Thursday, 9 May 2013

What's in a name? My Trusty Little Sunflower Cream review

When I heard that Salisbury District Hospital had launched their own moisturiser, the first thing I noticed with the name - and not in a good way. My Trusty Little Sunflower Cream (MTLSC) must be the most appallingly-chosen name for a beauty product, ever. If they want to be taken seriously, a swift renaming ceremony is vital - one of those made-up generic names along the lines of Cetaphil and Dermalogica would see it right. Like my Mum said, even Heal Gel is a better name than this. What's funny is that they obviously wanted it to sound friendly and cute which sits oddly with the rather officious tone of the website. It smacks of a brainstorming sesh that must have taken all of 30 seconds (tea included) - probably in a Masonic lodge if I know anything about Salisbury.

The big selling point is that this is the first NHS venture of its kind, where a product developed by a hospital has been commercialised, with the profits going back to support patient care at Salisbury Hospital. Apparently MTLSC was developed 20 years ago in the celebrated specialist burns and plastics unit for burns' victims and post-operative care, and proved so popular people kept requesting more long after their discharge (lol).

Anyway, despite having ruled themselves out of the international market with such a cringe-making name, what is the product really like?  First impressions were that it has quite a noticable and not entirely pleasant smell. We're not talking Carolina Herrara here, trust me. That's the trouble with using an ingredient like sunflower oil and not adding a fragrance. As I suffer with dry hands, that's where I have been using MTLSC for the last week. I find it a very difficult product to rub in, it goes all white and it takes several minutes of really working in it to make it adsorb. I feel like the way the cream is formulated is sort of crude and it just doesn't have the silky consistancy other widely available creams have. This really reminds me of a cream I made in my kitchen last year from a recipe I got from a book - no, really! It has the same smell and the same texture. And similar to that, it makes me feel hydrated in a greasy way for five minutes, then things start to feel a bit rough. But, looking on the plus side, my hands are starting to look really nice, the nails look as pink and shiny as newly washed shells on a tropical beach. w00.

The ingredients are as follows: Aqua (water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide. As you can see, it contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate - uh-oh. Here's what a cosmetic ingredient dictionary had to say about it: "Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is one of the most irritating cleansing agents used in skin-care products. In fact, it’s considered a standard comparison substance for measuring skin irritancy of other ingredients. Thus in scientific studies, when they want to establish whether or not an ingredient is problematic for skin, they compare its effect to the results of SLS. In amounts of 2% to 5% it can cause allergic or sensitizing reactions in lots of people." So the fact that a division of the NHS is putting out a cream with this nasty goop in it and selling it as perfect for irritated skin - read: eczema? Oh hell no. That's incredibly bad practice in my view.

They seem to believe this is an innovative product but that just isn't the case. It is a basic, kinda greasy cream - there is nothing sophisticated about it. I suppose I am pretty shocked that a product as old-fashioned as this is still being used to treat burns patients in what is a renowned unit. It was developed in the 90s and maybe it should have stayed there. I don't mean to be mean, but honestly - should a product developed in the lab of a highly respected derm ressemble something I whipped in my kitchen? That doesn't seem right. Surely people with awful scars should get the very latest of cutting-edge technology, a state of the art cocktail of peptides and silicones and other doodads. They boast that the formula was "developed with clinical scientists". Well, maybe they should look at how L'Oreal and other big names go about doing things - after all, NHS doctors are the highest paid in the world. All the billions ladled on them and this is the best they could do? More effort next time, chaps.

MTLSC comes in at nearly £10, with p+p, putting it in the mid range of the market. I simply don't feel that it justifies this price and, while I will use up the rest of the tube, I don't think I'll be repurchasing it.

Find the product here.


  1. I love this cream. The name is cute. The lavender one smells gorgeous. And it's £6.99 which is a great price

  2. I had really bad, dry skin. I used it twice and it cleared up. I think it is really good. It was in my Glossy Box and I will repurchase but I am going to try the lavender one next.


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