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.

Tanja Bozinac, Essentiq cosmetics

Who is Essentiq?

Tanja Bozinac, CEO of Essentiq Cosmetics

Tanja Božinac, CEO of Essentiq

First, let me ask you, why the name Essentiq, and where does it come from. It does not sound very Slovenian.

T: That is true. When we were considering names in 2010, we had a vision to target predominantly foreign markets. And through global eyes, the name Essentiq holds a meaning.

The first part of the name comes from the name ESSENCE, i.e elementary, most important characteristics, which gives individual identity, and the second part comes from AUTHETIQUE, i.e. a French word for genuine, true. Slovenia is a really small market, and if you want to produce and sell high-quality natural-ecological cosmetics, the market is too small to be cost efficient.


Despite being a Slovenian producer and a Slovenian brand, you are relatively unknown in Slovenia.

T: It was much easier to start abroad, especially in Asia. The Asian market liked the graphic image of our original – classic – line, so we quickly found distributors in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. As a European brand we were exotic in their eyes, and in Asia, European natural-ecological cosmetics are synonymous with high quality. In 2016 in Singapore, our cleansing gel received two of the most prestigious awards, it was chosen as best natural-ecological product by users and the as best ‘face saver’ product, chosen by a panel of experts. That began opening doors in other markets as well.

Mid-2017 the distribution of all our products for Slovenia was taken over by our longstanding expert co-worker, who cooperated with us on developing the professional line for beauty salons. As driven as she is, and as ‘in love’ with our products, I am confident she will be successful.

Nevertheless, building a trademark is a long-term process, because it takes years for the results to be visible. With the flood of cosmetic products on the markets, and commercials bombarding us from all sides, it is hard work to gain recognition. So I have the deepest respect for everyone who takes part in the sales process. Impatience is not a quality a sales representative can afford.

How many countries do you have the distributors in?

T: In addition to the above mentioned six countries, we are also present in the United Arab Emirates, Romania, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, of course. We have recently begun negotiations with distributors from China, Germany and the USA.

How do you appeal to the users who buy your products? What is special about your products?

T: This is one of the most difficult questions. How are you different from all the others? I know that it is quite inappropriate from the marketing point of view, but we are currently not trying to figure out what story we are going to sell the people, we are rather investing our time and effort into following the development trends in biotechnology, developing packaging etc. Our mission is to create high-quality natural-ecological products. What does that mean? It means that the cleansing products (such as shower gels and other soaps, shampoos) DO NOT use sulphates, even though the standards for ecological cosmetics do not prohibit them. We do not use them, because sulphates destroy the skin’s acid mantle, i.e. our own natural protection against sun rays, bacteria, microorganisms etc. Consequentially, the top layer of the skin can be dried out, which causes itchiness in some people. Ever since the members of our family no longer use products with sulphates, we hardly ever use sunscreen. My son and I no longer suffer from acute dermatitis, which we both had. It may just be a coincidence, I do not know. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that the reason for the improvement is the fact that we have stopped using sulphates.

Facial Care Products

Also, in this year’s anonymous poll on Romanian market, conducted by the Romanian centre for mothers and mothers-to-be, our children’s line products have been selected as the highest quality products, and the centre became our official promoter. Such commendations fuel our dedication and we keep to our high standards of quality. Even if those standards make our products a bit more expensive in the end. I believe that people have come to realise, that the price is a reflection of quality, especially, if you are not one of the brands with a prominent name. High-quality ingredients are not cheap. And if you want those ingredients to have the desired effect, you have to include them in your product in the amount the raw-materials producers stated in their technical documentation, based on the tests and analysis results the producers made. And all of that comes at a price.

Kids Care Products

You have recently launched two completely new lines – MAGIC premium line and PROLINE, a professional line for beauty salons. Can you tell us more?

T: We began developing our premium line primarily to enter the Arab markets. The decision to base MAGIC on plant stem cells, special peptides and enzymes, which stimulate the skin stem cells to renew and protect themselves from damage, was more than excellent. We are talking about a new concept of slowing down the ageing process by stimulating the skin’s own regenerating properties in a natural way. All our creams have been packed in special airless pots, which no other producer had – not on the Beautyworld Middle East fair in Dubai and not on Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong. And we successfully drew the attention to us. We are innovative. Our products are top-of-the-line – from graphic design, to the packaging, to the ingredients.

Magic - Luxury Cosmetics Products

And our professional line is different as well. It is based on an innovative concept, where we can offer over 100 personalised types of treatment, by using 39 products which can be mixed together. Thus the cosmetologist can meet the client’s specific needs and wishes. PROLINE is vegan, allergen free, a pleasure to work with, and it leaves a pleasant feeling on the skin. That is the most important. Satisfied clients. This is how you make it in the long run, with quality and by believing in it. That is what makes the clients return for your services.

