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First impressions, prices: Eco-beauty brand Love Beauty and Planet

MANILA, Philippines – Let’s begin with a caveat: inasmuch as I would love to stick to products that are sustainable and friendly to the environment, it’s hard when you’re on a budget and when your skin and hair have their moods.

And in a market that’s oversaturated and oftentimes cutthroat, it’s easy to be distrusting of brands that claim to be sustainable and ecologically friendly while being functional.

So when a handful of lifestyle media were invited to the launch of a then-new and top-secret sustainable beauty brand, I was both intrigued and apprehensive.

Enter: Love Beauty and Planet, multinational company Unilever’s foray into the world of sustainable consumption.

The brand is relatively new. It was launched in the United States in 2017 and has since slowly expanded to several other countries – the Philippines being the latest.

It’s a brand that has a simple but pretty lofty promise: products that deliver while helping to “make a little difference towards a happier, less wasteful planet, with every shower.”

But does it deliver? Here’s the tea.

The lineup

For its initial launch, Love Beauty and Planet is introducing 3 lines to the Philippines: The Murumuru Butter and Rose Collection, the Argan Oil and Lavender Collection, and the Tea Tree Oil and Vertiver Collection.

Each line has a conditioner and shampoo, while two lines offer body lotions, and another two, body washes.

The Murumuru Butter and Rose Collection is designed primarily for colored hair. It has the sweetest and most vibrant scent among the 3 initial lines. Personally, I find that it borders on being too sweet.

The murumuru butter is sourced from the Amazon while the rose oil is sourced from Bulgaria.

Products offered in the Philippines: color shampoo (P390 for 400 ml), color conditioner (P390 for 400 ml), glow body lotion (P390 for 400 ml), and glow body wash (P290) for 400 ml)

The Argan Oil and Lavender Collection tames frizzy hair and is the perfect treat if you’re looking to unwind after a long day at work (or play). Moroccan argan oil and lavender sourced from Drome Provençale region both sooth, relax, and leave a scent that lingers but isn’t too overwhelming.

Products offered in the Philippines: smooth and serene shampoo (P390 for 400 ml), smooth and serene conditioner (P390 for 400 ml), and soothe and serene body lotion (P390 for 400 ml)

Finally, the Tea Tree Oil and Vertiver Collection is the brand’s purifying line. Australian tea tree oil and vertiver from Haiti combine for the best tita scent in the lineup so far – think a spa right inside your bathroom. It’s the least aggressive scent among the 3 lines and is my personal favorite.

Products offered in the Philippines: radical refresher shampoo (P390 for 400 ml), radical refresh conditioner (P390 for 400 ml), and pure and positive body wash (P290 for 400 ml)

Sustainable, how?

The bottles of the products (not the caps and labels – at least not yet) are made of recycled plastic and are designed to be recycled after use. Unilever says they’ve partnered with a local collection facility to make sure users can actually surrender used bottles.

Each bottle also indicates a “consumer engagement center” (cec.philippines@unilever.com) users can contact. Other countries list down a hotline so it’s interesting if that’s going to change for the Philippines soon.

Admittedly, this is going to be the trickier part for the new brand: actually following through with its recycling claims.

Is it worth it?

At P290 to P390 for each product, Love Beauty and Planet isn’t the cheapest brand in the drug store or even at the department store.

But compared to other brands that are free of silicones, parabens, dyes, and are vegan to boot, the price is hard to beat.

Since I’ve only had around a week to play around with the products, I’ve only really been able to try the Argan Oil and Lavender Collection – which is apt, given that curly hair is synonymous to frizz.

The long and the short? It surprisingly delivers. The shampoo offers a satisfying but not over-the-top lather and leaves hair feeling clean but not stripped.

The conditioner is especially interesting – Love Beauty and Planet claims it’s easier to rinse compared to other brands. The product itself doesn’t feel as slippery as most conditions, so it does, understandably, rinse easily.

The brand’s lotion is among my favorites. It’s pretty thick so it doesn’t sink into the skin as fast as other lotions. It takes some work for it to finally sink into the skin but once it does, it’s amazing. It does’t leave a sticky residue, leaves skin satisfyingly hydrated, and leaves behind a hint of lavender goodness.

The shampoo or conditioner is the opposite. I almost couldn’t believe it when, several hours after bathing, my hair still smelled distinctly of lavender. My roommate who also tried the line said the same thing.

So is it worth it? Yes – with reservations.

There is understandably some skepticism when a multi-national like Unilever promises a brand that’s sustainable, ethical, and environmentally-friendly. We’ll have to see if the brand actually delivers on its promise to recycle Love Beauty and Planet bottles.

But if you’re just looking for a body care brand that feels luxurious without a hefty price tag, I’d say Love Beauty and Planet is a good try.

Try the lavender line if you want to relax after a long day, the tea tree and vertiver line if you want a clean scent, and the rose if you want a really vibrant pop of a scent that’s reminiscent of younger years spent in school uniforms.

Admittedly, the 3-collection release feels a tad bit bitin, considering the brand has a whopping 10 collections in the US. Hopefully, more lines and products will be introduced in the Philippines soon. – Rappler.com

Love Beauty and Planet will first be sold online through Lazada, Beauty MNL, Zalora, Beauty Bubble, Shopee, and Watsons Online on January 21, 2019. A one-time pop-up happens at Powerplant Mall January 25-27. The 3 lines will be available in select drugstores and department stores around the Philippines by February 1.

Editor’s note: The products were provided by Love Beauty and Planet for consideration. Opinions and other musings are purely our own.