Rating: Avoid

Highlights

  • Uses RSPO certified palm oil
  • Main ingredients are chemically simple
  • Packaging is kerbside recyclable

Lowlights

Soap and Glory is a beauty brand based in the United Kingdom who work to the motto that while beauty absolutely matters, it doesn’t matter absolutely. The brand is owned by Walgreens Boots Alliance, which also owns a number of other pharmaceutical and cosmetics brands.

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 main ingredients in their Flake Away Body Polish are relatively simple chemicals derived from vegetable oils. This could include palm oil, but all palm oil derivatives used by Walgreens Boots Alliance brands are from RSPO certified sources. Vegetable oils can be easily swapped for one another – potentially leading to further environmental issues – so supporting certified sources of palm oil over other uncertified sources can be the way to go.

The packaging of this product is also simple. The plastic tub can be recycled through most standard kerbside recycling programs.

The exfoliant ingredients are salt, sugar and peach seed powder. When talking about the chemicals in peach seeds, amygdalin is often mentioned. This chemical can break down to form cyanide. However, this is relatively common in plants and small levels of cyanide are usually present in the environment. Overall, these ingredients should not cause too much disruption when they are released to waterways.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for some other ingredients. The preservative in this product is BHT. This chemical is not readily biodegradable and very toxic to aquatic life. Some studies show that it changes into other chemicals in sunlight, but these chemicals do not appear to degrade further and are expected to be just as toxic. There is also information to suggest that BHT, and the chemicals it changes into, may be bioaccumulative. These properties indicate that these could be chemicals of high concern and have significant environmental impacts.

Other ingredients include hexyl cinnamal, butylphenyl methylpropional, benzyl salicylate and alpha-isomethyl ionone. These are all fragrance ingredients. Information available on these chemicals indicates that, while they are readily biodegradable, they are all toxic to aquatic life. Because they are readily biodegradable they should mostly be broken down during waste water treatment, but some will still be released to the environment.

In addition to these ingredients, “parfum” is also listed. Labelling requirements for fragrances mean this could be anything, including additional chemicals of high concern.

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.

This product is popular with users – but so are many other products that have a much lower environmental impact. Head to reviews to find other products that could do the job without compromising the environment.

Image credit: Carol Au Courant

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