Monu Spa Bergamot & Orange Shampoo and Jojoba & Lemon Conditioner – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analyses

Hair products are quite interesting for two reasons.

Firstly, they started containing a lot of fancy ingredients which most of the time are a waste, as shampoo and conditioners are rinse-off products and the contained ingredients likely don’t get enough time to do anything before they get rinsed off.

Secondly, our hair out of the skin is dead. Therefore, such products cannot nourish the hair or do all those miraculous claims. What they can do though is wash and condition it as well as clean the scalp skin. And that is what a shampoo and conditioner should do which also means that expensive is not always worth it!

In this post we will be looking at the Monu Spa Bergamot & Orange Shampoo and Jojoba & Lemon Conditioner. These are meant to be high-end hair products but are they worth the cash? Let’s find out.

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Packaging

Both shampoo and conditioner come in a simple white plastic bottle with a sticker on them and a pump for dispensing the product. The pumps are great and they make the shower experience so much easier.

Overall, the product doesn’t look cheap but neither expensive which is dissapoitning. If you pay that extra cash to get a high-end product, it better be looking the part and giving you smiles everytime you look at it! The feel good factor is a big part of the cosmetic value!

 

Colour, Texture and Smell

The shampoo is a clear, pale yellow gel with an acid-orange smell. It’s not bad but it is the invigorating, waking-up type of scent so if you wash your hair at night this might not be ideal.

The conditioner is a white cream, typical for hair conditioners, with a less intense lime scent.

 

Price

Both shampoo and conditoner retail for £14.95 each for a 300mL bottle. Interestingly, you can buy them both together as a duo on the Monu website for £35.95 instead of £29.9 which is what it would cost to buy them individually (see website picture below). Nice one!

Monu Skin Capture

The price is high also in terms of product performance and ingredients contained, see sections below.

 

Hair and skin compatibility

The brand states that these products are compatible with all skin and hair types.

 

Other

Both shampoo and conditioner last for 12M which is much longer than the time needed to use them up. These products are made in the UK and the brand is against animal testing. Both products are vegan friendly according to the brand.

Here’s what the brand says about the shampoo:

This daily SLS free shampoo gently cleanses the hair to leave it looking refreshed and healthy. Naturally derived surfactant gently cleanses the hair without drying. Panthenol and Glycerin help to soften and condition. Whilst refreshing and uplifting aromas of Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Mandarin Essential Oils leave hair looking and smelling gorgeous.

Suitable for all hair types.

Did you know? One of our values is that we don’t use SLS in any of our products.

How to use:

Use every day morning and evening. Apply 50p size amount to wet hair. Lather and rinse thoroughly.

Avoid contact with the eyes. If contact occurs rinse with water.

SLS and SLES free.

Paraben free formulation.

 

Here’s what the brand says about the conditioner:

A rich, creamy conditioner which nourishes the hair to leave it looking smooth and glossy. Panthenol, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E help to nourish and condition the hair. Whilst refreshing and uplifting aromas of Lemon, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Orange, Mandarin, Clary Sage and Violet Leaf Essential Oils will leave hair looking and smelling gorgeous.

Suitable for all hair types.

Did you know? Exposing your hair to heat treatments will damage the hair and it lose its natural oil and nutrients that maintains its healthiness and shine. Using a conditioner for your hair is an essential treatment as it will help bring back the nourishment and shine to your hair.

How to use:

Apply a 50p size amount to clean hair. Massage and leave for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Use every day, morning and evening.

Avoid contact with the eyes. If contact occurs rinse with water.

SLS and SLES free.

Paraben free formulation.

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Practicality of use – user experience

I hated these products. Despite the description, of the shampoo atleast, mentioning the word lather there was no lathering. These products do not foam and it becomes very harsh to know where the products were applied or not. This makes a frustrating experience but also wastes a lot of product because you will end up using a lot more than needed in order to make sure you shampooed or conditioned everywhere.

The best practice according to hair experts in washing hair, is to lather (foam up) the scalp and allow that lather to wash the rest of the hair while you are rinsing it out. This wasn’t possible with these products or atleast I had no way of telling!

The pumps are so lovely in making the bottles easy to use but the actual performance of the products is not great.

 

Results

My hair didn’t look thoroughly washed and conditioned after using these products, it was in a sort of half way washed/dirty state. This is probably because of the lather issue mentioned above but the ingrediedt list is also not very promising.

 

Ethics

It wouldn’t be ethical if we didn’t talk about the credibility of this section. It is very hard to impossible most of the time to verify the information or credibility of the sources, so please take this section with a pinch of salt unless stated otherwise. This section is not meant to be definitive and is most likely more about reputation around those subjects than credible information. If you have additional or more correct information please email: bondsofbeautymail@gmail.com

The brand states that it is against animal testing and that they are commited to setting new standards in ethical and environmental responsibilities. However, there is no further explaination or any details on what this means or any actual practical examples.

The brand also states that it is commited to constant research and innovation which is great. However, the fact that they are against animal testing means that they are not using new innovative ingredients, which in turn means that there is no real innovation, just optimisation. This is a very interesting discussion point for many brands not just for Monu Skin specificially. As much as we all hate animal testing we do not have better methods to test ingredients fully and efficiently at the moment, which in general means that any brand that doesn’t animal test is only using ingredients that have been tested already by others. A bit missleading as well, as this doesn’t mean that those ingredients were not animal tested at some point in the past by someone else.

 

Ingredients & formulation information

Interestinly, when I tested the pH of these products the picture of why they don’t work so well started to slowly unravel.

