Melaleuca: the very definition of GREENWASHING!


The following statements are my opinion…
More on Melaleuca, and why you couldn’t PAY me to use any of their products.  In my opinion, they are the very definition of Greenwashing. If you go to their website you see a  green forest in the background. Their symbol is a green leaf. They’re pitching their products to the green/natural/organic crowd. BUT their products are no better than conventional lines on the market, there are tons & tons of product lines with much safer ingredient labels. I know this is shocking info to some, but this is a perfect example of not being able to trust what any company tells you, you have to read the ingredient labels, which speak (very clearly) for themselves!! Here’s my entry for them on my Greenwashers list: One of the worst of all greenwashers! Next to Arbonne, the worst ingredients I’ve seen in a baby line marketed as safe. I truly despise the misleading that this company is doing! Line not in EWG.  The following ingredients from their Koala Pals baby shampoo/wash is nothing short of horrendous- you couldn’t pay me to use this on my family. Rest of the labels I’ve viewed are more of the same: “Aqua (water/Eau), Sodium trideceth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, PEG-150 Distearate, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum, Polyquaternium-10, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, d-a-Tocopheryl Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Avena Sativa (Oat) Extract, Butylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile) Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Amylcinnamyl Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methypropional, Hexl Cinnamal, Linallol.  Is it possible they make one or 2 safer products– of course. BUT, any company that would make this toxic of a baby wash, what should be their mildest formula, is not a company I would trust to make anything safe. Cleaning product labels are extremely vague, which many cleaning labels are. Things such as non-ionic surfactants, buffering agents, non-disclosed preservatives, doesn’t disclose what IS actually in there, which is very important to know.. Can tell nothing about what they actually do contain by their labels…
And EWG agrees, giving them an F for the 6 products they list of theirs. Definitely an F in my book too!

39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kerri Nelson
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 12:28:33

    I’ve looked at a few of their products on their website and was shocked (ok, not really) to see the horrendous ingredients used by this self proclaimed wellness company. And when the rep trying to sign me up got me on the phone with customer service so I could question them on the vagueness of some ingredient lists (the laundry detergent in particular) I was told the ingredient list was not available because it was a trade secret. Sorry, but I’m not buying anything from a company that refuses to disclose what’s in their products. That’s what I would call a BIG RED FLAG.

  2. Leigh Williams
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 00:44:46

    Melaleuca uses naturally derived ingredients in their products. Melaleuca never claims to be completely COMPLETELY organic. However, they are a better choice than the products on the shelves at your grocery store wal-mart.

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Jul 29, 2014 @ 02:04:10

      The lesser of two evils can be debated to no end. I’m on a mission to find the best products on the market. I wouldn’t use Melaleuca if paid large sums of money.

      • Pat Maloney
        Jun 19, 2015 @ 11:42:40

        You probably use Johnson and Johnson baby products that the company has admitted using formaldehyde in all there baby products. Don’t worry they will be taking it out within the next few yrs. If at all.

      • ecofriendlymamausa
        Jun 22, 2015 @ 20:41:35

        Ummmm, no. Johnson & Johnson is utterly terrible, not even on this list as I’m pretty sure everyone knows that, but you’re right, I will add them on to make sure. Would never, ever use nor recommend J & J. Please see my So-So & approved lists with 50 or so suggestions for better lines than what you’ll find on the not recommend list.

      • ecofriendlymamausa
        Aug 15, 2015 @ 12:41:31

        Not certified organic, unless something changed?

    • Kerri Nelson
      Jul 29, 2014 @ 02:23:37

      Whether or not their products are organic is beside the point. (Natural and organic are not the same thing – use of the term “organic” is regulated, use of the term “natural” is not.) They market themselves as providing safe natural products but the ingredient lists reveal otherwise. Many of the products have just as many chemicals as those they are trying to convince you they are better than OR they refuse to reveal the ingredients. And just because they use SOME natural ingredients doesn’t make it a natural product – that’s like throwing goji berries in a cupcake and calling it health food.