Professional Cosmetics Products

Where can we find your products?

T: In general, we leave the decision about where the individual products or lines will be sold to the distributors, because there are different situations in different countries. In some countries, ecological products are sold in special natural-ecological sections within large shopping, chemist or pharmacy chains. In other places, smaller natural-ecological shops are the trend. In Slovenia our distributor is faced with a specific problem, because salons expect that our cosmetics brand will be sold in their salon exclusively. We have not come across such demand for exclusivity in other countries. There our classic line is available everywhere, MAGIC in shops with high-end products and in beauty salons, and PROLINE only in beauty salons. We developed the different lines with this in mind, so that people can see products in different locations and remember them. You know, if you see something several times, at one point the curiosity will get the better of you and you will try it. I believe that the presence of a brand in different locations gives the brand higher credibility in the consumers’ eyes. Of course, the selected channels have to be suitable. We cannot sell natural-ecological cosmetics at petrol stations or in budget shops.

Interview with Ms. Tanja Božinac, CEO of Essentiq for Dermanova magazine No. 58, 2018.

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.



Organic Cosmetics - Benefits for Users

Organic Cosmetics – Benefits for Users

Organic Cosmetics - Benefits for UsersIn my previous blog post I wrote about benefits of using natural & organic cosmetic from the ‘save the planet’ perspective. In the current blog I will share my views on benefits of natural/organic cosmetic from the end-user perspective.

As already mentioned, there are no EC regulations, guidelines, requirements or restrictions about production or even classification of natural and organic cosmetic.  For many years it has been a grey area, allowing individual interpretations and claims. When can product be considered as natural – when it contains 5, 10, 90% of natural ingredients? How can an average customer, who does not have an in depth knowledge of chemistry and understanding of INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) know, which skin care product is natural? In our opinion, the quality of natural or organic cosmetic is determined by the EXCLUDED ingredients, rather than by the included ones. According to public opinion, good quality natural cosmetic should be:


Why? What is so bad about sulphates? What are the reasons to exclude them?

  •  To reduce the chances of developing irritation or inflammations on skin or scalp.
  • To increase moisture retention within the hair and the skin.
  • To prevent destruction of the important skin mantle acid balance and thus protect the skin from absorbing harmful chemicals.
  • To help maintain colour in dyed hair for longer periods of time. Sulphate free shampoos are beneficial for coloured hair.


Why exclude PEG and EO? Are PEG and EO dangerous?

  • PEG stands for polyethylene glycol
  • EO stands for ethylene oxide

The cosmetics industry uses PEGs and EOs as solvents, thickeners, softeners and moisture carriers. They also function as absorption enhancers. Through these properties they allow both good and bad ingredients to be absorbed faster into deeper parts of skin. If they are used on broken or damaged skin, they can cause irritation and sometimes leas to system toxicity.

PEG’s are often manufactured using ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane. Ethylene oxide is a known human carcinogen. It may harm the human nervous system and sometimes even cause developmental problems. 1,4 dioxane has been marked as a possible human carcinogen. It is also toxic to the environment.


 Why? Are artificial colours bad for you?

To change the colour of soaps, lotions, shower gels, face creams, shampoos, styling products, and more, manufacturers use artificial colours and dyes, which are often made from a variety of synthetic chemicals. Artificial colorants are often made from coal tar, and sometimes contain dangerous metals, such as lead. When your skin comes in contact with the toxins that artificial colours leave on your skin, there is an increased risk of sensitivity and irritation. In addition they could lead to greater risk of acne, because they might block your pores.



Mineral oil is considered “comedogenic.” That means it can clog your pores which can lead to acne and blackheads. Dermatologists have also said say that creams which combine mineral oil and paraffin can damage the skin barrier and increase water loss.

The more refined the mineral oil is, the less comedogenic it is. But it is difficult to find out how purified the mineral oil in your product is.


Silicone forms a barrier on top of your skin, which is similar to putting on a plastic wrap. It is true that this barrier can lock in moisture, but it can also trap dirt, sweat, bacteria, sebum, dead skin cells and other debris along with it. This prolonged exposure to oil, dead skin cells and bacteria trapped beneath the semi-occlusive silicone layer can lead to breakouts of acne or congestions. Smoothness, achieved by silicones is only short-term. By clogging the pores, silicones prevent additional moisture from getting in, and that results in dull, dried out skin.



You may be surprised that phthalates are a family of industrial chemicals that are used to soften PVC plastic, as well as being used as solvents in cosmetics and other consumer products like detergents, lubricating oils, automotive plastics, plastic clothes, and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, and nail polishes). Several studies conducted on animals have concluded that phthalates can damage the lungs, kidneys, liver, and reproductive system.


