vitamins in cosmetics

Vitamins in Cosmetic products

There is a significant growth in use of vitamins in cosmetic products, especially in facial care products for mature skin. The customers’ demand is growing. Why – because the vitamins are momentarily fashionable? Because the customers are familiar with the benefits?

What are the benefits of vitamins when applied on the skin? Before we jump to skin benefits, let us start at the beginning, with an overview of vitamins.

Personalized Skin Care Treatment

Creating Personalized Skin Care Treatments

How often are you in a bind, because you cannot find a suitable type of care that would meet the needs of every type of skin?

Often? Yes, it used to happen to me, too. These days it is difficult to claim that there are only a few basic types of skin. The skin types have become more complex. The clients are not facing only one or two problems, the problems are usually numerous! Is this the fault of hormonal changes due to external and internal factors? Is the stress to blame? All the harmful substances we ingest? Well, whatever is at fault, it is an undeniable fact that as cosmetologists we are faced with very demanding clients, who look to us for solutions. Immediately, if possible. We cannot offer immediate solutions, but we can significantly shorten the time necessary for skin regeneration, and offer a wholesome solution.

woman receiving facial treatment


Can you imagine solving a lot more problems in a single treatment than you could before? Can you imagine designing the treatment yourself, so that you can cover a larger spectre of skin anomalies, in addition to offering the skin the very thing that is indispensable for every skin type – the slowing down of the ageing process?


A client with seemingly unproblematic skin. Clogged pores, she complains that she is bothered by shiny skin, caused by excessive sebum secretion, but if she uses products for oily skin or skin matting products, she feels an unpleasant, pulling sensation on the skin. Her skin is also very sensitive and it quickly reacts to inappropriate compounds in cosmetic products. Considering the fact that she is nearing 40, she really wants to use anti-age cosmetic products, but most of them are too oily and too heavy for her. Hmmm, sounds familiar?

Personalized Skin Care Treatment


The skin is basically oily, but the epidermis is very dry. The skin is sensitive and it needs anti-age active ingredients. What so we choose? What condition will we try to resolve? Will we prevent the excessive sebum secretion with products for oily skin? What if they additionally dry out the epidermis? Will her sensitive skin react to the usually too aggressive product for oily skin? And where do we place the anti-age products, which are mostly made on nutritive base and hence inappropriate?

skin care dillema


When designing PERSONALIZED SKIN CARE, your primary task is to establish the basic skin type: in this case oily. OK. So you need products made on moisturising basis. We separate the treatment into two phases: the cleansing phase, where we take away from the skin, and the treatment phase, where we add to the skin.

In the CLEANSING PHASE we use gentle cleansing agents with a hydrophilic base, which are effective at cleansing, but at the same time moisturising enough not to dry out the skin. We clean the skin and finish the phase with a combination of mild detoxification and ‘sensitive’ mask based on Aloe Vera gel with phospholipids and polysaccharides which will calm the skin after the cleansing and detoxify it at the se time.

Essentiq professional

After the cleansing phase, we pamper the skin in the TREATMENT PHASE. Depending on the condition of the skin, we choose BASES, either hydrophilic bases or bases with low level of lipids (up to 12%). After selecting a suitable base of our care products, we add the active ingredients, targeting individual skin conditions:

  • DEEP HYDRATION using collagen, and high- and low-molecular hyaluronic acids;
  • SEBUM SECRETION REGULATION using a combination of saw palmetto, clover and juniper berry extracts;
  • REDUCING SKIN SENSITIVITY using the red algae and hoary willowherb concoction;
  • ANTIOXIDATIVE SKIN PROTECTION using arctic berries and goji berries;
  • ANTI-AGE ACTION using a cocktail of active peptides, ceramides and plant stem cells.

Do you want to add some vitamins? Go for it, there can never be too many vitamins. 😊

Science fiction? Not even remotely. The personalized cosmetics concept gives us the possibility to choose the base (hydrophilic, lipo-hydrophilic, lipophilic) and enhance them by adding different active ingredients to solve several problems at the same time. It is like combining several different types of treatment into one! And we make the decision at which step of the treatment to incorporate the individual ingredients. Will we use certain active ingredients in combination with apparatus techniques? In the massage or as part of the mask? It is our decision. We can choose to use every appropriate active ingredient in every step, or we can distribute them in different steps.

Essentiq PRO System


The client will be justifiably enthusiastic about skin care, which is adjusted to her skin condition! The effect will be seen immediately, and the problems which troubled her will fade. The feeling of “renewed” skin on our face is the pleasure we all love.