The shampoo had a pH of 5 which is ok but the conditoner was 6! To put this into perspective, conditioners are usually around pH 3.5-4 as this helps to give hair a more compact structure through changing the chemistry of its surface.

These products are quite confusing ingredient-wise because some of the ingredients are nice but overall the ingredient list is poor but even if it was great it actually doesn’t matter if the product doesn’t perform!

I also think that the product names are a bit misleading but a lot of brands use this trick. For example, the Shampoo is called “Bergamot & Orange Shampoo” but the Bergamot and Orange are more scents, contained in small amounts, than active ingredients. Same story for the “Jojoba & Lemon conditioner” which does contain Jojoba oil but the lemon is in the fragrance list.

The brand doesn’t give an ingredient list on their website which is annoying if you want to check them out before buying. What if you have some sensitivity and want to check the ingredients first? The ingredient lists below are what is stated on the products themselves.

In terms of formulation, the shampoo had a pH of 5 which is ok but the conditoner was 6! To put this into perspective, conditioners are usually around pH 3.5-5 as this helps to give hair a more compact structure through changing the chemistry of its surface.

To keep this article short, I am only listing the hair/skin nourishing or hair/skin positive/negative ingredients and ignoring the ones that only play formulation purposes. For the full list of ingredients scroll down to the “full list of ingredients” section.

 

Ingredient positives:

Shampoo:

  1. Aqua (Water) based formulation.
  2. Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate – Gentle cleansing and foaming agent extracted from coconut or corn, or made synthetically. It is a natural replacement for SLS.
  3. Lauryl Glucoside – A cleanser.
  4. Decyl Glucoside – Primarily a cleansing agent which leaves the skin feeling smooth and soft.
  5. Cocamidopropyl Betaine– A hair and skin conditioner.
  6. Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
  7. Coco-Glucoside – A cleansing agent, plant derived or synthetically manufactured.
  8. Sucrose Laurate – Skin conditioner.
  9. Ethanol – An acohol that can help clean the skin as well as kill bacteria and some viruses.
  10. Panthenol– Form of vitamin B5. A moisturiser and potential acne treatment.
  11. Polyquaternium-4 – Anti-static, film former and hair fixing agent.
  12. Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.

 

Conditioner:

  1. Aqua (Water) based formulation.
  2. Glycerin – Found naturally in the skin so can be seen as a skin replenishing ingredient. A skin conditioner that helps improve and smooth the appearance of skin. A good moisturiser that is almost always present in moisturising products.
  3. Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil – Skin conditioner.
  4. Glyceryl Stearate – A lubricant giving smooth and soft skin appearance.
    Easily penetrates skin, slows water from escaping by forming barrier, anti-oxidant.
  5. Panthenol – Form of vitamin B5. A moisturiser and potential acne treatment.
  6. Tocopherol – Refers to a class of compounds with similar activities to vitamin E. A skin conditioner, anti-oxidant and fragrance agent. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
  7. Ethylhexylglycerin – A weak preservative and skin conditioner that is often used in ointments for eczema.
  8. Citric Acid– A natural preservative, can be used to even out skin tone.

 

Ingredient negatives:

Shampoo:

  1. Ethanol – Low molecular weight alcohols can strip the skin clean and cause drying and other damage.
  2. Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance) – Natural or not, the source doesn’t matter. Parfum compounds can cause sensitivity and skin damage and are in general not needed. This ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin or hair care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin.
  3. Sorbic Acid – This compound has mixed evidence with some suggesting that it could be a human skin toxicant, where others find it only slightly irritating. There are some studies that link it to cancer and some have reported it as an allergen.

 

Conditioner:

  1. Behentrimonium chloride – An anti-static and conditioning agent.
  2. Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance) – Natural or not, the source doesn’t matter. Parfum compounds can cause sensitivity and skin damage and are in general not needed. This ingredient represents an undisclosed mixture of compounds that give the product scent. There’re more than 3000 molecules that fall under this category and I personally do not like that there are some ingredients that are undisclosed and hidden under this general name. Fragrance also does not offer any skin or hair care benefit, in fact there is some evidence that it can damage the skin.

 

Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:

This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.

If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned. Never use cosmetics on irritated or broken skin.

Check out: What is sensitive skin? What are the causes and what can we do?

The following compounds present in the shampoo have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Ethanol, Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Limonene, Sorbic Acid.

The following compounds present in the conditioner have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Behentrimonium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Limonene, Citric Acid.

 

Full list of ingredients:

Monu Spa Bergamot & Orange Shampoo: Aqua (Water), Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Lauryl Glucoside, Decyl Glucoside, PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, Phenoxyethanol, Sucrose Laurate, Ethanol, Panthenol, Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Limonene, Polyquaterium-4, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid.

Monu Spa Jojoba & Lemon Conditioner: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Behentrimonium Chloride, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (100% Natural Fragrance), Limonene, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid.

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Verdict

The Monu Spa Bergamot & Orange Shampoo and the Monu Spa Jojoba & Lemon Conditioner are very dissapointing products. They do not lather and are therefore, unpleasant and hard to use. I tried to force myself to finish the bottles but sometimes it’s just not worth it!

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I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!

 

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2 responses to Monu Spa Bergamot & Orange Shampoo and Jojoba & Lemon Conditioner – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analyses

    • Indeed! It’s also a nice example of the ingredients alone not meaning that it will work, whether the product works practically or not is a whole different beast!

      Liked by 1 person

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