Rating: Not great



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

Clinique is an American skincare and cosmetics brand, which produces fragrance free products that are allergy tested. The brand is owned by Estee Lauder.

Many of the main ingredients in this product have low aquatic toxicity. They are also readily biodegradable, so only a small amount will be released to the environment after waste water treatment. However, there is only limited data available for some of the other main ingredients. It would be good is standardised aquatic toxicity data were available to help evaluate the potential environmental impact of these chemicals.

Some of the main ingredients could be derived from palm oil. The Estee Lauder group is a RSPO member. They are working towards ensuring all their palm oil sources are certified, and purchasing offsets where this is not possible. Only using certified palm oil would be best, but it is good that some steps are being taken.

Previously, this product contained plastic exfoliating beads, but it has been reformulated to now use silica exfoliating granules. Silica is very common in the environment and release to waste water should have a low environmental impact. But silica is commonly obtained from sand, which is mined. Sand mines can cause erosion and habitat degradation, and are often unregulated. It would be good to have more information on where the silica in this product comes from, but companies very rarely provide (or even have) this information.

One of the main preservatives in this product is methylisothiazolinone. Methylisothiazolinone is very toxic to aquatic life and not readily biodegradable. This means waste water treatment will likely be less effective at removing this chemical, and a large amount will be released to the environment.

The pigment in this product is titanium dioxide. The mining of the substances needed to produce this chemical can have environmental impacts. Titanium dioxide can also contain some nanoparticles. The environmental impacts of nanoparticles are currently not well known.

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, but some have found it be too harsh or the menthol (which gives the minty smell and tingly feeling) to be too strong. For more reviews, check out BeautyHeaven, MakeupAlley and Influenster.

Image credit: Marianna Spark

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