• Anna Solana, science journalist

    Natural beauty products are winning people over

    5 Jan Natural beauty products are winning people over




    The ingredients in a skin care product are equally or more important for the consumer than its actual effectiveness. This point was made in a recent study by the consultancy Kline, which also highlights the unstoppable rise of “natural” beauty products.


    This is probably because natural products are preferred for the skin, because consumers are more aware of the safety of certain ingredients and are increasingly concerned about the environment. But the fact remains that the market for so-called “natural” cosmetics continues to grow, with the sector already turning over around 30,000 million dollars worldwide. The European market, which accounts for 25% of sales of natural products, grew by 6% in 2013 – double the growth rate in the world as a whole – thanks to ingredients such as argan oil, açaí berries, pomegranate, calendula, etc. Read More

  • Fede Montagud, editor

    Coral powder as a replacement for polluting microbeads

    30 Dec Coral powder as a replacement for polluting microbeads



    Cosmetics & Toiletries

    Plastic microparticles used in many cosmetic products end up in the seas and oceans, posing a major environmental problem. Fossilized coral powder, to date used mainly in nutritional products, could solve this problem, because its properties mean it is as beneficial for the skin as it is harmless to the ecosystem.


    It contains calcium, magnesium and traces of over 70 minerals, so it is primarily sold as a nutritional supplement. However, some researchers are beginning to consider it as a possible sustainable ingredient in personal hygiene formulations. Fossilized coral powder is a novel material with useful chemical and physical properties that can help maintain the barrier function of the skin and improve its ability to regenerate. Furthermore, it does not harm the environment and it respects the fragility of coral reefs, since it is extracted from onshore deposits that lay under the sea millions of years ago. Read More

  • Susana Andújar, chemist

    Preservatives in cosmetics: the good, the bad and the ugly?

    26 Nov Preservatives in cosmetics: the good, the bad and the ugly?



    European Commission

    Our skin comes into daily contact with some kind of cosmetic preservative. Soaps, gels, creams, foams, lotions, perfumes –virtually all cosmetic products require at least one preservative agent to make sure they get to consumers in perfect condition. Some preservatives may be harmful, however, and health authorities legislate continuously for the good of our skin and our overall health.


    The perfect preservative is one whose antimicrobial action inhibits all contaminating microorganisms (bacteria, moulds and yeasts) from cosmetic products. It must also be stable and inert towards other ingredients in the formula and, above all, it must have a profile that allows for safe use in the intended product at the intended concentration. It is often difficult for a single biocidal ingredient to satisfy all these requirements. Often people focus on the most natural ingredients, assuming them to be least toxic. Read More

  • Anna Solana, science journalist

    Is your beauty biodynamic?

    10 May Is your beauty biodynamic?



    Cosmetics Design USA

    Cosmetics made with ingredients grown in sustainable production systems and in harmony with the cycles of nature are acquiring new devotees. And not only among pregnant women and new mothers seeking products without preservatives, colourants or other allergens. Natural cosmetics are beginning to prevail. With quality certification.


    Around 7,000 different substances are used in the preparation of cosmetic and personal care products. Many of these ingredients have received bad press, as they can trigger allergic reactions, are irritants or may be carcinogenic. Therefore, growing numbers of consumers are seeking more environmentally friendly and skin-friendly alternatives. However, a natural cosmetic is not necessarily safe. This is why the market is demanding certain guarantees, like that offered by the international Demeter quality seal, known to be difficult to obtain. This certificate guarantees that all components of products claimed to be biodynamic have followed standard procedures for biodynamic agriculture (use of compost, prohibition of genetically modified plants, prohibition of pesticides, etc) and meet European regulations regarding organic products.