Rating: Okay

Highlights

  • Packaging can be recycled
  • Most ingredients are readily biodegradable
  • Initiatives in place to reduce water use and waste

Lowlights

Arbonne is a skincare, cosmetics and nutrition company owned by Yves Rocher. Arbonne products contain botanically-derived ingredients, are vegan and cruelty free.

Arbonne has also worked to reduce their water use and waste. The Arbonne website says water use during manufacture was reduced by 67% between 2013 and 2016, and the company reports being more than 75% of the way towards their zero waste goals – which appears to be diverting 90% of waste from landfills and incinerators.

Most of the main ingredients in Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced Night Repair Cream are readily biodegradable. The majority of these ingredients will be removed during waste water treatment when residual product is washed down the drain, and the small portion that makes it through to waterways will break down relatively quickly.

However, there are some exceptions to this. One of the key ingredients in this product 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. There are also two polyacrylate polymers. These could be degradable, but without further chemical identification information it is impossible to tell.

Many of the ingredients in this product are derived from palm oil. Arbonne is a RSPO member, but there is no information on their website to indicate whether they actually use sustainably sourced palm oil products – and if not, what their progress is in transitioning. It would be great if the company could be more transparent on this.

Other ingredients include some peptide derivatives and a number of natural extracts. Publicly available data on these chemicals is poor. While most look like they will be readily biodegradable, it is not clear how toxic they may be in the environment. Without this information, it is difficult to make an accurate assessment of environmental risk.

Some ingredients in this product, including a few of the fatty alcohols, are known to be very toxic to aquatic life. However, only one ingredient – tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate – is both very toxic to aquatic life and not readily biodegradable. This means that the chemical could stay in the environment for an extended period of time and cause toxic effects.

The cream comes in a plastic tub, in a cardboard box. The box is made from FSC certified pulp, but it would be even better if the box was avoided altogether. Both the tub and box should be recycable in most kerbside programs.

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.

Most users seem to like this product and experience good results, with many appreciating its light fragrance. That said, some find it a bit expensive. For more reviews, check out Influenster, OC Green Mama and Pretty Poppy Peony.

Image credit: Bay Area Beauty Blogger

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