  3. Natasha
    Dec 11, 2014 @ 02:03:35

    Hello, I have been using Melaleuca products for almost 2 years and just switched to Poofy Organics. I am unfamiliar with which ingredients are considered toxic in the Melaleuca kids/baby shampoo as I still have a bottle of it left and have yet to try Poofy Organics baby shampoo. If you could enlighten me I would appreciate it,

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Dec 13, 2014 @ 18:14:29

      I would hope that if you read both labels side by side you’ll notice a HUGE difference. It would be easier for me to list the safe ones in Melaleuca’s: water.

  4. Jay
    Dec 24, 2014 @ 17:51:43

    Over the years, as people have become more educated on ingredients in products it is obvious that Melaleuca could be using much better ingredients. And, Melaleuca needs to show and list the ingredients on all label information on their website. Here are a couple of examples that are clear to understand. Ammonia is a toxic ingredient and Melaleuca uses this in one of their deodorants. Sucralose is considered by many to be a troublesome ingredient. One only needs to google. This ingredient is used in several of Melaleuca’s food products. Dimethicone is used in Melaleuca’s Renew lotion. This ingredient is a silicone type which allows the lotion to spread easier. Why Melaleuca would use these types of ingredients when other better ingredients are available is confusing. I really believe many customers who enroll with Melaleuca are very excited in the beginning, however, as they become more educated while using Melaleuca products they then realize Melaleuca does “greenwash” many of their products. And, that is when they get upset and cancel their membership. Melaleuca claims a 96% reorder rate month to month as a testament to how great the products are, but if you do the math Melaleuca loses many customers each year. Example: if you start with 100 customers in January in February you will have 95 of those 100. In March you will have 90. In April you will have 85. And on and on. So, you have to continually enroll new customers. I believe if Melaleuca uses the better ingredients less would leave and a lot more would enroll. Final note. there is a lot more competition for better safer products today than ever.

  5. Jay
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 15:55:01

    Yes, Melaleuca is a “greenwasher”. I know this now after being a longtime user. Very upset about this as I have been a customer for many years. Ammonia and dimethicone are two unsafe ingredients used in a few of their personal care products. Sucralose used in many of the food products as is acesulfame potassium.

  6. jane
    Mar 04, 2015 @ 12:59:39

    Just curious what makes you the all time ..all knowing natural ingredient policeman you bash Melaleuca and other companies if you really did your research you would see that Melaleuca uses safer ingredients .they are a registered pharmaceutical company that have to comply with guidelines set up by the pharmaceutical companies and one of them for example is that in order to be declared spf 15 _ spf 30 or spf 45 you must use some of the things that you may have mentioned.. I’m not a self-proclaimed wellness policeman but I do contact customer service department who does have the chemist working for them has degrees in science and chemistry that are always very open to telling you why they use a certain product in there things and you will find out that there are alternatives that are safer ..and have been studied..and you surely don’t know them all when it takes years and years of study to know ingredients. Melaleuca hires some of the top chemist in the country to work for them they have a huge research and development department..just recently they hired a research doctor chemist from Freiburg University to work with have no idea what you’re talking about when you -bash Melaleuca the way that you have they lead the way in patents on their formulas you can read any patent license and find out as much as you want to know about that product in case you don’t know it, if a product is patented ,you have to be able to prove that, that product does what it says it will do. I think if you’re getting your degree in chemistry by reading what’s on the internet you obviously haven’t learned that everything you read is not true for example the post that you just wrote about Melaleuca is not true, I think if you want to bad mouth the company you better be prepared for retribution from whoever decides to dispute what you’re saying because you definitely don’t have the facts if you really want to know about Melaleuca products , if I was you I would call them and ask them, 800282 3000 ,if you could purchase a copy of their legacy for wellness can find out everything you want about some of their most popular products I have read the whole legacy of wellness guide and still don’t feel that I have the knowledge that I would need to bash a company the way that you just did Melaleuca they are company that’s been around for going on 30 years recognized by the Better Business Bureau with a triple A rating do some research because the research you have does not make you an authority. maybe then you have a right to say what you want to say about Melaleuca it might give you a little bit more insight than the garbage that you’re reading on the Internet you want to study your product a little bit better. I have been using Melaleuca products for over 7 years I can tell you this that I trust them for everything that they have to offer and for you to say this kind of things about this company tells me that you have no clue what you’re talking about and I regret the fact that other people might read this and think that you do.

