It used to be that if you wanted natural or organic personal care, you had to give up a certain degree of functionality. This is no longer the case. The new generation of personal care products—debuted February 13-16 at the Vivaness show, running parallel to BioFach in Nuremberg—has harnessed the power of plants to create modern effectiveness.
From clinically-proven anti- aging products to toxic-free, quick-absorbing sun care, many organic products now function at the same level if not better, than their conventional counterparts. In fact, most major conventional manufacturers are moving more in the direction of organic these days, says Elfriede Dambacher of Naturkosmetik Konzepte, a consulting firm for the natural cosmetics sector. “Even in conventional personal care, most of the new active ingredients are made by nature, not by scientists in labs,” she says.
The difference between today’s new organic personal care and the previous versions is not just about new ingredient discoveries, though. “Today, more than ever, there is a more evolved technical understanding of natural active ingredients—and how they can be combined to work together synergistically,” Dambacher comments.
While fountain of youth has yet to be discovered, there are several natural ingredients that have been shown to effectively fight aging and erase years from your skin. The new men’s line from the Swiss company Farfalla has been shown through independent clinical studies to reduce wrinkle depth by 25 percent. One key ingredient in the men’s line is Maca root. Traditionally a food consumed by South American native cultures to increase fertility, libido, stamina and strength, maca root also has been found to help stimulate collagen production. Extract from the bud of the sorbis domestica tree is another active ingredient used to reduce wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes.
Although the men’s personal care market is much smaller than the one for women, there is room for growth. Several companies are creating products to meet the needs of today’s more hip “personal care aware” male, including Speick, Lavera and Surya Brasil.
Another organic line with proven anti-aging results is Time Miracle from the Latvian firm Madara. A key ingredient in this line is extract from the flowers of Galium verum, also called “lady’s bedstraw.” This extract is rich in antioxidant polyphenols that neutralize 70 percent of free radicals protecting skin from oxidative stress and slowing down the ageing process. The company’s Galium7 (G7) cellular repair complex includes collagen- rebuilding and skin-repairing Northern plants such as red clover, sea buckthorn, lady’s mantle, and field horsetail. A placebo-controlled study has proved that components of G7 reduce fine wrinkles in 93 percent of women who used the product.
There is a long list of organic, nature-based ingredients with anti-aging properties. The Brazilian company, IKOVE, offers an Acai Age-Resisting Serum that is 100 percent plant derived and incorporates acai as well as rosehip along other revitalizing Amazonian botanicals.
Meanwhile, the anti-aging line from Organix Cosmetix features Incan Inchi oil, which is rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9, allowing the restoration of the cutaneous barrier and epidermis elasticity, and keeping skin hydration and youthful appearance. Another ingredient used in Organix is Sepilift DPHP, which comes from a plant-derived amino acid that stimulates contractions of collagen fibers, protects elastic fibers against enzymatic breakdown and scavenges free radicals. Organix’s line also includes Gatuline Expression, an extract from the tropical plant Acmella oleacea, which has also has been clinically shown to reduce wrinkles.
Other Super Ingredients
According to Dambacher we also may see more ingredients from the sea in natural and organic personal care products, such as algae and plant stem cells. Organic Ocean, a line from B4U Laboratories, is already using algae as the main active ingredient in its line.
Plant stem cells gained a lot of attention when US First Lady Michelle Obama mentioned that she used a product from 3lab, which features stem cells from a very rare Swiss apple tree, Phyllanthus Emblica. Today stem cells are being extracted from a range of natural sources from edelweiss and roses to argon trees, and more, mentions Dambacher. Keep an eye out for more development in this area.
The Future of the personal Care Industry
As more and more consumers seek natural and organic alternatives and conventional companies start running out of non-renewable, petroleum based ingredients like mineral oil—the world is going to look to our industry for solutions. The organic industry is poised to set the trend and be the rudder that steers the trends of the big personal care industry ship.