In February 2020, Ethical Consumer sent Conscious Skincare a questionnaire requesting information about its environmental reporting. The company responded saying that its last Ethical Consumer questionnaire (received in February 2019) was still correct and that the only changes relating to the environment since were:
‘We trialed biodegradable pouches but they were unsuccessful. We now offer refills in 500ml bottles made from recycled plastic which are also fully recyclable too. We have moved all our 250ml products which were previously packaged in PET plastic into glass bottles; body wash, face wash, body lotion, hand wash, hand lotion, soak, shampoo, conditioner. Shave gels and exfoliants previously packaged in PET plastic are now packaged in fully recyclable aluminum bottles.’ The whole range was therefore available in glass and aluminum.

According to its website: “Over 98% of the ingredients we use to create our organic skincare are certified organic by one of the following organisations; Soil Association, Ecocert, USDA. Sometimes an organic version of an ingredient is not available or does not exist. Water and minerals such as salts, vitamins or extracts are good examples of this.”

Its February 2019 questionnaire stated that it had the Leaping Bunny logo from Cruelty-Free International, and was Vegetarian and Vegan approved by the Vegetarian Society. All of its products were suitable for Vegans, with the exception of its Grapefruit Lemon and Cedarwood Shampoo which contain honeyquat.
All products were said to be free of the toxic chemicals, parabens, phthalates and triclosan. All of its products are certified by the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Skin Deep scheme, and several were also EWG Verified.

According to the questionnaire, the company only used recyclable packaging for its orders; re-cycled its own raw material packaging by giving to a local business or a recycling firm that processes it into pellets for items like bottles and clothing; offers refills on some products’.

No environmental report was found. However, as a small company with a turnover of under £10.2 million that was considered to be providing an environmental alternative, it received Ethical Consumer's best rating for Environmental Reporting overall.

Reference:

Conscious Skincare email (13 March 2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched Conscious Skincare’s website for the company's policy on the use of microplastics and non-biodegradable liquid polymers. This featured the following statement on four products, including the company’s Pure Body Polish: “It is very important to consider the particles in exfoliators as many companies used plastic beads which are now causing huge problems for our environment and oceans.” No other information was found. The company was also sent a questionnaire but no response was received.

According to Beat the Microbead, there are more than 500 known microplastics ingredients that can be found in our personal care products such as toothpastes, face washes, scrubs and shower gels. They are tiny plastic particles that are added for their exfoliating properties, but sometimes purely for aesthetic purposes only.

A recent report by Code Check found that non-biodegradable liquid polymers were also prevalent across a wide range of cosmetic products. Like microplastics, these materials degrade with a similar difficulty in the environment and may cause similar harm.

In 2018, the UK government banned the use of microbeads in toothpastes, shower gels and facial scrubs. However, some products classified as “leave on” were not subject to the ban, this would include lotions, sun cream and makeup, as well as abrasive cleaning products. This ban did not extend to non-biodegradable liquid polymers.

Given that the company’s did not have a clear policy on the use of microplastics in its products, nor did it address the issue of non-biodegradable liquid polymers, the company lost half a mark under Pollution & Toxics.

Reference:

https://www.conscious-skincare.com/ (13 March 2020)

In February 2020, Ethical Consumer sent Conscious Skincare a questionnaire requesting information about its pollution and toxic policy. The company responded saying that its last Ethical Consumer questionnaire (received in February 2019) was still correct.

Its completed questionnaire (received in February 2019) included details of the company's policy on the use of the hazardous chemicals parabens, triclosan and phthalates. Some forms or uses of these chemicals were banned or restricted in the EU or the USA.

Triclosan is an antibacterial and a suspected endocrine disruptor. Parabens are also endocrine disruptors and have been linked to breast cancer. They are used as preservatives. Phthalates, usually DEP or DBP, are used in fragrances and are endocrine disruptors.

For all three chemicals, the company stated: "We never included them in any of our formulations".
It therefore received Ethical Consumer's best rating for its toxic chemical policy.

Reference:

Conscious Skincare email (13 March 2020)

In March 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Conscious Skincare website for information on the company's palm oil sourcing. It stated: "We do not use palm oil or palm oil derivatives in any of our products; we never have and we never will”.

The company therefore received Ethical Consumer's best rating for palm oil sourcing.

Reference:

Conscious Skincare email (13 March 2020)