Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Dr. Organic Rose Otto / Virgin Olive Oil / Lavender Body Washes (review)

Dr. Organics is an all-encompassing organic haircare, skincare and oralcare range from Holland & Barrett. They are formulated with 'Bio Activ' natural extracts and there are a wide-ranging selection of derivatives, such as the Rose Otto, Virgin Olive Oil and Lavender tested here. There is no organic certification stamp on the packaging; see the note below to read Dr. Organic's official response on that. However, they are made with a reassuringly high number of good quality, pure ingredients and they're free from artificial preservatives and fragrances, harsh detergents and colourants.

Dr. Organic Lavender / Rose Otto / Virgin Olive Oil Body Washes
You might have noticed if you've scrolled down to check prices that the Rose Otto body wash is more expensive than the others on test here. No clear explanation is given as to why, although I assume it's because the essential oil used is more expensive. Dr. Organics makes bold claims for the Rose Otto cleanser, it's supposed to be: anti-ageing, rejuvenating, nourishing and uplifting. It's certainly uplifting, using this product is like being veiled in a heady, luxurious cloud of rose petals. It's luxurious to use, too, as it foams well with a body polisher and left my skin feeling nice and smooth after use – I often skipped moisturiser without any problems. Oil of Rosa Damascena is the main ingredient in this shower gel, and according to my aromatherapy book is known to have anti-ageing properties, but like anything that spends mere seconds on the body before being washed away, I doubt you'll really get any youth-enhancing after-effects, even with continued use, for those kind of results I'd use the matching body lotion.

The Virgin Olive Oil body wash, for dry skin, is made with Olea Europaea which is rich in anti-oxidant oleic acid and is claimed by Holland & Barrett to be: hydrating, restoring, cleansing and revitalising. It's certainly hydrating, it feels more nourishing than the pricier Rose Otto, and left my skin softer after use. Like all the Dr. Organics cleansers it foams well despite being SLS/SLES free. The fragrance is unusual because while most products typically fall into either floral or citrus groups, this doesn't fit either. Rest assured it doesn't smell like a tub of olives (apologies if you like that sort of thing), instead it has a subtle sweetness to it but is still pretty unisex. It's nice, I like it.

Last, but not least is Lavender. This is claimed to be regenerating, purifying and revitalising but it doesn't feel any more or less effective than the Rose Otto or Virgin Olive Oil washes. It does, however, smell even lovelier with a distinct smell of lavender filling the washroom everytime you use it. Lavender is a reassuring and soothing essential oil so it's great for using at night time to help you relax before bed. For maximum calming effects, Dr. Organics offers a plethora of lavender infused products for you to try.  Interestingly, the Lavender body wash makes do with fewer ingredients than the others – parabens are noticeable by their absence, but what is included should be suitable for sensitive skin.

This is a nice shower gel range which is well-priced and genuinely natural. They all cleanse well, but do so gently - partly thanks to the aloe vera base. The fragrances are lovely, but if you're not a fan of the three varieties I've got here, there are also Aloe Vera, Pomegranate, Tea Tree, Manuka Honey, Vitamin E, Royal Jelly, Dead Sea Mineral, Moroccan Argan Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil versions! If you can't find one you like amongst that lot then there's no pleasing you!

Aloe Vera © 2005 Erin Silversmith


When a company claims their product is organic, I look for the certification body. Dr. Organics, however, doesn't seek certification for its products, and when I emailed them for more information, this is what they told me:

...when we developed the concept of Dr.Organic we looked at the various organic certifiers but we realised that the principles behind the main organisations were not looking at cosmetic use. ... we decided to look at our products in their own right and ensure that the level of organic material was always as high as possible. In the majority of products we exceed 70% and this is helped by replacing the majority of water ... with Organic Aloe Vera Juice. We then utilise the ‘allowed’ ingredients from both EcoCert and Soil Association as this enables us to produce skin friendly products which are efficacious which we believe is better for the end consumer than a certificate which in reality does not necessarily mean the products have a high organic content.”

A fragrance for everyone!
Specific organic ingredients aren't identified
Aloe Vera base is beneficial

No parabens, SLS/SLES or mineral oils

Quite well priced


Brand: Dr. Organic

Website: www.drorganic.co.uk

Rose Otto Size: 250 ml
Rose Otto Price: £5.69 (£2.28/100 ml)

Virgin Olive Oil Size: 250 ml
Virgin Olive Oil Price: £5.19 (£2.08/100 ml)

Lavender Size: 250 ml
Lavender Price: £5.19 (£2.08/100 ml)

Manufactured: Europe

Rose Otto Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Glucoside, Brassicamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Prunus Persica (Peach) Seed Powder, Pumice, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Oil, Aspartic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Rosa Canina (Rose) Fruit Oil, Passiflora Incarnata Seed Oil, Nymphaea Alba (White Waterlily) Extract, Rosa Damascena Flower Extract, Passiflora Incarnata Extract, Tilia Europaea Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Chamomilla Recutita Flower Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Parfum, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllata (Clove) Flower Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Citronellol, Geraniol

Virgin Olive Oil Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aqua (Water), Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Shea Butteramidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Sorbitan Sesquicaprylate, Olea Europaea Leaf Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum Peel Extract, Vitis Vinifera Leaf Extract, Thymus Vulgaris Leaf Extract, Foeniculum Vulgare Seed Extract, Potassium Sorbate, Ascorbic Acid, Parfum, Ribes Nigrum, Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, Citric Acid, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool

Lavender Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Aqua (Water), Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Capryl Glucoside, Lavendula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Hydroxmethylglycinate, Linalool, Citric Acid


  1. I must try these! I know I shouldn't judge a book by the cover, but they look like they smell delicious!

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