Natural Is Not Always Safer: How to Choose the Best Natural Emollient

Natural Is Not Always Safer: How to Choose the Best Natural Emollient

Although there is not actually any cosmetic that is completely ‘natural’ (there is not any lipstick bush!), some products are considered more natural than others. The distinction may be dangerous, that is why ‘Clean Beauty’ arises as the solution to formulating safe cosmetics. But can this solution help to choose safely?

The term ‘Clean Beauty’ was created to grasp all the fear caused by ‘natural’ cosmetics that do not perform well and to mitigate the concern for government regulations. In this environment, choosing the best natural emollient may be quite a challenge for conscious consumers. We think some things need to be clarified before making the right choice.

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What Is Considered Natural?

Usually, people consider as ‘natural’ those ingredients that:

  • Are obtained from plants
  • Are chemically modified from plants, or
  • Are chemically identical to plant ingredients
  • Whether a formulator wants to create a natural emollient or the best foundation for dry skin, it is important to mention that many of these ingredients present problems.

Problems to Formulate ‘Natural’

Below is a list of the most common problems formulators will encounter if they want to create emollients that people would consider natural, or natural skin care products, or even if someone has the bold idea of naturally creating the best foundation for dry skin.

These problems include:

  • There are not many ingredients: Committing to formulate natural reduces the options for formulators. For instance, the INCI dictionary lists almost 22,000 different chemicals that can be used in cosmetics, but only 10% of them can be considered natural.

Natural purists may dislike the following fact, but most natural standard groups and retailers are not completely honest and let formulators use synthetic ingredients that give the impression of being natural just to expand the formulation options.

  • Natural options are not very effective: Unfortunately, the ‘natural’ ingredients formulators are allowed to use are not the best functional ingredients. For instance, a real natural cleansing surfactant is the saponin from the soapnut tree’s berries, but it does not work as well as synthetic surfactants and it is quite difficult to use.
  • The supply is not always there: Even if a natural ingredient works great for a formulator, many companies cannot always count on getting the same quality all the time. An example is the jojoba oil: Just recently there was a problem with the yearly jojoba crop and many brands (especially the smallest ones) had it very difficult to get this natural ingredient.

In addition, an ingredient may have worked great one year but due to the growing conditions it may work differently the next year.

  • The performance of ‘natural’ is not always good: The main reason for the rise of what has been called ‘Clean Beauty’ is that ‘natural’ products do not always work as expected. In fact, the performance of many of them is bad, and although safety is important it is not perceived right away. 

On the other hand, consumers can rapidly tell if a product works or feels bad, and what they really want is products that perform well.

  • Natural ingredients are harder to use: They are more prone to contamination than synthetic ingredients. If you have them outside they are quite difficult to preserve. In addition, natural preservatives are very limited and not effective enough.
  • Natural does not mean safe: Cosmetics marketers like to say natural is safer for you, but that is not always the case. Of course there are safe natural ingredients, but there are also those that are unsafe. For example, most skin reactions are caused by natural or naturally derived ingredients.

Get the Right Balance!

In order to tackle these problems, our Dermanet line is the perfect balance between natural ingredients and technology. For instance, we remove the stickiness of Glycerine through our unique manufacturing process, and although Dermanet contains lipophilic it is completely soluble in water.

Blue Sun International offers to formulators other tools like skin care actives and our Red Rose Wine Complex and White Rose Wine Complex that are natural antiaging actives synthetized through innovative extraction processes for better product performance.

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