Daily cleaning with a gentle cleansing gel is a must, the gel will clean the skin and moisturise it at the same time. The cleansing is followed by an application of moisturising tonic and a professional matting serum, so the skin does not shine. And the serum has one more secret: it contains a small percentage of lipids; just enough not to make the skin oily, but to give it a pleasant feeling of softness and to make sure the epidermis does not dehydrate. The serum is additionally enriched with anti-age active ingredients, because the skin needs them. And this satisfies our client’s needs for home care.

Skin Care Regimen at Home


Did I mention that all the products used in our personalized treatment are completely natural and allergen free? And that there is no concern of causing harm to the client or worry that her sensitive skin will react and cause an awkward situation for us? I did not? Well those are very important factors: our organic cosmetics DOES NOT include harmful SULPHATES, which dry out the skin, it is NATURAL (CERTIFIED ORGANIC), and thus skin-friendly (without harmful preservatives, synthetic additives, GSO, mineral oils and silicones), it is ALLERGEN FREE, VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE and NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS. And despite being natural, our cosmetics products have a very PLEASANT SMELL. Can it get any better? 😊

Certified Organic + Vegan friendly



Martina Drašler

Professional head coach for Essentiq cosmetics

Cosmetic expiration date

Cosmetic expiry dates

Cosmetic expiration date

People are very sensitive about expiry dates. But, what do expiry dates tell a customer or a manufacturer? How is this field regulated and monitored?

All manufacturers of cosmetic products must follow EC Regulation No 1223/2009, which establishes rules that any cosmetic product made available within the European Union has to comply with. These rules seek to ensure the effective functioning of the internal market and protect human health.

According to EC Regulation No 1223/2009 all cosmetic products with a minimum durability under 30 months must show the expiry date on the product. For products with a minimum durability above 30 months, however, an expiry date is not required. Instead, the regulation requires the latter products to indicate how long after the date of opening they may be used without causing harm to the consumer.

We are talking about ‘Expiry date’ or “best used before end of”.date and the Period After Opening (PAO). Particularly, the use of PAO usually stirs up many dilemmas and may result in negative publicity among end users. However, we would like to shed some light on this issue from the point of view of a manufacturer.

Expiry date and PAO are discussed in the Stability Testing section of the cosmetics compliance process, a component of a product’s Safety Assessment. Both factors are evaluated during this process in an effort to ensure maximum safety for the consumer.

Expiry Date

Expiry date symbol

Expiry date symbol

A product’s expiry date (or “shelf life”) is generally accepted as the amount of time it takes for a product to cease performing as outlined or advertised. Essentially, this denotes the period the product is safe to use and will perform its function. Depending on the type and nature of the product, an expiry date can vary. This can depend on a number of factors:

  • How the product is used or handled (interaction with human bodies, bacteria, fungi, etc.);
  • Where and how the product is stored (temperature and exposure to light);
  • Whether the product can dry out or become too moist (change its consistency) over time;
  • Chemical make-up of the product, and whether that may lead to product separating into its various elements (stability).

Period After Opening (PAO)

PAO refers to the amount of time a product will remain stable and safe for human use after it has first been opened. As such, PAO is very much dependent on the scale of degradation a product faces, in the same way as the shelf life is. However, the scale of degradation in this instance is far more directly influenced by the first use or first interaction with the consumer (and the inevitable risk of microbial contamination therein).

PAO symbol

PAO symbol

How do cosmetic manufacturers deal with product expiry deadlines?

Let us tell you about our practice. We will deliberately not simplify it, so that you can get the idea of manufacturing cosmetics on a bigger scale, and that it is not same as cooking jam for home use. Especially if the manufacturer exports the products outside EU (to Asia, USA, etc.) it has to face numerous controls from national health inspections, as well as foreign country authorities. Exported products must be accompanied with all the relevant documentation and certificates that prove the product’s stability, absence of microorganisms or heavy metals and the claimed efficiency of the product.

When manufacturing a new product, we set down:

1. benchmarks for ORGANOLEPTICS tests. This include benchmarks for physical appearance of products (stability), odour and viscosity.

