100% natural or not?

Posted by Teresa Foo on

First of all, natural has 50 shades of grey. In terms of personal care product formulations, natural ingredients can include natural ingredients (extracts, oils, butters), naturally derived ingredients (plant-based surfactants, vitamins, preservatives) and nature identical ingredients (chelators, vitamins, antioxidants, preservatives).

Most often, formulators like myself will include a mix of all three - natural ingredients, naturally derived ingredients and nature identical ingredients using cosmetics science techniques to formulate an effective product.


If I were to formulate products that are with 100% natural ingredients, I can only make facial/body oils and balms. I won't be able to formulate products that can help to regulate sebum production, reduce pore size or even skin tone which the nature identical ingredient - Niacinamide or vitamin B3, does so well. Niacinamide is a popular and well researched cosmetic ingredient that is found in many skincare products which is effective. 

Or I won't be able to formulate water based products and not have any bacteria, mold or fungus growing in them if I can't use any preservatives (most of the preservatives we use in natural organic skincare formulations are naturally derived or nature identical) which are effective in preventing microbes contamination. To date, natural preservatives still have their limitations in properly preserving water based formulations.

So back to the question, 100% natural or not? Not for me. I want to formulate products that use plant based ingredients found naturally, naturally derived and nature identical. I want added cleansing/foaming functions or anti-bacterial/anti-microbial properties and antioxidants, vitamins to strengthen the skin barrier. All of these with safety and efficacy in mind, always.

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