Note: This product has been reformulated and the below information is not current.

Rating: Avoid



  • Contains plastic microbeads
  • Packaging is difficult to recycle
  • Contains EDTA

Aveeno was founded in 1945 with a bath product containing finely milled oatmeal. The brand has since grown to offer a range of products containing oatmeal or oat extracts. The brand was purchased by Johnson and Johnson in 1999.

The top ingredient in their Skin Brightening Daily Scrub is water. This suggests that this product could be more concentrated. Providing a more concentrated product reduces packaging requirements and transport emissions.

Other main ingredients are soap type chemicals. They are all toxic or very toxic to aquatic life, but they are also readily biodegradable. A significant amount should be broken down during waste water treatment, which will limit the amount released to the environment. 

Some of the main ingredients may be derived from palm oil. Johnson and Johnson have a code that their palm oil suppliers are expected to meet. This code specifies that RSPO certified palm oil sources are preferred, which is good. However, there is no information on how much of the palm oil that they use is actually certified.

This product also appears to contain plastic microbeads. Plastic microbeads take a long time to break down in the environment, and they can cause a range of impact on animals that eat them. There are a number of biodegradable alternatives that would make a better choice. 

Based on the ingredients list, it looks like this product contains microbeads – but there are some statements on the Aveeno website that say they no longer use microbeads in their products. I have contacted Aveeno and asked them to confirm whether this product contains plastic microbeads.

The preservatives in this product are phenoxyethanol and methyl paraben. They are both readily biodegradable. Phenoxyethanol is not toxic to aquatic life, and methyl paraben is harmful to aquatic life

Another ingredient is EDTA. This chemical is not readily biodegradable. In the environment, it can increase exposure to heavy metals in waterways and interfere with normal nutrient cycles.

The fragrances in this product are not disclosed on the label. Labelling requirements for fragrances mean this could be anything, including additional chemicals of high concern.

This product 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.

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

Image credit: Sparkles Shiny Love

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