2. We perform MICROBIOLOGICAL TESTS, where our products must conform to the following criteria:

Microbiological control Criteria
Total aerobic mesophilic microorganisms:

Escherichia coli:

Pseudomonas aeruginosa:

Staphyloccocus aureus:

Candida albicans:


< 1 x 103 CFU per g or ml

Absent in 1 g or 1 ml

Absent in 1 g or 1 ml

Absent in 1 g or 1 ml

Absent in 1 g or 1 ml

Absent in 25 g

Microbiological control also involves performing Challenge tests. For these tests we artificially contaminate the finished product, and then evaluate the subsequent decrease of contamination, thus verifying the effectiveness of preservatives and ensuring that the levels are within the allowed microbial limits. The microorganisms used in the challenge test may be issued from official collection of strains from any state in the EU, to ensure reproducibility of the test, and those microorganisms are: Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphyloccocus aureus, Candida albicans and Aspegillus brasiliensis.

3. TEST FOR HEAVY METALS, where our products need to comply with the following limitations:

Chemical control – Heavy metals Limits

Lead :





< 3 ppm

< 10 ppm

< 5 ppm

< 1 ppm

< 3 ppm

-/- not specified

During product development we also need to make so called COMPATIBILITY and VISCOSITY TESTS, where we check the compatibility of the product with the packaging.

If product passes all the tests, we consider it safe for human beings. We start selling it, however, we still do all the above-mentioned tests on sample products (that we keep in stock) in 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, etc. months. Why? Because we are gathering extremely important internal information for ourselves; for example – how effective are the preservatives used, how active ingredients behave in time, how different packaging effects/ protects the products, etc.

For products that we have been producing for longer period, we make tests in case of special circumstances or once they get 24 months old – to make sure that they are still effective and safe for customers. If products do not pass all the above-mentioned criteria, we are obliged to remove them from the market.

However, if the products are not defective even after the expiry date, why should they be thrown away? On one hand, we all keep saying that we should start taking better care of our environment and our planet, live in a more conscientious manner, reduce waste, reduce CO2 footprint, etc, but on other hand, we are throwing things away just because some indicative expiry date has passed. And manufacturers are destroying completely usable products and polluting the environment because:

  • We cannot reduce the price, because that would devalue our brand;
  • We cannot re-label the products, as this is too expensive and time consuming;
  • It is not good for the company image, as customers are very sceptical towards expiry date extensions.

That is why the use of PAO is more manufacturer friendly. It allows us to behave in a rational and environmentally protective manner, but at the same time it requires us to behave consciously towards the end users. It requires us to make sure that products which are on the shelves are safe and adequate. We owe this not just to our customers, but also to our business partners – distributors and retailers. To everyone who trusts us.

We live in times where there is less and less trust among people and we follow guidelines as the ultimate Law. Don’t! When you have an expired cosmetic product in front of you, open it, smell it and try it on your hand. If a product has gone off you will know. Just trust your senses and feelings. Do not throw away products that are ok. Even if you get rid of them and do not see them anymore, these products are still (unnecessary) waste that must be processed.

Essentiq was established because the owners care for nature and our Planet. As manufacturer of natural and organic cosmetics, we strive to have as low carbon footprint as possible. This also includes responsible treatment of any waste. Therefore, we are not against discarding things until they prove to be useless.

However, to behave transparently towards our customers, we are preparing an application, where you will be able to enter the product lot number and you will see the product validity date. The timeframe in which each product can be used safely is documented with Certificate of Analysis that summarises the results of the above-mentioned tests.

Cruelty free product

Animal Testing in EU


Testing cosmetics products and their ingredients on animals has been a controversial topic for a long time. Fortunately the European Union banned such tests in 2013.

Testing cosmetic products and their ingredients on animals was banned in the UK in 1998 and across the EU in 2013.

  • Since March 11, 2013 it is illegal to perform animal testing for cosmetics purposes across the EU, as well as market or sell cosmetics in the EU, where the finished product or ingredients have been tested on animals. The regulatory framework is part of EU Regulation 1223/2009 (Cosmetics Regulation) (former EU Directive 76/768/EEC).

As always there are some exceptions to EU bans, which of course allow for excuses when it comes to strict implementations:

  • Under the EU law, bans only apply to EU market – i.e. testing within the EU or sale within the EU.
  • The bans only apply to cosmetic products and ingredients which are only used in cosmetics.
  • The bans do not apply to all types of testing. They mainly apply to tests specifically aimed at consumer safety. Tests to determine if there is a risk to the environment (so-called ‘ecotox testing’) or worker safety tests are excluded.

At Essentiq we firmly believe in cruelty free product development and production as part of our company’s values and philosophy. In our opinion, values are not and should not be overlooked for sales opportunities. Values are a part of our ethics and integrity.

