Is Garnier Fructis biodegradable? (11 ingredients of Garnier Fructis)

This article will answer the question of the biodegradability of Garnier fructis.

It will also address other areas such as:

  • The biodegradation process.
  • The advantages of hair care.
  • The ingredients of Garnier fructis and their purposes.
  • The toxicity of Garnier fructis.
  • Eco-friendliness of Garnier fructis.

Is Garnier fructis biodegradable?

Yes, Garnier fructis is biodegradable. According to the item description, the manufacturers describe Garnier as being 97% biodegradable.

Looking at the ingredient label of Garnier fructis, most of the compounds used are natural products that can be broken down by microorganisms.

Garnier also contains some synthetic,  non-biodegradable compounds and thus the 97% biodegradability description. 

Biodegradation is a complex process that involves agents such as bacteria and fungi. Let’s take a quick look at the process of biodegradation.

What is biodegradation?

Biodegradation is the breakdown of organic matter by microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi into the water, carbon dioxide, methane, and minerals. Heat energy is produced in the process.

Biodegradation occurs in three distinct stages: biodeterioration, bio-fragmentation, and assimilation.

Biodeterioration is the first stage of biodegradation that involves abiotic factors such as light, UV radiation, and water to help in the weakening of the structure of organic substances.

Bio-fragmentation is the second stage that involves the physical breakdown of organic matter into small particles, this is due to the biodeterioration of the organic matter in the first stage.

Assimilation is the last stage of biodegradation. It involves the bacteria and the fungi taking up the minerals and small biomass produced by the previous two stages into their biological systems.

The minerals are used as a source of energy and carbon for the synthesis of cells and tissues.

Biodegradation can occur in the presence or absence of oxygen. When biodegradation involves the microorganisms using oxygen, the process is called aerobic biodegradation.

Aerobic biodegradation produces carbon dioxide, water, and small biomass. Heat energy is also produced in the process. Aerobic biodegradation occurs very fast but it is not very efficient.

When biodegradation occurs in the absence of oxygen, it is called anaerobic biodegradation. The products of anaerobic biodegradation include water, carbon dioxide, and small biomass. In addition to these products, methane gas is also produced. Heat energy is released during the breakdown. 

Anaerobic biodegradation occurs slowly but is more efficient than aerobic biodegradation.

Biodegradation can be affected by several factors such as water, light, temperatures, the bioavailability of a molecule, and pH.

Water helps in the biodeterioration and mechanical fragmentation of substances, increasing the surface area for microbial degradation.

Light emits radiations that help in the biodeterioration and bio-fragmentation of organic matter. UV radiation is the most effective radiation. 

Temperature affects the rate of biodegradation. Some microorganisms are very active in high temperatures while others are active in low temperatures. The optimum temperatures for the microorganisms increase the rate of biodegradation.

Bioavailability is the availability of an organic substance to microorganisms. Highly concentrated organic matter has high bioavailability and this increases the rate of biodegradation.

pH is the measure of acidity or basicity of a substance. Some microorganisms are very active in acidic pH while others are active in neutral or alkaline pH. Optimum pH increases the rate of biodegradation

What is Garnier fructis?

Garnier Fructis is a collection of hair conditioners and shampoos that are derived from different chemical products.

Conditioners are compounds that contain Natural oils, proteins, and plant extracts and help to keep hair soft, smooth, and shiny.

A shampoo is a cleansing agent that contains surfactants and detergents that help in cleaning hair by removing sweat, dirt, oils, and environmental pollutants that build up in the hair.

Reasons for using conditioners and shampoos.

Hair conditioners and shampoos are used for the following reasons.

  • Dry hair Shampoos are used to keep the hair dry.
  • Oily hair Shampoos are used to keep the hair oily and shiny.
  • Hair conditioners contain minerals and vitamins that keep the hair and scalp healthy.
  • Conditioners help reduce split ends in hair.
  • Conditioners help in the repairing of damaged hair.
  • Shampoos help in removing dirt and oils from hair.

What are the ingredients of Garnier fructis?

Garnier Fructis contains a mixture of different compounds that are meant for certain functions.

There are many compounds in the Garnier fructis but the most essential ones are:


Water is used to act as a solvent for water-soluble ingredients.

It is also a medium that keeps the skin moist and healthy. It hydrates the skin.

Sodium Laureth sulfate.

This is a cleaning agent that foams in water to make bubbles. It has polar ends that attract dirt and wash them away.


