If you pop by the pharmacies, you may notice a cheery new brand on the shelves by the personal care aisle. Shampoo, conditioner, body washes and lotions, packaged in pastel labels with flowers all around.
The products are by a newcomer in the market, Love Beauty and Planet. Love Beauty and Planet is a new personal care brand by Unilever, and is more than just about nice-smelling products.
It carries also an eco-conscious message, that we don’t see much in mass brands.
Love Beauty – Effective cleansing
Being personal care products, the key concern you’d have is twofold – does it smell nice, and does it clean well? You will find 5 scent ranges, comprising shampoo and conditioner, body wash and body lotions.
I had the chance to sniff them all during the media launch, and found the scents very strongly floral, but pleasant. There isn’t very much that you’d find unpleasant about it at all.
I went home with the Coconut Water & Mimosa Flower scented products (because the bag was blue, and I would take blue over pink any day 😛 ) The scent is quite strong, of grated coconut overlaying the sweet scent of flowers.
It is very tropical, conjuring up thoughts of fragrant coconut milk desserts, as you sit under flowering trees at dusk.
Unfortunately however, my nose is seriously averse to the smell of coconut. I enjoy coconut water, some coconut milk in food and curries or dessert, but I usually stay far away from anything coconut based. This includes personal care products.
Something fresher like the Tea Tree Oil range (green packaging), which is fresh with the sharp smell of tea tree oil, and the woody scents of vetiver sit better with me. The Muru Muru Butter & Rose (pink packaging) smells pretty, and very sweet, warm and rosy. Great, if you like smelling of roses. Not so great for me, as I don’t.
I did attempt using it anyway, and I can say that it’s pretty much a decent personal care range. My hair and body was clean, the smells linger (not good for me as it was coconut), and it felt quite comfortable.
I do recommend smelling them before buying, because there is really not much difference in quality in the products – but the scent can be a deal-breaker!
Love Beauty & Planet say that their cleansers are plant based, from organically and naturally derived ingredients that are sustainably sourced. The fragrance used is derived from essential oils and ethically sourced.
Love the Planet – Recyclable and Recycled Packaging and Biodegradable formula
The other half of the name refers to the ethos of the brand.
If you’ve ever had to accumulate a bag of empties after finishing your beauty products (that you can drop off here!), you may blanch a little at the amount of plastic you end up collecting.
Love Beauty & Planet recognises this by making their plastic bottles 100% recyclable. The caps aren’t, so be sure to remove them. Further, the bottles themselves are made from recycled plastic, which is why they have a grey tint to them.
It might interest you to note that I first came across use of recycled plastic in bottle packaging (with the grey tint) in the REN Skincare Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium body wash. It might also interest you to note that REN is also owned by Unilever. So, this packaging did not come to me as a surprise, and in fact, I thought it very encouraging, that it was available to the mass market.
One important question I asked the people from Love Beauty and Planet was this – “If you care so much for the planet, are the contents of the products biodegradable?” We read so much about the pollution of our waterways from the products that we use daily, I felt this was a valid question.
The answer was yes it is. I take that again, as a positive sign.
Vegan! Sulfate-free! No Colouring!
Ultimately, there is much you can love about Love Beauty and Planet. The products are sulfate-free. The ingredients are natural and organically sourced, and they say they are ethically sourced as well (although we aren’t told where, unlike with brands like The Body Shop).
The formula is vegan, and is made without any animal-based products. There is no artificial colouring, so no pink or blue or green body washes or shampoos.
Love Beauty and Planet have also pledged to donate RM1 from every product purchased to the Malaysian Nature Society, for the conservation of the Malayan Tapir. It is noble, and I hope will go a ways towards improing the dwindling population of this animal that is unique to our country.
I appreciate it that Love Beauty and Planet is produced as a mass brand, easily accessible to the public and priced favourably. It makes it easier and more accessible for people who Love Beauty and Planet to well, care for the planet! <- see what I did there?! 😀
I do however, recommend that you smell the products first. Ultimately, it comes down to your sensorial pleasure as much as it does your desire to use something that doesn’t hurt your surroundings.
A brief comment
I do however have to note here, that plastic is still plastic. As long as it isn’t being recycled, it will remain around to pollute, whether it is made from recycled material or otherwise. There is no certainty that any packaging is being recycled, or if it’s just being tossed into a general landfill.
While Love Beauty and Planet are using recycled material to make their bottles, what happens to their own bottles? There isn’t enough education about recycling them, or where it can be responsibly recycled. Unlike some brands that can tell you where they go, most likely end up in landfills, as people either don’t recycle them properly, or send them to the right places.
I feel that to drive this message home better, Love Beauty and Planet should go one step further to offer product refills, so packaging is reused, or to have collection bins for their empty bottles, which they can then return to recycle to make future bottles.
Without this extra step, I view it to be primarily lip service on the part of the manufacturer, and on the part of the consumer. It may make you feel good to buy a product that is made from recycled material, and that is biodegradable. But, what happens next with the bottle? Why not sell refills so the lifespan of the bottle is longer? That is the far bigger and more responsible question to ask.
I looked online, and it appears that the Love Beauty and Planet brand extends far beyond personal care. As it is made by Unilever, I am not surprised. There are many other products, including kitchen cleaning products, that I’m not sure if we’ll see on our shores in the short term. But I would be most interested in the cleaning material! I’m ambivalent about body and hair care (I am fussy about that) but I’m always open to using a better alternative for kitchen/household cleaning 🙂
Have you tried any Love Beauty and Planet products? Which is your favourite scent?
I’d personally say however, to not allow commerce to guilt you into doing anything. I do what I can in my little way. If a product I use helps, well and good. But if I can’t use it, for whatever reason, I don’t beat myself up over it. Be practical, and be reasonable 🙂
Love Beauty & Planet products are available at leading pharmacies (Guardian, Watsons, Caring, AEON Wellness etc) and online at Lazada, Hermo, Shoppee. Prices range from RM27-32 and will go on sale.
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