Good Riddance was first and foremost created for our family. It needed to align with our values and be safe for our two young boys to use every single day. But most importantly, it needed to have a positive impact on the world so we leave behind a better world for future generations.
DEET just doesn’t fly with us
DEET is well and truly one of the most popular chemicals for repelling mosquitoes. In fact, almost everything you read online tells you that you need to use DEET for an insect repellent to work!
But it’s simply not true.
We were using DEET on our young boys daily and it was scary the damage it was doing to the plastic trims on our cars, sunglasses and backpacks. Imagine what it was doing to their little bodies!
As we began to research further into DEET, we were horrified to learn that it is absorbed through the skin and even crosses the placenta. The safety data sheet from the Australian DEET-based repellents we were using said that repeated exposure has lead to nervous system symptoms (muscle cramp, urinary hesitation, difficulty sleeping, abnormal sweating, irritability, depression, paranoia, confusion and aggressive behaviour) and brain disease. Allergy and scarring skin inflammation have also been reported; in one case, a 5-year-old girl died, likely as a result of sensitisation to DEET. Yikes!
Plus, once it ends up in the environment, it doesn’t easily break down (it is highly persistant in water, soil & air) and has been detected in water as a result of urban wastewater contamination to stream-flow. Everyone is worried about the effect of sunscreen chemicals on reefs but what about the effect of DEET on creeks and tropical ecosystems?
Innovation was non-negotiable
There’s plenty of scientific research that shows that essential oils and other plant-based actives are very effective at repelling mosquitos so we felt like it was up to us to produce a product that was safe, gentle and good for the environment.
We like to think that the idea of a cream-based natural insect repellent is pretty innovative in and of itself. But we wanted to make sure we embraced innovation at every stage of the process. We spent years scouring the research for new, natural ingredients to create the safest, most stable cream possible. Our emulsifier is a unique olive oil-based ingredient that is PEG free, very similar to the natural oil composition of the skin and compatible with the skin’s microbiome making it deeply moisturising and perfect for sensitive skin.
We’ve also managed to source a new natural preservative for our Sensitive range that is derived from basil, keeping the cream shelf stable and extremely gentle.
We’re committed to minimising waste
One of our biggest bugbears is the amount of waste produced by the skincare industry - and we didn’t want to add to the problem.
At the moment, all Good Riddance products are packaged in recyclable PET packaging that is made right here in Melbourne so we can minimise the impact we have through shipping. We also offer 500mL bottles which can be used to refill your smaller bottles and help you to reduce your own plastic consumption.
We know it’s not the perfect solution (especially given how little of Australia’s plastic is being recycled at the moment) and we are on the hunt for new packaging options we can implement as soon as possible. In our search for local suppliers, we’ve found some promising innovations such as sugar cane tubes and fully recycled PET (which can be recycled again). Stay tuned because this is one change we’ll be making before you know it!
The packing materials we use for shipping are another touch point where we can do our part to minimise waste. The boxes we use are produced in Australia from recycled cardboard and yes - those packing peanuts are compostable!
We’re also phasing in biodegradable shipping bags for our web orders and a cellulose-based packing tape to further minimise our waste footprint.