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Mar 04, 2015 @ 14:24:08

      Please, Google “Melaleuca Greenwasher” and you’ll find MANY, many, many who share my opinion. We obviously disagree, and that’s fine. I’ve done my research, I’ve read hundreds upon hundreds of labels, and Melaleuca is among the worst out there. Keep in mind, my mission, and what I use on my family is ORGANIC, safe, minimal, yet effective. Here is my list of what I use & recommend, please do YOURSELF a favor, and start comparing what’s on my “approved” list with any Melaleuca label, and you’ll see a HUGE difference, even if you don’t have a degree in Chemistry. Does Melaleuca use organic ingredients? No. That right there means they’re not anything I’d use nor recommend. Even if I didn’t use organic only, I’d never touch Melaleuca if you paid me. I’m used to messages like yours from Melaleuca devotees. It’s OK. We disagree, I’m fine with that. But that doesn’t make me wrong. I’m sooooooo proud to have helped spread the word against Melaleuca, and to have converted many away from it. Messages like yours reaffirm my mission, and I’ll be heading to my group & page to do a post about how terrible Melaleuca is right now, thanks!

    • Jay
      Mar 04, 2015 @ 15:22:02

      Jane… Why does Melaleuca use surcralose in many of their food products? And even kid’s products? Why not stevia? like many companies do. Why does Melaleuca use acesulfame potassium in their products? Why does Melaleuca use aluminium in their deodorant? Why does Melaleuca use GMO ingredients in their food products? Why does Melaleuca list parfum and fragrance in many of their products? (google parfum and fragrance) and see if you like what you read. Why does Melaleuca use glycerin in their tooth paste? Why does Melaleuca us dimethicone in the Renew lotion? Why does melaleuca use magnesium strearate in their vitamins? Why doesn’t Melaleuca state whether or not they use irradiated ingredients in their vitamins? GMOs used in their vitamins? Melaleuca doesn’t say, so if ya’ don’t say which is a positive, then good chance GMOs used? Just my thought process. I get a headache when I read the list of ingredients in the Sei Bella cosmetic line. Do you really think most of these ingredients are better and safer? Back in the day Melaleuca was better and safer. But, not now. Google USDA Certified skin care and see what you come up with. Google USDA certified cleaners and see what you come up with. A lot of truly “better, safer” products out there. Right? Yes or No Jane? You know a lot of people get really pissed off at Melaleuca after they become a customer and get educated on safe non-toxic products and as these people do more research they find out that Melaleuca is a green washer and… pissed off BIG TIME… and they cancel membership. Melaleuca absolutely must begin to offer certified organic products as best they can because this is where the educated consumer is going.

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Mar 04, 2015 @ 17:09:37

      Also, I mentioned that I’ve helped many people find alternatives to Melaleuca. Some used the products for years. One story in particular stands out to me. A woman had terrible hair loss, it was coming out in clumps after every shower. She switched to Poofy Organics shampoo & noticed the difference after ONE USE- no hair loss. She has since rid her home of all things Melaleuca, and switched them out for products on my best of the best list. That is just ONE example, I could go on. As I said, totally fine for you to love & use Melaleuca, but that doesn’t make my opinions that the products are terrible wrong. I would never, ever, trust any Chemist employed by a company to tell me why the products are great. I trust myself to read a label & make that decision for myself, and I created my Facebook page & blog 3 years ago to share my thoughts with others who care about finding the best products on the market.

  7. Kerri Nelson
    Mar 04, 2015 @ 14:54:01

    Jane, have you actually done any of your own research on the ingredients in their products? Just because the chemist employed by the company can tell me WHY he/she uses a certain chemical doesn’t make it safe to use – there is always some reason they choose to add this chemical or that one: this one makes it spread better, this one makes it look nicer, this one keeps it from separating, or whatever. Unfortunately the US has given many ingredients the stamp of approval that are banned in other countries for being unsafe. And we are always seeing those regulations change as they are presented with enough evidence to show certain chemicals are unsafe. Them being a registered pharmaceutical company doesn’t instill confidence in their products with me either. Do you know how many pharmaceutical related deaths there are every year? The number varies depending on criteria but it’s in the tens of thousands – too many.

    I always do my own research. If I don’t know what an ingredient is, I’ll either look it up or avoid it. BTW, I did call them to ask about the ingredients in a couple products and they would not disclose the ingredient info to me. And if they won’t disclose the ingredients then there is no way I’m using the product.

