- Many ingredients should be readily biodegradable
- Palm oil derivatives are from RSPO certified sources
- Available in large size with recyclable packaging
- Contains silicones
- Includes preservatives which are not readily biodegradable
- Limited data available for multiple ingredients
La Roche-Posay is a skincare brand named after the French town from which it sources the thermal spring water that they use in their products. They aim to provide products that are effective and suitable for sensitive skin. The brand is part of the L’Oreal Group.
Their Lipikar Baume AP+ Body Balm comes in three sizes. The smaller sizes come in plastic tubes. Selling smaller volumes requires more packaging and often results in more transport emissions, because there can be a lot of empty space. In addition, these plastic tubes can be difficult to recycle. However, a larger size is available. Purchasing the larger product helps to reduce the overall amount of packaging and emissions – and the plastic bottle used for the large size should be recyclable in most kerbside programs.
One of the main ingredients in this product is glycerin, which can be derived from palm oil. L’Oreal is a member of the RSPO and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) gives the company a score of eight out of nine for palm oil sustainability. This indicates that the palm oil used to make this ingredient was probably produced in a way that reduces its environmental impact.
Another main ingredient is dimethicone. This is a type of silicone. The time that it will take for this ingredient to break down in the environment, after waste water treatment, will depend on the environmental conditions. A minor ingredient, dimethiconol, is also a silicone.
This product also contains cetearyl alcohol. This ingredient is readily biodegradable, so a significant amount should be broken down during waste water treatment, which will limit the amount released to the environment. However, a small amount will still be released to the environment, and this ingredient is very toxic to aquatic life.
Many of the other ingredients should also readily biodegradable with low aquatic toxicity, but for some there is limited data available. It is difficult to determine the potential environmental impact of these chemicals without sufficient information.
Some ingredients are not readily biodegradable, which means a large amount of them are likely to be released to the environment after waste water treatment. Ingredients that are not readily biodegradable include EDTA and a preservative called pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate. This preservative is harmful to aquatic life. When it eventually breaks down, it might form another chemical that is also not readily biodegradable. There is no information on the potential effects of this chemical. Given it could be in the environment for a long time, it would be good to have this information available.
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.
Luckily, most users seem to like this product – especially those looking for heavy, fragrance-free moisturising for skin conditions such as ezcema. For more reviews, check out BeautyHeaven and MakeupAlley.
Image credit: Natalie Love Beauty