Sunday, May 25, 2008

Product Review: Method Hand Wash Refill Sweet Water

I know this isn't as fun as magical realist review of an overpriced skin care product, but I was moved to blog the wonders of Method's Hand Wash Refill when my dear husband, the least contributory contributor to our fair blog, said, "That Method Hand Wash Refill is awesome! The opening is actually the correct size to fit into the opening of what I'm trying to refill, which you would think would be no big deal, but it's the only hand wash refill that does. I couldn't figure out if the package is recyclable, but it squishes down so flat that even if it's not, it doesn't take up much room in the landfill." Seriously, completely unprompted by me and, as far as I know, he gets no kickback from Method for this sort of outburst. Method states that the package uses 83% less plastic than a rigid PET bottle and it takes less energy to produce.

But packaging aside, the blogosphere is awash with speculation that Method is just well-packaged greenwashing. A quick glance at Method Hand Wash Fresh Water (the only scent available in refills in our area) entry in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database confirms that fear and makes my hands feel dirty. Method Hand Wash in Sweet Water scent scores a five out of ten meaning there is a moderate hazard. 52% of liquid hand soaps rated have lower concerns.

According to the Cosmetic Safety Database the following liquid hand soaps score a zero, which means they have the lowest hazard:

  • Desert Essence’s product Castile Liquid Soap with Organic Tea Tree Oil
  • Elysian Dream’s products Castile Liquid Soap and SuperMild Liquid Soap
  • Healing-Scents’ Liquid Hand Soap in Lavender, Tea Tree, and Germs Away
  • Terressentials Real Soap for Hands Certified Organic in the four lamely named formulations Chillin' Mint Tea Tree, Zingin' Citrus Tea Tree, Lovin' Lavender Tea Tree, and Jammin' Spice Tea Tree
Apparently Booth's Honey & Almond Hand Soap and Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Deep Cleansing Hand Soap in Cucumber Melon are both made by Satan out of the elements of hell and packaged in the carcasses of spotted owls by child slave labor, as they tied for worst score, both 8s.

I went back to the previous products I reviewed and ran them through the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.
Apparently my olfactory assessment
. . . at first sniff I thought, “Fresh, zingy.” At second sniff I thought, “Instructions or no, I am not getting this noxious material near my eyes, mouth, or nostrils.” Which was quickly followed by, “Do I have Poison Control on speed dial?”
was spot on as Fresh Repair and Restore Face Balm scored a 7, 96% of anti-aging treatments have lower concerns and 95% of facial moisturizer/treatments have lower concerns.

My assessment that my pores may have appeared a bit more svelt was in fact an observation of my skin cowering in fear of neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and a bunch of other toxicities found in the ingredients of Seikisho Mask White, which scored a 5. 69% of masks have lower concerns.

So run your daily health and beauty products through the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database and share the neurotoxicity, I mean the neurosis, I mean the enlightenment! I'm itching in anticipation.

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Thalia said...

DUDE! I too enjoy the pretty smell of Method Sweet Water soap, but am completely behind you on the will-this-poison-me-actually? checking.

Go research. Go! :)

Rebecca said...

Bummer. I love the Method product line too. Do you know if their cleaning products are as bad? I have been really happy with the performance of the cleaning scrub

And ultimate bummer - my fave hair products by Bumble and Bumble are rated an 8! Yikes.

Sarah said...

I couldn't find a good website to check the greenness of cleaning products. Consumer Reports' green offshoot Greener Choices only reviewed Method Fresh Air 3X Concentrate HE laundry detergent, and then its green-o-meter was only a gauge of whether or not it contained NPEs, nonylphenol ethoxylates, which are toxic to aquatic plants and animals. Method laundry detergent doesn't contain NPEs.

Sarah said...

Oddly the Cosmetic Safety Database doesn't have scores for my Clinique or Kiehl's products. The closest they have is the Kiehl's Bath and Shower Liquid Body Cleanser Vanilla, which scored a 5, but the most toxic thing in it was the scent, and I use the unscented version.