- All packaging is kerbside recyclable
- Simple chemical ingredients
- All ingredients likely to be readily biodegradable
- Two ingredients are harmful to algae
- Incomplete data for some natural ingredients
Swisse is an Australian company which aims to make people healthier and happier. They sell dietary supplements, foods and skincare products.
The packaging of this product is simple. The plastic bottle can be recycled in kerbside recycling and there are no extra plastic films, seals or boxes. This helps to minimise waste.
Most micellar water products are essentially water and a type of soap in a bottle. In general, using tap water and a good soap or cleanser would be a better choice for the environment because the water is not unnecessarily packaged and transported. However, the main ingredient in the Swisse Micellar Makeup Remover is cucumber extract – not water. This is a positive, because it is less wasteful to package and transport something that you cannot get by turning on the tap.
It is difficult to know exactly what chemicals are in ingredients like cucumber extract, 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.
Aside from cucumber extract, the main ingredient in this product is glycerine. Glycerine is a simple chemical that has low aquatic toxicity and is readily biodegradable. It is commonly derived from palm oil. However, Swisse has previously stated that they only use RSPO certified palm oil sources. Certified palm oil sources have a lower environmental impact during production.
Other ingredients include decyl glucoside and dehydroacetic acid. Both have been found to be harmful to algae, but they are readily biodegradable so most should be removed during waste water treatment – before being released to the environment.
The remaining ingredients should have low aquatic toxicity and be readily biodegradable. There is very limited information on carrageenan, but based on its chemical structure it seems unlikely to have a large environmental impact.
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.
Image credit: Lipstick ‘n’ linguine