    Eco-friendly Mama – can’t wait to read the new post!

  8. Jay
    Mar 04, 2015 @ 15:38:08

    Oh Jane, why does Melaleuca use petrolatum in the Renew lotion?

  9. Derron
    Mar 07, 2015 @ 08:44:24

    None of those ingredients you posted are proven to be bad… just a bunch of unscientific and bias “studies” Melaleuca spends millions on product development instead of advertising to make safer products. They do not have numerous awards and the top BBB torch award for being liars! Especially with most of the products being US PATENTED! You do NOT know what you are talking about! You know what is proven bad? Formaldehyde in Proctor & Gamble products. Educate yourself and stop spreading false information, especially about GMO’s

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Mar 07, 2015 @ 13:39:05

      How rude. I speak out against P & G as much as possible too, have you looked at my entire site, and compared the companies I don’t recommend against those I do? If you did, the difference in labels would be vastly clear, and you wouldn’t be telling me to educate myself. I’m educated. Stop being rude on my site. Here’s my Master List with over 100 companies, each category header has a link to the full listing with details on why I put what where. Again, in over 100 companies, Melaleuca’s labels are the ickiest I’ve seen, along with Arbonne. If YOU do some research, you will no longer be attacking me. Geeeeeesh, please, look at all 100+ companies I have, then get back to me.

      • Derron
        Mar 07, 2015 @ 21:17:36

        I sincerely apologize i went a little overboard. I was just in the moment and frusturated at some of the replies.

  10. Derron
    Mar 07, 2015 @ 09:06:47

    This might not even pass awaiting moderation, but you people are making so many wild claims… look up Petrolatum USP.. not just Petrolatum there is a difference. Again this is a baseless attack on a reputable company… Yes they have trade secrets (look up a US PATENT) It is to protect their patents so noone can imitate their products. Just ridiculous…

  11. Derron
    Mar 08, 2015 @ 05:40:50

    YA ok melaleuca is green washing.. BBB torch award.. and and Vandersloot won the prestigious Horatio Alger Distinguished Award. All that was from greenwashing..

    A company simply does not claim to be non-toxic and a wellness company and basically lie about it and see 20 years of excellence. P&G and Amway.. and many others have toxic ingredients but the only reason they get away with it is they don’t continually profess to be non toxic in the first place. Why don’t you go and sue them for false marketing if your so confident? and tell me how that goes?

  12. Jay
    Mar 08, 2015 @ 08:04:00

    Derron, Melaleuca uses optical brighteners in their bleach substitute laundry product. Did yo know theses are synthetic chemicals that have nothing to do with getting clothes clean? Optical brighteners trick the eye. They make clothes appear to “glow” therefore making one think the clothes are brighter and cleaner than the clothes really are. ‘Sup W’dat?

  13. Jay
    Mar 08, 2015 @ 08:16:42

    Melaluca makes a big deal about their 95% reorder rate. “95% of the customers who order this month will order next month.” So, if you start with 100 customers in January there will be approximately 45 less customers in twelve months. The way Melaleuca “pitches” this is to make it sound like business builders will hardly ever lose customers. But, a lot of customers cancel memberships each year. In my opinion, if Melaleuca started to use certified organic ingredients instead of questionable synthetic ingredients the dropout rate would decrease and Melaleuca would not lose so many customers each year. If you search the Internet you will see many former Melalucans left because a much better safer product manufacturer was found.

    • Leanne
      May 25, 2015 @ 06:26:02

      The only reason they have a 95% reorder rate is because customers are forced to have a backup order that is automatically sent to them if they don’t place an order each month. Talk about fudging the figures.

  14. Jessica
    May 21, 2015 @ 23:41:54

    I just recently enrolled with Melaleuca because it was marketed as an “all natural” company. The person even told me that the fragrance used in products only came from pure essential oils only and had no chemicals. Upon receiving my shipment all the ingredients on the packages were either vague saying things like “cleaning agents” or had a list of chemical ingredients. I called the product line and asked about the fragrance and the “cleaning agents” and they informed that they do have chemicals in their products that are approved by the FDA and they could not tell me what there “cleaning agents” were cause it is a proprietary blend and they could not share that. I am very disappointed in this company and there misleading advertisements.