Many companies face a challenge to their values and integrity, when they are presented with the possibility of entering the mainland Chinese market. If you want to sell your cosmetic products in brick-and-mortar or on-line stores in mainland China, the Chinese authorities require that the products be tested on animals before being exported to mainland China. Those tests are done in China, but with producers consent. In theory, by performing animal testing in China for cosmetic products that are going to be sold in mainland China, you are not in violation of the EU legislation on one hand, and you comply with Chinese legislation on the other. Nevertheless, the question remains:  what about respecting your own values and ethics? What about maintaining your own personal integrity?

The producers that strictly adhere to their values enter the mainland Chinese market only by using the so called cross-border sales through Hong Kong. The sales amounts are of course much smaller, they can only be made on-line and directly to consumers with very strict limitations to purchased amount. Businesswise, this kind of approach limits the sales dramatically; however, by respecting your own company’s vales and maintaining its integrity you show what kind of a company you are.

Essentiq does not support or conduct animal testing for any kind of purpose (including worker or environment safety). We do not use ingredients that were tested on animals. Therefore, until laboratory testing of cosmetic products (vitro and vivo) are accepted as a basis for import to China, our products will be available to Chinese consumers only through cross-border sales.

Dry and Dehydrated Skin?


Most people do not differentiate between dehydrated and dry skin and consequently treat their skin with the wrong kind of therapy. So, what is the difference?

Dry skin is a type of a skin, while dehydration is a skin condition that can happen to every type of a skin. If you have a dry skin type, you need to add lipids to the skin, while for recovery or prevention of dehydration you need to add moisture and search for products that create some gentle layers on your face to prevent moisture loss. Let’s go into more details.

Dehydrated skin

 Dehydrated skin – lacks water, it is itchy, dull, and sensitive with tight surface. The skin is not necessarily dry; it only has a dried epidermis. Often, the skin is dried due to overly aggressive cleaning agents, weather conditions or inappropriate cosmetics used on a daily basis. The result is a highly dehydrated, dried epidermis. The skin is peeling on the surface, red blotches can appear, and there is a feeling of tightening. If you suffer from the above conditions, your epidermis is DEHYDRATED and your nourishing therapy should focus on moisturizing, protection from moisture loss and calming effects.

How to treat dehydrated skin?

In the morning and evening, clean your face with micellar water or cleansing milk. Cleansing milk should be washed off with lukewarm water, it is not necessary to wash off micellar water. Following that, apply the tonic with your hands and the intense moisturizing serum. The intensive moisturizing serum is initially used as a therapy (morning and evening). When the skin condition improves, it should only be used once per day. Your morning routine should end with application of a day cream, as it is very important that the skin is protected from moisture loss. Your night routine can be finalised with some nutritive creams with higher percentage of lipids.

We recommend using a face scrub twice a month to remove dead skin cells from the surface.


Dry skin

Dry skin – lacks oil (sebum), it is itchy, dull, sensitive with tight surface. Lower number of active sebaceous glands causes shortage of fat on the skin’s surface. Pores are smaller. The skin is extremely dry, rough and sensitive to weather conditions. There is a constant feeling of discomfort – tightening of the skin. The skin needs plenty of extra lipids to be added in order to achieve soft and supple feeling. Dry skin ages faster, therefore external delivery of lipids is extremely important. Appropriate nourishing therapy consists of products that soften you skin, delay ageing process, increase feeling of comfort and effectively protect against external influences (e.g. cold, wind and sun).

How to treat dry skin?

In the morning and evening clean your face with micellar water or cleansing milk. Cleansing milk should be washed off with lukewarm water, it is not necessary to wash off micellar water. Apply a tonic with your hands and finally apply a rich nutritive cream. We recommend using a scrub once a month to remove dead skin cells from the surface.


  • Cleansing Milk/Micellar Water
  • Moisturising Toner Green Lemon & May Chang
  • Some antiage serum – MAGIC serum, Antiage & Antiwrinke serum from PROLINE, Centella & Baobab serum
  • Face Cream for dry skin Immortelle & Avocado/Centella & Rose and MAGIC 50+.


Allergens in Organic Cosmetics

Allergens in Organic Cosmetics


Natural & Organic products may be even MORE ALLERGENIC than synthetic ones. Natural & Organic products contain essential oils and other natural ingredients that are sources of allergens, naturally found in the plants.

