Make the Green Switch #10 : Alternatives for Anne Semonin, Ouai, Biotherm and Natacha Denona


Make the Green Switch #10 : Alternatives for Anne Semonin, Ouai, Biotherm and Natacha Denona

Come on, let’s switch again! If you’re new to this series, you can catch up on the previous editions (here). I get so giddy when I find “close” alternatives to mainstream beauty products, it’s a lot of fun – and work as well, but overall really worth it. Today, we have a mix of hair care, skin care, and makeup. Let me know if you prefer it this way or if you’d rather have me do one post with products from the same category each time.

Natasha Denona mono eyeshadow metallic

We keep hearing that parabens are less and less found in cosmetics, but there are still in some popular makeup brands. Natasha Denona is one example. The mono eyeshadows contain parabens. There are more and more studies and articles warning about the accumulation of parabens in our system, recently I came across a new study on the effects of parabens on the reproductive system (here). You’ll see just below that you can have soft, metallic eyeshadows without the parabens.
Price: $27 for 2.5g
Ingredients: Mica, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, CI 77891 [Titanium Dioxide], Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Talc, Acacia Decurrens/Jojoba/Sunflower Seed Cera/Polyglyceryl-3 Esters [Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax/Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Wax/Helianthus Annuus Seed Wax/Polyglyceryl-3 Esters], BHA, Methylparaben, Sorbic Acid, Butylparaben. (+/-) May Contain: CI 77492 [Iron Oxide], CI 77499 [Iron Oxide], CI 77491 [Iron Oxide], CI 77007 [Ultramarines], CI 75470 [Carmine], CI 77742 [Manganese Violet], CI 19140 [Yellow 5], CI 77288 [Chromium Oxide Greens], CI 42090 [Blue 1], CI 77289 [Chromium Hydroxide Green], CI 77510 [Ferric Ferrocyanide], CI 77947 [Zinc Oxyde], CI 77163 [Bismuth Oxychloride]

The alternative. RMS Swift eyeshadow

Self-explanatory. RMS has a shorter ingredient list and it’s ‘all natural’ (word that I use with caution) but in that case, I’m referring to the fact that none of the ingredients are synthetics. The Swift eyeshadows are soft, glide easily onto the skin and offer a beautiful metallic finish. You can have the shimmer and metallics without making any compromises. The amazing bonus is that they are even more affordable than Denona’s eyeshadow for the same amount of product. To me, it’s a no-brainer, RMS all the way.
Price: EUR. 22.00 ($20) for 2.5g
Ingredients: Mica, Silica, *Mauritia Flexuosa (Buriti) Fruit Oil, Zinc Stearate, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopherol (non-GMO), *Rosmarinus Officials (Rosemary) Extract

Anne Semonin Precious Pearls Youth radiance elixir

Described as a “lightweight anti-ageing serum that protects against daily external aggravators” is contains hyaluronic acid, apricot kernel oil, and rose leaf cell extract. The main ‘concern’ would be the use of sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a surfactant associated with eczema outbreaks and a skin irritant for some. You see a lot of products claiming to be “free of SLS” as it has become a growing issue and for that hefty price tag, you would expect a product free of it.
Price: 333 € for 40mL.
Ingredients:Ingredients: aqua (water) / ,glycerin, propanediol, prunus armeniaca kernel oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, pentylene glycol, alcohol denat., 1,2-hexanediol, phenoxyethanol, hydroxyethylpiperazine ethane sulfonic acid, xanthan gum, sodium hyaluronate, hydroxyethylcellulose, carrageenan, algin, lilium candidum leaf cell extract, rosa centifolia leaf cell extract, sodium acetate, sodium lauryl sulfate, cellulose, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, sodium hydroxide.

The alternative: Annemarie Borlind Beauty Pearls

I highlighted in blue the ingredients common in both products. AnneMarie Börlind serum has the same effects as Anne Simonin’s, minus the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It works as an intensive treatment for stressed skin to support the natural protective barrier of the skin against harmful environmental elements. It is also formulated with algae, rice brand protein, and tara tree seeds. Both serums have quite a lot of ingredients in common (algae, hyaluronic acid, water, glycerin) so if you were using Simonin’s range, you might find great satisfaction with Borlind’s Beauty Pearls.
Price:  53,90 € for 50mL. 100 ml/100 g : 107,80 €
Ingredients: Aqua [Water], Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-5 laurate, Propanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Caulerpa lentillifera extract, Allantoin, Mica, Parfum [Fragrance], Calcium alginate, Gellan gum, Biosaccharide gum-4, CI 77891 [Titanium dioxide], Sodium hyaluronate, Xanthan gum, Hydrolyzed rice bran protein, Citric acid, Hexyl cinnamal, Linalool, Limonene, CI 77491 [Iron oxides], Citronellol, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate.

Biotherm Life Plankton mask

Biotherm uses a patented technology Fermogenesis™technology, Life Plankton™ meant to boost collagen production and make the skin dewy and plump. However, it contains Dimethicone. The latter is a synthetic silicone advised to only use in limited quantities, there’s also the undisclosed fragrance ( catchall for hidden chemicals). I don’t really see the nourishing extracts. It also contains several preservatives, such Phenoxyethanol. While preservatives may occur naturally, a lot are often synthetically produced, thus becoming potential skin irritants and allergens. Biotherm does not disclose their ingredient list, I had to find do a little more precise Google search to find it. That is never a good sign.
Price: $75 for57mL
Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., Dimethicone, Butylene Glycol, Tin Oxide, Carbomer, Dimethiconol, Sodium Hydroxide, Adenosine, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl glycol, Vitreoscilla Ferment, Phenoxyethanol, CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Linalool, Geraniol, Limonene, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Parfum/Fragrance.

