- Packaging can be recycled
- Most ingredients are readily biodegradable
- Main ingredients have low aquatic toxicity
- Some ingredients are not readily biodegradable
- Data gaps for some chemicals
The Ordinary is a brand of DECIEM, a beauty company that is part-owned by Estee Lauder. The brand was established to provide clinical formulations with integrity.
As is the case with most serums, their Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum is concentrated. This is a good thing, because less product needs to be shipped and fewer transport emissions are produced. It also means less packaging is required.
The formulation of this serum is fairly simple. Most of the carrier ingredients and preservatives are readily biodegradable with low toxicity to aquatic life, although there are some data gaps. The active niacinamide and zinc ingredients are also readily biodegradable, but the zinc-based ingredient is harmful to aquatic life.
The biggest downfall for this product are the ingredients that are not readily biodegradable – dimethyl isosorbide and chlorphenesin. While the available data shows that they have low aquatic toxicity after short exposures, there is no information on how toxic they could be after longer exposures. In addition, there is no information at all on how toxic dimethyl isosorbide may be to fish. Because both of these chemicals could exist in aquatic environments for a long time, it is important to consider long-term toxicity.
The serum comes in a glass bottle with dropper and cardboard box. All should be recycable in most kerbside programs. It is also good that the bottle and dropper could be easily re-used before recycling.
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: Bonnie Garner