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Jun 09, 2015 @ 20:20:28

      If you want to join me in a TRULY organic & natural company, I have a great team here to support you in your new business:

      • Tab
        Jun 14, 2015 @ 23:06:00

        You know, I have no trust for someone who completely bashes one thing and then tries to sell another. So, how much commission do you make from Poofy Organics?

      • ecofriendlymamausa
        Jun 22, 2015 @ 20:47:09

        That’s fine, don’t trust me. Feel free to also see what every other blogger who has posted about Melaleuca being a terrible line does to earn income. Being an independent Poofy Organics rep is one of many things I do to earn income. I also am an affiliate for a My Green Mattress who offers organic mattresses, does that mean I’m not qualified to say X mattress company selling flame retardant-laden mattresses is terrible? If you can’t compare a Melaleuca label to a Poofy label & see why I made the decision I did, I don’t know what to tell you. Melaleuca is AWFUL, just awful. And I’ll never feel bad or apologize for doing everything I can to get the message out about them, or the other 50 or so companies on my not recommended list. I understand you don’t appreciate my point-of-view, and I’m fine with that! Many do.

  15. Michael
    Jun 16, 2015 @ 01:33:17

    You people aren’t making any sense. You’re yelling out names if things that sound scary like dimethicone, this ingredient is a quality skin care ingredient. Some companies even put it in food because of how safe it is. I’ve been using for ten years now, and I know that no matter how much money you pay me, I’ll never use products OUTSIDE of melaleuca.

    • ecofriendlymamausa
      Jun 22, 2015 @ 20:32:58

      And that is your right. You obviously aren’t looking for natural or organic products, but completely conventional ones. My audience is looking for natural/organic lines, which Melaleuca certainly IS NOT.

  16. Sara
    Jun 29, 2015 @ 20:49:56

    Thank you so much for this! I became a customer last month and received my products today.I had ordered the Koala Pals Dental Pack, Koala Pals Body Wash and Shampoo, Affinia Shampoo and Conditioner, Body Satin Body Wash MelaPower Laundry Soap, Clarity Facial Wash, and Whitening Tooth Polish.
    I went through the ingredients and of course not knowing what any of them are I started doing some research and was not impressed. When I was told about the company I was under the impression that this was a “Green” company. That there wouldn’t be chemicals in the products. But low and behold almost all had Parfum in them, laundry soap had preservative, and the kids toothpaste had natural and artificial flavors.
    Needless to say that everything is getting shipped back tomorrow unopened, except the toothpaste since my daughter opened that right away. I contacted the person who signed me up and told her I wanted to cancel my membership. So I have the form and will be printing that off and sending it in!
    So upset and feel played!

  17. Andrea P
    Jun 30, 2015 @ 06:58:25

    You know, I agree that Melaleuca is not the best and most organic company, and I will continue to look for the best for my family, but you might have been better received if you didn’t sound like such a snob. Yes, we know they couldn’t pay you to use the products. You said it over and over and over. Sheesh.

  18. Christine
    Jan 31, 2016 @ 13:42:49

    Melaleuca has always been a mixed bag for me. Love their vitamins because of oligo fructose compounding. Kind if sold on that and don’t get sick anymore taking them. The 2pack combo of the multi vit and mineral for $20 is a pretty good deal. Hate that you have to order so much every month. Like tough and tender although they changed the smell and has a stronger oder. A lot of other products I like, lots I don’t. Isn’t that how life usually is? Hate the cult like tone of all who are trying to earn income and this whole bs of saving more. Just stop saying this people. The people who present it would have more credibility it they wouldn’t stretch the truth and not give a glowing personal opinion about everything in their catalogue. Be real people! Oh yeah and I’m really irritated by the splenda they put in some things. What the hell! I’m going to ask about that. I’ve never been super passionate about all organic but “safer” definitely appeals to me. But this sucralose stuff is not safer. So, I’m a card a ” card carrying” member but certainly not a cool-aid drinking one!

    • Jill
      Jan 31, 2016 @ 23:03:24

      Agree. On the sucralose. And, acesulfame potassium and artificial ingredients in many of food products. And, soy. It’s mind boggling why these ingredients are used. People get ticked off. I’ve asked for changes over the years. Nothing. I know many who want changes too.

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