The alternative: Mel Millis Phytonutri Qi Sea Plant Jelly

It is not really marketed as a mask, but since it’s an overnight treatment, it works just as well. Mel Millis also uses the benefits of algae and arctic plant extracts. Organic, the jelly is rich in hyaluronic acid, peptides, prebiotics, and antioxidants to restore skin’s elasticity, brighten and reduce the appearance of fine lines while boosting collagen and protect against environmental stresses. As opposed to Biotherm’ Mel Millis gives you a clear ingredient list and as you can see most ingredients are recognizable and known. It is a bit on the pricier side but Mel Millis uses noble and often rare ingredients (Immortelle is one example) Certified organic, ecocert, gluten free, wheat free, dairy free and vegan, what’s not to love?

Price: £48.00 for 15mL.
Ingredients: 99% Certified Organic 1% Certified Ecocert) Rosa Canina(Rosehip), Argania Spinosa(Argan), Punica Granatum(Pomegranate), Glycerin Prunus Dulcis (Almond), Citrus Aurantium Flower Water(Neroli), Sucrose Laurate, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract(Sea Kelp), Cucurbita Pepo(Pumpkin), Oeonthera Biennis Extract(Evening Primrose), Oxycoccus Palustris Extract(Cranberry), Ribes Nigrem Extract (Blackcurrant), Sodium Hyaluronate(Hyaluronic Acid), Helichrysum Italicum(Immortelle), Boswellia Carterii (Frankincense), Rosa Damascena(Rose), Lavendula Augustifolia (Lavender), Pogostemin Cablin(Patchouli), Naturally occurring in Essential Oils, Benzyl Cinnamate, Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol. Citral, Eugenol.

Ouai pomade

It has been touted as the new IT hair care/styling line all over glossy magazines and blogs. The name was inspired by from the French exclamation “ouais”, which could be roughly translated as “yeah”, but the meaning behind “ouais” resembles to the American “whatever”. (let me know if you want more French lessons with me ;-). It contains fragrance which we know is a catchall for hidden chemicals. They don’t disclose its origin, and we now know that over 3,000 chemicals are used as fragrances. Also, petroleum is the base of the product and is ridiculously cheap, so that heavy price tag can simply not be justified. Pure marketing product in my humble opinion.

Price: $24 for 1.7 oz/ 50 mL
Ingredients: Petrolatum, Kaolin, Beeswax, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Mineral Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate, Benzyl Benzoate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxycitronellal, Linalool, Citronellol, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Geraniol

The alternative: Josh Rosebrook Styling cream

Look at this formula, filled to the brim with nourishing and protecting ingredients and free of synthetic ingredients. You can see for yourself that there’s a world of difference with the Ouai pomade. It is slightly more expensive but Josh uses noble plant ingredients (which are certified organic) and the jar is also bigger. You can use it to tame frizzy hair, soften split ends, create some waves, the styling possibilities are endless. A styling cream that actually does the hair good.

Price: $35 for 2.5oz
Ingredients:*Shea Butter, *Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, †Marula Seed Oil, *Jojoba Seed Oil, *Coconut Oil, *Baobab Oil, *Apricot Oil, *Grape Seed Oil, †Olive Oil, *Meadowfoam Seed Oil, *Tamanu Seed Oil, *Hemp Seed Oil, *Argan Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, *White Rice Seed Water, ‡Candelilla Wax, *Rosemary, *Indian Gooseberry, *Burdock, *Calendula, *Linden, *Bringraj, *Nettle, *Fenugreek, *Catnip, *Ginseng Root, *Peppermint, *Chamomile, *Sage, *Alfalfa, *Rose Hips flower, *flax Seed, *Dandelion, *Ginger,*Gotu Kola, *Yucca, §Potassium Sorbate, §Xanthan Gum,*Gum Arabic, *Guar Gum, †Litsea Cubeba Essential Oil, †Fennel Essential Oil, †Cardamom Essential Oil, †Bergamot Essential Oil, †Lime Essential Oil. *Certified Organic †Organic ‡Wildcrafted §Non-Gmo Plant Sourced

What did you think of these alternatives? Are there any products you’d like to swap?

Take care,


*Disclaimer: This post is solely based on my opinion and researchers. I have personally not tried the non-green versions, and I’m not claiming that the green alternatives would be identical, I can speak for them because I have tried a lot of them. I’m not making the green switch an imperative, you’re free to decide for yourself. If you enjoy any of the non-green product listed, it’s fine. These are only suggestions, in case some people are looking to gradually switch to more gentle and greener alternatives.



  • Great Swap suggestions! I want to go read the other ones! It must be tremendous amount of work indeed. I Have been skeptical of Ouai when I notived dimethicone in the top 3 of their shampoo ingredients

    • Thank you Tahira, it does take some time and research as I want to showcase the ‘closest’ alternatives available, but it’s heaps of fun when I get messages like yours 🙂 Yes, Ouai is disappointing indeed as it seems to be mere hype, it contains barely any groundbreaking ingredients that justify the price tag. Thanks for your comment! xoxo


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