Rating: Not great


  • Palm oil sources due to be certified by 2020
  • Most ingredients are readily biodegradable
  • Exfoliating beads are wax based


  • Contains iodopropynyl butylcarbamate
  • Packaging is not easy to recycle
  • Limited data for some ingredients

Biore is a skincare brand with products focused on cleaning pores. The brand is owned by the Japanese beauty company Kao.

Most of the main ingredients in this product are soap type chemicals. These are all either toxic or very toxic to aquatic life. They are also readily biodegradable, which means a large amount should be broken down during waste water treatment, but a small amount will still be released to the environment after treatment.

Some of the main ingredients may be derived from palm oil. Kao is committed to sourcing all palm oil derivatives from RSPO certified sources by 2020, and they have taken steps towards this – for example, in September 2018 they met with stakeholders to work on establishing a sustainable supply chain. These are good signs.

The beads in the product are made from a petroleum based wax. These types of waxes are generally readily biodegradable and not toxic to aquatic life.

This product also contains a silicone. Based on the information that is available for these chemicals, it looks like they will not be fully readily biodegrade. There is limited data about their toxicity to aquatic life, but it is likely to be low.

The key preservatives in this product are diazolidinyl urea and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate. Diazolidinyl urea quickly breaks down to release formaldehyde, a chemical that is toxic to aquatic life but readily biodegradable. On the other hand, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate is very toxic to aquatic life and is not readily biodegradable. Because it is not readily biodegradable, a large amount of this chemical will be released to the environment where it may harm plants and animals.

There are two colours in this product. These ingredients are not readily biodegradable, so – again – a large amount of these chemicals should be expected to be released to the environment. Toxicity testing shows that these chemicals are not toxic to aquatic life with short-term exposure, but no testing has been done with long-term exposure. Because these chemicals will not break down quickly, it would be good to know how toxic they are in the long-term.

The fragrance is just listed as “fragrance”. There is no way to know what these could be – or determine that they are not chemicals of concern.

This scrub comes in a flexible plastic tube. Unfortunately, it is difficult to recycle this type of plastic. Terracycle accepts this type of packaging for recycling, but it is not always collected in kerbside recycling. This reduces the chance of the packaging being recycled, and increases the chance of it going to landfill.

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.

Many users like this scrub as a daily cleanser, but some have found it be too gentle. For more reviews, check out BeautyHeaven, MakeupAlley and Influenster.

Image credit: Writing and Worship

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