GMOs are genetically modified organisms whose genes have been artificially altered to modify their characteristics in some way or another. Plants, animals, and microorganisms – including bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi – can all be genetically modified.  Among the first GMOs used in cosmetics were certain plant-derived ingredients. Some botanical cosmetic ingredients are derived from or contain components from GMO food products including corn oil, corn flour, soybean oil, and other components produced by yeast. Some GMOs have been developed specifically for cosmetic, to assist in production of ingredients. For example, canola has been modified to produce high levels of lauric acid, a key ingredient in soaps and detergents, at a reduced cost for consumers.

It has still not been determined what the effects of GMOs on human health are.

CONTROVERSIAL PRESERVATIVES (parabens, phenoxyethanol or sources of formaldehyde) FREE


Phenoxyethanol and Parabens are widely used synthetic preservatives that have global approval for use in all cosmetic products in concentrations up to 1%. Parabens and phenoxyethanol are a problem in cosmetics for reasons that have nothing to do with skincare. Based on research, some articles mention that both preservatives, when absorbed through skin care products can mimic hormones in the body, disrupt functions of the endocrine system or even cause cancer. However, we could not find any scientific study that would prove that.

Someone might ask, what the point in excluding controversial preservatives is, then.

Well, because it is the public opinion that they are dangerous. And you cannot defeat public opinion or fight against it. If people feel safer by not using some preservatives, it is much easier to replace them with the ones that are publicly acceptable.

Before I started preparing my blogs, I did a lot of internet research on the topics I was going to write about. I was surprised how many positive and negative reviews are available about the same topics. One claiming something is dangerous, other saying it is not. No wonder that it is hard for people to decide whom to believe and trust. So, my advice is – trust yourself and read the INCI!

Organic Cosmetics - Benefits for Environment

Organic Cosmetics – Benefits for Environment

Organic Cosmetics - Benefits for EnvironmentThe first initiatives for creation of natural cosmetics came from environmentalists, as part of their efforts to reduce soil and groundwater pollution.

People in the developed world take a shower at least once a day. Can you imagine the amount of ‘chemicals’ that flows into the drain? And where does all this waste water end?

With the development and pressure to reduce the prices, foaming agents, cleansers and preservatives also developed. Through the eyes of a producer or a consumer they became more effective and their added value increased. However, at the same time they became more aggressive and thus environmentally unfriendly. This prepared the ground for the development of natural cosmetics, as the need arose for cosmetics that contain mild and environmentally friendlier ingredients. Of course, environmentally friendly ingredients are basically also human-friendly ingredients. But the original idea for natural cosmetics derived from the desire and the need to protect the environment.

Many people wonder what the difference between natural and organic cosmetics is. If we look at it through the eyes of available certificates for different types of cosmetics, natural and organic cosmetics differ in the fact that in the organic cosmetics, the required share of the content of natural raw materials is higher, the threshold of the share of the content of organic raw materials is prescribed, the criteria for the integration of certain synthetic raw materials is stricter and more restrictive.  However the end user will in fact not notice the difference between natural and organic. Perhaps only in the smell of the product or perhaps in the reduced foaming effects in cleansing products. Organic products usually do not smell as fragrantly as natural ones, as they use fragrances that are mainly made out of natural essential oils & CO2 isolates.

The most noticeable difference in the eyes of the manufacturer or the end user is in the share of organic ingredients in the product. But not from the perspective of higher percentage of organic meaning a better product. No, the real added value is in indicating the extent of the manufacturer’s support of organic farming. Why is this important? Because farming is one of the biggest polluters of our planet. But humans need farming to get food and survive. However we do have a choice to use or not to use pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics and growth hormones. By choosing not to use pollutant ingredients, farmers do not get as much out of their land as conventional farmers do, production costs are higher because farmers need more workers, products do not look alike, shiny and of similar and perfect shape. They are less attractive and eye catching. All of that makes organic farming, and by that ingredients produced through organic farming, more expensive. It’s a lot of work just to look after soil quality (by versatile crop rotations and additions of organic material), to recycle nutrients, and to enhance and protect biodiversity. Is it worth all that?

In our eyes, yes, it is; and that is why we invest 20–30% of our resources in organically produced active ingredients. We believe it is our responsibility as a manufacturer of cosmetics to pollute as little as we can.

Someone might now be disappointed, and say that benefits of natural/organic cosmetics are only for the environment. No, there are great benefits also for humans. Although those benefits are measured from the perspective of which ingredients natural/organic cosmetic does not or should not contain, rather than what it contains. As there are no EC regulations, no official clear definition and restrictions about natural and organic cosmetics, this is still a grey area, allowing individual interpretations and claims. When can product be considered natural – when it contains 5, 10, 90% of natural ingredients? Find out more in my next blog.

Using natural or organic cosmetics is not just a matter of fashion or trend. It is a personal contribution of every user to reducing his/her share of environmental pollution. It is one of the steps that each individual should make to maintain our planet clean, green, safe and healthy for our successors.