Dan Thompson: Beauty Busted


Weleda Cold Cream: BUSTED!

Natural Skin Care Analyzed

For three and half years, I have been writing Beauty: BUSTED! When I started this blog, my main focus was answering questions for consumers to ensure they were getting the best value for their money, and debunking marketing claims made by cosmetics companies. Not much has changed in that area - there are still a lot of crazy, over-the-top, ludicrous, and outright ridiculous claims made about products, in order to help consumers part with their money.

That doesn't mean there aren't good products out there, it just means the claims do not always live up to the actual formula's abilities.

Over the last year, I have been approached, very regularly, by cosmetics companies to review their products, but I prefer to review products about which readers have asked (99% of my reviews are because a reader has expressly asked me to research a product). Still, every day I receive boxes at my office, full of products with notes asking for reviews.

I am always happy to see what is new on the market, but I do not just review products for the sake of filling space.

There have been products with very negative reviews and some with very positive reviews on this blog, and I think the marketing departments have figured out which products to send me in order to ensure the best possible review.  

In order to temper this slant, I am asking you, the reader, to send me your requests for product reviews, and I will certainly put them up here for you to see. I work on about a three week lead, so sometimes it takes a little while to get the review up, but I am always happy to help analyze your products or help you before you buy.

This week, I was sent a tube of Weleda Cold Cream. Don't be confused, this is not your grandmother's type of cold cream.  It is more a play on words, because this product is designed to help the skin when temperatures drop, and extra moisture is needed.

Weleda is not a new company; it is celebrating its 90th year in business this year. It is a cosmetics company founded on the principles of biodynamic farming - using only ingredients sourced through holistic, biodynamic processing. Actually, the company's founders were the developers of the farming technique that is now considered the "new age" way to grow plants and food. Founded in Switzerland, these products can now be found in fifty countries world wide.  

Does this mean they are top quality? I think with some updating and a few formula tweaks, this line could be quite stellar. First, it is important to recognize that there is no such thing as an organic cosmetic. Anyone can call their products 'organic' when formulated into a cosmetic. Certified Organic only refers to food. Weleda is careful in its language and calls its products "Certified Natural," which is really just a marketing claim.

Weleda Cold Cream ($18 for 30mL)


Waleda's ad copy:  "A nutrient-rich balm that goes to work restoring and protecting the skin’s natural moisture from damaging environmental influences."


1. Minimal ingredients overall. The main ingredients are targeted to the product claims. Three natural moisturizing factors that will replace lipid content and repair damaged skin.

2. Beeswax base, which will provide lubrication without preventing respiration.

3. No synthetic carriers, preservatives, or dyes.


1. Fragrance is added to the product - there is no reason to add this at all. For sensitive skin, this will cause irritation, and if it gets too close to the eyes, they may have a burning sensation. Fragrance is the second most volatile ingredient category in cosmetics. If the skin is broken, this product is not a good choice to use.

2. Five irritating plant oils that have no benefit to the skin. In fact, these oils can cause contact dermatitis.

3. No active carriers, which means that the product will sit on the surface of the skin with minimal epidermal penetration. Basically, reapplication will need to be frequent in order to benefit from the formula.


A prodct with a lot of potential. The formula is very old fashioned, with no active carriers in order to allow the formula to work beyond the surface of the skin. No time-release mechanism to prevent the product from being metabolized too fast, and no vitamins for prolonged repair to the skin. Great moisturizers that will certainly soothe the skin and offer plenty of hydration, but these are negated by the addition of so much frangrance and essential oils that serve no purpose at all and coud actually be very harmful to the skin. This formula needs an update to make it 21st century quality. There are better choices out there.

Alternative Repairing Creams:

Pure Sweet Almond Oil - the key active ingredient found in Weleda Cold Cream can be bought in any health food store, for about $30 a litre, and will provide the same repairing benefits without the fragrances.

Shea Butter - pure shea butter is one of the best options to repair the skin, and can be bought in any drug store for about $20 for 100mL.

My favourite new skin repair product is Papaya Ointment - read my review - and, yes, it will be available in Canada starting in June (I just found out).