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Sustainable beauty: what is natural cosmetics about?

Beneficial and environmentally friendly, natural cosmetics are gaining ground. What are the results provided by these beauty products produced from ingredients that nature provides?
The skin is the largest organ of our body and each of the organs that make up the human body are involved in its well-being, in its healthy being (Getty Images)

The skin is the visible face of our body. That is why more and more people are choosing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. A large part of the most recognized large cosmetic firms are adopting this new trend that is already a way of life.

As part of the skin care routine we use creams, concealers, makeup bases, balms, serums but we don't always think about what we are applying to our skin.For this reason, natural cosmetics is a movement on the rise, among other things, because its commitment to natural ingredients is suitable for all skin types.

Of course, the fact that they are natural does not mean that we can use them without consulting or under the supervision of a specialist because even if they are products made with natural ingredients, treated with care, with minimal chemical interventions and taken from nature, they may not be the right one. for the need that befalls us. The skin is the largest organ of our body and each of the organs that make up the human body are involved in its well-being , in its healthy being. That is why it is so important to take care of it on the outside as well as on the inside. It is essential to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, plenty of water and aerobic exercise.

With natural cosmetics we refer to beauty products produced from ingredients that nature provides , which can be of plant, mineral or animal origin that have undergone minimal transformation and are not harmful to the environment. The use of chemical ingredients is still allowed, but in very small quantities, as long as they are not harmful to humans and nature.

Staff Physician at the Dermatology Unit of the Doctor COSME Argerich General Acute Hospital, was consulted by Infobae about this type of cosmetic: “From my profession as a dermatologist,My priority is to make a correct diagnosis and find the best therapeutic alternative for the patients' skin. This includes listening to and accompanying their concerns, since it is increasingly sought to incorporate responsible and environmentally friendly consumption habits”.

Today, there are many laboratories that are aware of and consistent with the needs of today's world, so multiple skin care products can be indicated that are "cruelty free" or not tested on animals, as well as "vegan-friendly". “It is important to take this difference into account, since the cruelty free certification, very common in cosmetic products, means that it does not contain components tested on animals, but it does not exclude the presence of ingredients of animal origin. In other words, you can find products with said certificate but that contain inputs of animal origin, such as beeswax. Vegan products are free of ingredients of animal origin throughout the manufacturing process. adds the specialist.

Different countries already have certificates such as BDIH, PETA, Leaping Bunny Programm and Natrue (international certifications) on the packaging. “Other patients prefer to use “natural cosmetics” which is one whose formula contains 90% natural raw materials of plant or animal origin (therefore, natural cosmetics are not always vegan). The remaining 10% can be made up of preservatives and other substances. These products present the corresponding certificate on the packaging.In organic cosmetics, in addition to using raw materials of plant or animal origin, a minimum of its formulation must come from organic farming, but this percentage varies from country to country. It must also appear on the label and in the product information file. However, many patients choose to use products that are not only 100% natural but also "handmade". In this case, the best alternative is always to accompany the patient during its use, and to be alert to the presence of intolerance or an allergic reaction, although in daily practice they are generally well tolerated and accepted”, he explains.

Today, there are many laboratories that are aware of and consistent with the needs of today's world, so multiple skin care products can be indicated that are "cruelty free" or not tested on animals, as well as "suitable for vegans" (Getty Images)

The BDIH certificate subjects the products to independent and continuous control with very strict criteria. Manufacturers with this seal are required to refrain from the use of synthetic dyes and fragrances, ethoxylated raw materials, silicones, paraffins and other petroleum-derived products, thus only using controlled organic raw materials. In addition, the BDIH certificate is only granted when at least 60% of all the brand's products meet the BDIH standards.

Physical and chemical processes guarantee a gentle transformation of the raw materials used in cosmetic products. Most of the ingredients are of plant origin, although there are also some of mineral and animal origin, in this case only the use of substances produced by animals, such as honey, is allowed.

“Vegetable raw materials must come from certified organic farming. Substances produced by animals, such as milk and honey, are allowed. Substances whose extraction involves the death of a vertebrate (whale blubber, turtle blubber, marmot blubber, animal fat) are not allowed.Testing on animals is not allowed in any of the phases of the manufacture, development or control of the product. Raw materials that were available on the market since 1998 can only be used if they meet the previous guidance (no animal testing). This restriction does not apply to tests on animals carried out by third parties when these tests have not been initiated by the client”

So, a vegan cosmetic is a product that does not contain ingredients of animal origin, or derivatives. A cruelty-free cosmetic is a product that has not been tested on animals.It is mistakenly thought that a cosmetic marked cruelty-free is automatically vegan and vice versa. But not necessarily: it may not have been tested on animals, but contain ingredients of animal origin.Similarly, a product marked vegan may have been tested on animals. It is essential to differentiate the two concepts and not confuse them. That is why if you want 100% ethical cosmetics, you must be both vegan and cruelty-free at the same time.

Deciphering the cosmetic label today is much easier. There are applications that analyze the ingredients of cosmetics, such as Ingred or INCI Beauty. The first analyzes all the ingredients (it also works for food and indicates which ones are acceptable or harmful to health. Each element is accompanied by a detailed explanation and classified according to its level of danger. On the other hand, in INCI Beauty, each product analyzed receives a score that allows you to quickly understand if its components are good or risky. The interesting thing is that alternatives are proposed for each product consulted. The main ingredients are documented and classified according to their origin (vegetable, animal or synthetic) and level of risk/toxicity .

To take into account: prohibited substances

Prohibited substances are: organic-synthetic colorants, synthetic perfumes, ethoxylated raw materials, silicones, paraffins or petrolatum and their derivatives. It is not allowed to disinfect by radioactive radiation neither vegetable or animal raw materials nor the finished product.

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