Tag Archives: bio

SKIN CARE revealed

I know I have written about this earlier but I find I need to bring it up again, seeing as there are so many questions around the whole thing. For earlier posts, check under tags: product information and skin-care.

Truths about skin care products:

  • CLAIMS: There are no rules or regulations whatsoever around what you may say about skin care, this is the Wild West. You can claim anything you want as a producer and you don’t even have to prove it. Take the word hypo-allergenic; this means that if your skin is extremely sensitive or you suffer from allergies, this is the product to use. The claim hypo-allergenic makes you believe that it is widely tested and formulated for any sensitivities…WRONG. It is just a product like all others, but it sounds good. So you’re in the shit, or rather your skin is. The only way you can determine if a product will work for you is by reading the INCI-list.
  • INCI-list: This is the only regulation that exists around skin-care, you have to list all the ingredients in order of amount, largest amount is at the top. Great thing, now you can check for the stuff you are sensitive to. The ingredients are listed with chemical and botanical names to be internationally viable. This definitely makes sense, but most people don’t understand what they are reading. Do you know what the botanical name of shea-butter is? If you want to know what is in your creme, google it. There is massive information on the internet.
  • BIO or ORGANIC: Sounds good when it is stamped on a product, now you get the “real” thing, or do you? All it takes is one organic ingredient in the formula and you can get BIO-certification. There are no specific rules around this, each certifying body (and there are quite a few) can decide as they like. Or there might be ingredients chemically derived from botanical or organic sources, this will count for BIO as well.
  • REGISTRATION: Each skin care product must be registered, at a fee of course, before it can be put on the market. Small producers of “clean” skin care most often don’t have the economy for this, so they are effectively shut out from the market-place leaving only the big players such as L’Oreal, Nivea, Dove.
  • €€€: It’s all about the money; by keeping production costs down, there is a big return in money on every sale. Natural & organic substances are expensive and would radically minimize the monetary gain on products, so cheap ingredients are used instead, even in very expensive products. Don’t be fooled…An expensive product in a beautiful package does not mean it is necessarily any good.

…And so on and so forth. Get the picture?



(Sorry about the bad picture, took it with photo booth and I don’t want to point at any brand in particular)

I have studied and formulated skin-care for almost 20 years; first for my own pleasure and then professionally.  I have always wanted to keep my products as natural and pure as possible which is quite easily done, but the “shelf-life” of the product is very short and it has to be kept in the fridge. Natural skin care is like fresh food – you need to use it within a certain time, depending on what you have put in there; Herbs, for example, naturally makes the product more sensitive to mold….you get the picture.

To make a creme or a lotion an emulsifier is needed to mix the fatty substances (oil) and water. The only purely natural emulsifiers are eggs and cream (compare it to cooking) which go off quickly…wouldn’t want that in your cream… All emulsifiers used are chemically changed to be able to combine oil and water. The ones I use are the same that are used by the food-industry for making ice-cream and bread. I figure, if you can eat it, you can put it on your skin.

Almost everything is natural; poo is natural, as is mineral oil (derived from the petroleum industry). That doesn’t mean it’s good for us. So the labeling of purely natural is misleading on 2 points: Natural does not necessarily mean good. If it is emulsified (oil + water) it is not natural, even if the original product for the emulsifier comes from a natural source.

BIO or organic is also interesting to find on products. I picked up a hand-creme (oil+water)  the other day which says: 95% of the plant ingredients come from organic farming (and how many % of the total product is plant material?) 17% of the total ingredients come from organic farming (so maybe that means that there is 17% of plant material in the product?) 100% of the total ingredients come from a natural origin (can be absolutely true – remember what I said about natural…?)