Rating: Not great
- Simple chemical ingredients
- Natural extracts are well characterised
- Not clear if packaging is recyclable
- Contains orange oil
- Contains vitamin E
Frank Body is an Australian brand best known for their Original Coffee Scrub. The founders developed the product after they heard of women using leftover coffee grounds from cafes as an exfoliant. The company promotes natural and cruelty free skincare products.
The active ingredients in body scrubs are just granules of things like salt, sugar and ground up nut shells – packaged up in a liquid and shipped to you. 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 some salt and sugar from your pantry. The rating for this product is for its environmental impact compared to other body scrub products – find out more here.
The ingredients in this product are very simple. Unsurprisingly, the main ingredient is coffee powder. It also contains sugar and salt. The carrier liquid is made of almond oil, soybean oil and water. These ingredients are similar to chemicals that are naturally present in the receiving environment, which generally means ecosystem disruption is minimised.
However, one of the minor ingredients is orange oil. Orange oil is known to mostly be made up of the chemical d-limonene. This chemical is very toxic to aquatic life. It is readily biodegradable, so most of it should break down during waste water treatment, but some will still be released to the environment.
Other minor ingredients include vitamin E and benzyl alcohol. Vitamin E is not readily biodegradable and is harmful to aquatic life. Benzyl alcohol is readily biodegradable and not toxic to aquatic life.
The packaging is the biggest downfall for this product. It comes in a plastic coated foil packet. I am not aware of a way to recycle this type of packaging. If it cannot be recycled there is no disposal option but to send it to landfill. Plastic will take hundreds of years to degrade in landfill, and once it does it will form microplastic particles. The full impacts of microplastics is not known at this point in time, but it is known that they can move into waterways where they are consumed by aquatic life.
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: Kleo Beaute