The Sukin Moisture Restoring Night Cream is a highly revered moisturizer from the acclaimed Australian brand, Sukin. Many users, including myself, swear by the cream due to its rich texture, pleasant scent, and natural ingredients. Sukin is a natural, vegan, cruelty-free, and carbon neutral skincare brand. They are proudly Australian-made and use recyclable packaging. They are also proud sponsors of Reef Aid and Greening Australia, two environmental funds dedicated to bettering the environment.
Sukin is very proud of its “all-natural” ethos: they report that no chemicals are used in their products. They use a lengthy list of oil blends, including jojoba oil, avocado oil, tangerine peel oil, and a multitude of others. Sukin also has a “NO list” containing petroleum derivatives, synthetic fragrances, sulphates, animal derivatives, propylene glycol, MEA/DEA/TEA, triclosan, artificial colours, harsh detergents, phthalates, and parabens. Thus, animal derivatives such as collagen, beeswax, and lanolin are shunned in favour of carnauba and candelilla wax. Furthermore, instead of using EDTAs to extend the shelf life of their products, they use Vitamin E. However, they use phenoxyethanol as an antimicrobial in some of their products. They claim to be looking for an efficient natural alternative but maintain that phenoxyethanol is the best decision for their current vision. This chemical doesn’t pose significant damage to the environment, but contradicts Sukin’s all-natural message.
While it is a great feat to create products using minimal chemicals, some natural ingredients are inherently ethically questionable in terms of how they’re sourced. For example, cetearyl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, and ceteareth-20 are all palm oil derivatives. Harvesting palm oil is an extremely environmentally destructive process, as it contributes to much of the world’s deforestation. According to the World Wide Fund, harvesting palm oil, largely done in Indonesia, destroys the habitat of the Orangutan, the Sumatran rhino, and the pygmy elephant. Furthermore, the process itself is notorious for worker exploitation. However, according to Sukin’s FAQ page, they only use Sustainable Palm Oil sourced from Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) suppliers actively working to secure Orangutan habitats. This organization audits suppliers and certifies them based on their harvesting techniques. Their certification takes into consideration reforestation initiatives in place. Suppliers can only become certified if they pass the rigorous auditing process.
Sukin has been a carbon neutral company since 2008. They actively contribute to local funds that offset the damages they do to the environment. The company participates in certified projects to produce renewable energy. These certifications indicate that the projects are assessed against third-party standards and independently reviewed against those standards. For example, they invested in building wind energy generators in China through the Carbon Reduction Institute and also invested in a solar farm in India via the Biodiverse Carbon Conservation arm of Greening Australia in 2018. The solar farm reduced energy poverty in a fast-growing nation and created employment during construction. From 2008 to 2018, Sukin offset 45 000 tons of carbon. This is equivalent to 4400 flights around the world. In addition to carbon offsetting initiatives, Sukin is committed to reef safety and improving water quality. In order to combat sediments and pesticides from damaging wildlife and water quality, Sukin partnered with Greening Australia on their Reef Aid Program. The program aids in reef protection by working with locals across the Great Barrier Reef Catchment to rebuild eroding coastal wetlands. As of May 2018, the first gully remediation program achieved a 97% reduction in sediment at trial sites. They also have a well-outlined plan for restoring 3000 hectares of rivers and wetlands by 2030. These projects help Australian Hawksbill Turtles fight endangerment. These projects are focused at Strathalbyn Station and Figtree Lagoon.