Rating: Good


  • All packaging is kerbside recyclable
  • Simple chemical ingredients
  • Readily biodegradable synthetic ingredients


  • Two ingredients are harmful to algae
  • Incomplete data for some natural extracts

Sukin is an Australian brand that lists environmental sustainability as one of its key values. The company intentionally keeps packaging to a minimum to reduce waste, and offsets its carbon emissions from both manufacture and office operations.

UPDATE: Sukin was previously certified as carbon neutral through the NoCO2 certification program. In August 2018, the Carbon Reduction Institute – which operates the NoCO2 program – released a statement on the certification of Sukin. The statement says that the Sukin certification lapsed on 30 June 2018, and that Sukin had failed to provide data to validate their claims since late 2017. As at September 2018, the carbon neutral claims made by Sukin do not appear to be verified by a third party.

Micellar water is essentially water and a type of soap packaged in a bottle. If you are wanting to reduce the environmental impact of your personal care products, this could be a product category to avoid altogether. You could reduce transport emissions and packaging by using tap water and a good soap or cleanser instead. The rating for this product is for its environmental impact compared to other micellar water products – find out more here.

Consistent with the ethos of Sukin, the packaging of their Micellar Cleansing Water is minimal and can be easily recycled in kerbside recycling.

The ingredients in this product are chemically simple. This is positive because it means they are more likely to be similar to those that are naturally present in the receiving environment, minimising ecosystem disruption. Aside from the two natural extracts, for which there is incomplete data, all of the ingredients are readily biodegradable.

The ingredients also have low aquatic toxicity. Two ingredients – decyl glucoside and vanillin – can be harmful to aquatic life. However, they are both readily biodegradable so they should be mostly removed during waste water treatment, before they can be released to the environment.

One of the ingredients is glycerin. Glycerin is a simple chemical that has low aquatic toxicity and is readily biodegradable. It is commonly derived from palm oil. However, Sukin has previously stated that they only use RSPO certified palm oil sources. The sources of palm oil are certified to have a lower environmental impact during production.

The two natural extracts are from cucumber and chamomile. It is difficult to know exactly what chemicals are in these extracts, but these natural chemicals are less likely to be chemicals of high concern. Finding out exactly what chemicals are in the extracts would probably be costly for the brand. This is not something that happens in the industry, so it would be a bit unrealistic to expect it here.

The preservatives in this product are phenoxyethanol and benzyl alcohol. Both have low aquatic toxicity and are readily biodegradable.

But does it work?

Considering how well a product works is a big factor in determining whether a product is a good one or not. A product that does not work is a waste.

Luckily, most users seem to like this product – although some people with sensitive skin have found it to be irritating. For more reviews, check out BeautyHeaven and BEAUTY/crew.

Image credit: Brookey Jade

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