- Common chemical ingredients
- Recyclable packaging
- Palm oil sources due to be certified in 2019
- Contains vitamin E
- Exact fragrance ingredients unclear
- Packaging could be minimised
REN is a skincare brand based in the United Kingdom. They focus on using natural chemicals that have demonstrated performance. The brand has been owned by Unilever since 2015.
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 ingredient in the Moroccan Rose Otto Sugar Body Polish is, gratefully, sugar. The base of the product is made up of a range of plant and vegetable oils. These are simple chemicals that are likely to be similar to those that are naturally present in the receiving environment, minimising ecosystem disruption. The main constituents of the oils are known to have low aquatic toxicity and they should be readily biodegradable.
Alongside the oils, this product also contains glyceryl stearate. This is commonly derived from palm oil. Unilever aims to use 100% RSPO certified palm oil by 2019, up from 19% in 2015. Because it is such a large company, this is a significant commitment. Palm oil sources that are certified by the RSPO have a lower environmental impact during production.
The components of the fragrance in this product are not specified, but they are labelled as natural. Having the exact ingredients listed would be ideal, but knowing that the fragrance is natural does provide some reassurance. Compared to synthetic fragrances, natural fragrances are less likely to be chemicals of highest concern.
The last ingredient is tocopherol, which is vitamin E. Vitamin E is not readily biodegradable and is harmful to aquatic life. This is the biggest downfall for this product, but Vitamin E is known to be ultimately biodegradable, which is a positive.
The body polish comes in a plastic tub, in a cardboard box. While this can be easily recycled through most standard kerbside recycling programs, the box is a little unnecessary.
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: For The Love of Skin