Shower Gel & Body Wash


Ethical shopping guide to Shower Gel, from Ethical Consumer

Ethical shopping guide to Shower Gel, from Ethical Consumer


This is a product guide from Ethical Consumer, the UK's leading alternative consumer organisation. Since 1989 we've been researching and recording the social and environmental records of companies, and making the results available to you in a simple format.

This product guide includes:

  • Ethical and environmental ratings for 35 brands of shower gel and body wash
  • Best Buy recommendations
  • Discussion on bar v. liquid soap

 

This product guide is part of a Special Report on Cosmetics & Toiletries.  See what's in the rest of the report.

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Our ratings are live updated scores from our primary research database. They are based on primary and secondary research across 23 categories - 17 negative categories and 6 positive ones (Company Ethos and Product Sustainability). Find out more about our ethical ratings

 

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Best Buys

as of September/October 2012


As our ratings are constantly updated, it is possible that company ratings on the score table may have changed since this report was written.

For shower gel or body wash Best Buys are Essential Care, Yaoh, Bulldog, Green People, Faith in Nature, Honesty, Pure Nuff Stuff, Bentley Organics, Neal’s Yard, Urtekram, Caurnie, Lush and Weleda.
 


Places
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Ethical Consumer makes a small amount of money from your purchase. This goes to fund our research and campaigning. We ethically screen all the sites we link to.

Ethical Business
Directory Links

  • Beauty Kitchen Ltd    view ethical directory profile >

    Beauty Kitchen is a brand new, ethical, beauty brand that uses only 100% natural ingredients in all of its products...

 

 

Shower gel and body wash

 

Liquid soap is king. Less than 20 per cent of ‘personal cleansers’ sold in Britain are now soap bars.[1] Tests have shown that this change in washing habits has nothing to do with hygiene, with good old fashioned soaps being just as effective than their mutated liquid offspring.[2] Instead, some have suggested that this change has come about due to clever marketing and a higher profit margin. The switch from bar soap to liquid has apparently been driven by a fear of other people’s bacteria lurking on bar soap. Companies have encouraged the notion that using liquid soap was more hygienic.
 

Image: soap in ethical shopping guide


Most liquid soaps are made from petroleum, while many traditional bar soaps are made of ‘saponified’ animal fat and/or plant oils.[3]

A comparison carried out by US website DailyFinance showed that washing with the recommended amount (2 teaspoons) of a branded body wash costs 11p per wash while bathing with a soap bar costs just over 0.07p per wash.

 


 

 

Bars versus liquids

 

Greater use of liquid soap has been highlighted as a poor direction to be going in from a sustainability point of view for a wide range of reasons. Here are a few:

  • Heavier: Containing lots of water, liquid soaps are likely to be heavier than bar soap, resulting in a higher carbon footprint for transportation.
  • More packaging: Packaging for body washes and liquid soaps tend to be plastic bottles that end up in landfill or our oceans. Compared with a thin wrapper or no wrapper for soap bars this is a retrogressive step.
  • Petrol: Most liquid soaps are made of petroleum and need emulsifying agents and stabilizers to maintain their consistency.[3]
  • Damage aquatic life: What you use on your body ends up in the water system. Detergents may contain of harmful substances that can bioaccumulate in living organisms.

 

 

 

 

Company Profile
 

Nivea, owned by Beiersdorf, scores worst in all the policy sectors rated in this buyers’ guide. It has subsidiaries in several oppressive regimes (Russia, China, India, Kazakhstan, Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia, and Venezuela) and six tax havens (Ireland, Singapore, British Virgin Islands, Guatemala, Panama and Uruguay). It was also the subject of a boycott call from Uncaged over its animal testing policy.

 

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References

1 http://www.bradtop100.co.uk/05-Cosmetics-Toiletries/ 
2 Revision of European Ecolabel Criteria for Soaps, Shampoos and Hair Conditioners. Albert Ferrer et al January 2012 
3 http://gogreenhk.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/the-truth-bar-soap-vs-liquid-body-wash/ 
4 http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics---sodium-laureth-sulfate/

(websites viewed July 2012)

 



This product guide is part of a Special Report on Cosmetics & Toiletries.  See what's in the rest of the report.


 

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