INCI NAME ORIGIN Can be found in
ANISE ALCOHOL Synthetic or Natural Honey, essential oils of Anise, Tomatoes, Tahiti Vanilla
BENZYL ALCOHOL Synthetic or Natural Peru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Essential oils of Jasmin, Apricot, Almond, Apple, Asparagus, Banana, Black Currant, Blackberry
BENZYL BENZOATE Synthetic or Natural Peru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Essential oils of Jasmin, Ylang-Ylang
BENZYL CINNAMATE Synthetic or Natural Peru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Copahu
BENZYL SALICYLATE Synthetic or Natural Propolis
BUTYLPHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL Synthetic It is a synthetic fragrance compound with a strong floral scent. It replicates the beautiful smell of the flowers known as “lilies of the valley”.
CINNAMAL Synthetic or Natural Essential oils of Cinnamon, hyacinth, Patchouli, Nutmeg
CINNAMYL ALCOHOL Synthetic or Natural Hyacinth
CITRAL Synthetic or Natural Allergen that appears in essential oils of lemon, essential oils of orange peel, essential oils of eucalyptus, grapefruit, orange, celeris, apricot, blackcurrant, grape, kiwi, mango, ginger, melon, plum, raspberry, rose
CITRONELLOL Synthetic or Natural Allergen that appears in essential oils of lemon grass, essential oils of Ceylon, apple, apricot, cassis, blackberry, blueberry, orange, passion fruit, peach, rose
COUMARIN Synthetic or Natural Woodruff, Flouves, Sweet clover, Angelique, Berce
EUGENOL Synthetic or Natural Essential oils of Clove, Allspice, Bay (Myrcia acris), Avens, Ceylon cinnamon, Laurel, Cistus, labdanifere, Basil sassafras, Basil Java, Cassie, Sweet flag, Carnation, Boldo, Cascarille, Galangal, Bay leaves, Nutmeg, Pale rose, ylang-ylang, marjoram, calamus, camphor, lemongrass, patchouli
FARNESOL Synthetic or Natural Essential oils of rose, Neroli, Ylang-ylang, Lime tree, Tolu Balsam
GERANIOL Synthetic or Natural Allergen that appears in rose oil, orange, palmarosa, thyme, verbena, neroli, lemongrass, geranium, hyssop, laurel, lavender, mandarin orange, lemon balm, nutmeg, myrtle, apple, apricot, black cranberries, blackcurrant, blackberry, coriander, ginger, nutmeg, thyme, geranium, rose, ylang-ylang
HEXYL CINNAMAL Synthetic or Natural Essential Oils of Cinnamon and Jasmin
ISOEUGENOL Synthetic or Natural Essential Oils of citronella, Essential Oils of Ceylon, Essential Oils of ylang ylang
LIMONENE Synthetic or Natural Allergen that appears in essential oils of: lemon, dill, common juniper, orange, verbena, neroli, niaouli, melaleuca, lemon balsam, pepper mint, nutmeg, myrrh, angelica, aspic, anise, bergamot, mandarin orange, bitter orange, caraway, celery, lavender, lime
LINALOOL Synthetic or Natural Allergen that appears in essential oils of: thyme, lavender, pine, laurel, sour orange, marjoram, peppermint, lemon, orange, thyme, ylang-ylang, verbena, myrtle, neroli, coriander, geranium, lime, lemon balsam, nutmeg, lemongrass, basil, bergamot, rosewood, banana, blackberry, bean, blueberry, apple, apricot, artichoke, thyme, rose, palmarosa
EVERNIA PRUNASTRI (OAK MOSS) Natural Oak moss extract
EVERNIA FURFURACEA (TREE MOSS) Natural Tree moss extract

If one of the 26 substances in the chart is present in a product formula, producers are obliged to comply with the labelling requirements (rules) of the European Regulation that states (Annex 10 III entry 83 of the Cosmetics Regulation No 1223/2009):

The allergenic substances must appear on the label if:

  • The concentration is higher than 0.01% in a rinse-off product, e.g. shampoos, shower gels,
  • The concentration is higher than 0.001% in a leave-on product, e.g. creams, lotions.

If an allergen is contained in different ingredient of the product, producer has to add up all concentrations to verify the threshold and label the product in accordance with the rule above.

As a cosmetics manufacturer we often have to explain our decision to use a certain ingredient in a product. Very often people worry or complain about effect of certain ingredient, which they have read on the internet about. Unfortunately, the internet articles are not always based on scientific research, and often even the scientists do not agree on every aspect of an ingredient.