Glycerin is a molecule that is central to the synthesis of lipids.

It is used as a humectant in shampoos and other cosmetics.

A humectant is a substance that helps in keeping the skin moist and healthy, removing skin dryness and paleness.

Glycol distearate.

Glycol distearate is made from two molecules of stearic acid reacting with a molecule of ethylene glycol. 

Glycol distearate is an opacifier and pearling agent, that makes products glossy.

Sodium chloride.

Sodium chloride is the table salt. Sodium chloride is used in cleaning agents to act as a thickening agent in compounds containing ionic surfactants such as sodium Laureth sulfate.

Nicotinamide (vitamin B3).

This molecule is added to cosmetic products because it is a skin brightening agent, anti-acne, and also moisturizes the skin.

It increases the synthesis of ceramide in the body which results in stronger and healthier skin, and also improves the hydration of the skin.

It helps to improve skin conditions such as acne, atopic dermatitis, and rosacea.

Sodium benzoate.

Sodium benzoate is used as a preservative in Garnier fructis. It contains antifungal properties.

It works best at acidic pH of 3-5. It is usually used together with potassium sorbate to improve its efficiency.

Salicylic acid.

This chemical is used as an exfoliant, anti-acne, and as preservative.

Salicylic contains anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating the skin against acne and blackheads.

It is usually mixed with antibacterial agents like benzoyl peroxide or azelaic acid for it to be efficient against acne.


This is a silicone-based compound. It is used to make the skin smooth, and glossy and makes a protective layer on the skin. 

It smoothes the hair and since it is non-volatile, it can remain in the hair for a long time, and sometimes it is hard to wash it off.

Camellia sinensis extract.

Camellia sinensis is also called green tea. It acts as an antioxidant and soother.

Green tea contains polyphenols like catechins with EGCG being the most abundant.

Catechins in green tea help in antioxidation, protection against UV radiation, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic.

Green tea products help in skin anti-aging and protect the skin against diseases like rosacea, acne, and atopic dermatitis.

Citric acid.

This is an organic acid derived from citrus fruits. It is an alpha-hydroxy acid.

It is used as an exfoliant that removes dead skin cells from the skin making the skin smoother, fresher, and healthier.

Some studies show that citric acid also can cause skin thickness, and boosts the thickening of glycosaminoglycans in the skin.

Benzyl alcohol.

This is an organic compound of alcohol that is used as a preservative, and perfuming solvent and also controls the viscosity of the Garnier fructis.

It keeps the product fresh. It is derived from fruits and teas.

Its efficacy is improved by mixing it with other compounds such as potassium sorbate.

Is Garnier fructis toxic?

Garnier Fructis has over time divided opinion due to the presence of chemicals such as sodium Laureth sulfate, PPG-5-ceteth-20 silicone, and some fragrances. These chemicals are known to cause harmful effects on the scalp and are skin irritants.

Silicone content in Garnier Fructis may lead to hair breakages due to effects on the scalp and hair cells.

Is Garnier fructis eco-friendly?

Garnier Fructis is now stored in recyclable bottles that reduce environmental pollution. 

Garnier Fructis does not contain chemicals such as parabens that affect humans and aquatic organisms when they are poorly disposed of.

The product description of Garnier fructis describes the product as being 97% biodegradable. This makes Garnier eco-friendly because it does not accumulate in the environment.

According to an article on FASHION UNITED, Garnier was the first major brand to launch solid shampoo bars with zero plastic waste.


This article has answered the question of the biodegradability of Garnier fructis.

It has also covered other areas such as:

  • Reasons for using shampoo and conditioner.
  • Ingredients of Garnier fructis.
  • Toxicity of Garnier fructis.
  • Eco-friendliness of Garnier fructis.

For any questions or comments please use the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): is Garnier fructis biodegradable?

Is Garnier fructis safe?

Yes, Garnier Fructis is safe because most of its ingredients are derived from plants. The product does not contain parabens which are skin irritants that affect the scalp.

Does Garnier fructis have parabens?

No, the product description of Garnier fructis describes Garnier as paraben-free, silicone-free.

Is Garnier an ethical brand?

No, all Garnier products are cruelty-free. The products are made from plant-based products and no animals are killed for any product.


Robbins, Clarence R., Chemical and physical behavior of human hair, 4th ed (Springer Verlag: New York) 2002.

Schlanger, Zoe (27 June 2017). “Will your shampoo makes your hair fall out? The US government isn’t sure”. Quartz. Retrieved 27 June 2017.

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