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The “less is more” formula applied to cosmetics

The extra value of certified natural products

What elements does a cosmetic product need to have or not have to be considered “eco-friendly”? And what information does it need to have on the label to recognise it? The market of lotions, soaps, detergents, toners is quick and steadily on the rise. As is the attention towards certifications that guarantee their quality or, at least, safety in terms of health. First thing, it is important to highlight that products regarded as eco-friendly must not contain pesticides, artificial colourants, raw materials of animal origin or OGMs in their formula. There is a limited number of active ingredients and the plants must grow in an environment protected from contaminants or harmful substances that might contaminate them.

On the labels we can find the “kosher”, “nickel-free” and “gluten-free” symbols in fuchsia, while “vegan”, “organic” and “halal” are in green. Kosher cosmetics, for example, follow rules adopted in the food sector and do not contain by-products of forbidden animals, blood products, some parts of animal fat and dairy products. The halal certification, whose market is increasing also due to the significant demand from the Arab world, also guarantees the absence of ingredients of animal origin and protected plant species. Indeed, In accordance with Muhammad’s precepts, Muslim women cannot use detergents or make-up containing alcohol, animal fat or glycerin.

The European Union banned more than a thousand ingredients used in cosmetics and considered harmful to health, while the US only banned eleven. The most damaging ones still on the market are formaldehyde, parabens, quaternium 15, kathon Cg, MEA-DEA-TEA, parafenylendiamine, phthalates, toluene surfactants, aluminium.