ever so subtly, responds.

Ohh I get it. Your skin knows the difference between chanted lotion and non-chanted lotion. But it’s very subtle, you might not notice it. Except for that feeling of lightness from your wallet.

*Anything that small is automatically classified as “fun-size,” according to FDA regulations

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Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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  1. March 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm —

    Sodashi? Soda ash? Otherwise known as washing soda or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3).

    In taxidermy, sodium carbonate added to boiling water will remove flesh from the skull or bones of trophies to create the “European skull mount” or for educational display in biological and historical studies. [Wikipedia]

    • March 15, 2016 at 3:58 pm —

      I guess the fact that it sounds similar to sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) means Food Babe will now make a blog posting about how baking soda will kill us.

      Is it weird that I’d actually like to see this?

  2. March 15, 2016 at 6:16 pm —

    Skepticism is good for the wallet.

  3. March 16, 2016 at 10:33 am —

    Wait.. Its being compared to hospital prayer studies? Doesn’t that mean that using it will case your skin to crack, age and possibly fall off faster? Oh.. right.. not **those** prayer studies – the ones cherry picked to show that it helps people. lol

  4. March 16, 2016 at 10:47 am —

    A hydrating cream is a good thing to use regularly. I use one I was prescribed by a dermatologist some years ago. I liked it, and the doctor told me I could use it regularly. It’s worth like $8 for a half pound (250 gr.) tube. And it’s imported all the way from exotic Belgium, no less! :)

    The downside is that it’s not sold in many drugstores. but there’s one near my place that carries it.

  5. March 17, 2016 at 5:45 am —

    I use a cream on my hands, but it’s composed of matter, so I guess it’s got chemicals in it. Glycerine, possibly?
    (I know – as a man, I shouldn’y use anything but I work with paper a lot and it dries out my hands. I hope the other mens won’t throw me out of the Man Club now).

    • April 13, 2016 at 11:15 am —

      Sorry Rei, we mens had a talk about it and you are out of the Man Club. You can be reinstated by barbecuing a football. Nah, I use lotion too.

      On a sidenote, the thing that annoys me most about this 500$ shotglass full of lotion is that all of the ingredients are dirt cheap. It’s really not rocket science – the main ingredients, jojoba oil and shea butter, for example, can be bought in bulk for (no joke) 10 bucks on Amazon. Sad they have people paying so much for something they could easily make in their own home for 20 bucks a gallon.

      • April 13, 2016 at 1:07 pm —

        The first rule of Man Club is, you don’t talk about Man Club.

        Therefore, I regret to inform you Edgar that you too are out.

        As for lotion, mine’s got hemp in it and smells of raspberries.

        What’s that? First rule of what?

        Aww damn it! See what you made me do Edgar!?

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