Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2017

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150 INSIDER September/October 2017 SupplySide West Natural cosmetic and beauty products are in vogue these days and cosmetic marketers around the world are looking to launch their own version that appeals to green-seeking consumers. However, making natural cosmetics is fraught with diffi culties stemming from the fact that beauty products do not exist in nature. The biggest challenges in making natural cosmetics include defi ning what is natural, making products that are suitably functional, and preservation. Defi ning Natural Before we can review natural cosmetics, it is helpful to fi rst discuss what is meant by the term "natural." Since there is no shampoo bush or skin lotion tree, by some measures there are no natural cosmetics. However, it is acceptable to defi ne natural cosmetics following specifi c standards. For this discussion, we'll use a three-level classifi cation system of natural cosmetics: True natural - Ingredients are isolated from a plant and chemically purifi ed, but otherwise unchanged. Acceptable natural - Ingredients conform to some acceptable natural standard that allows some chemical modifi cation. Greenwashing natural - Ingredients are naturally derived but require signifi cant chemical synthesis to produce. Also, the ingredient is not normally used, so appears more natural on the label. The majority of natural products on the market would be considered greenwashed. Making Functional Products The biggest challenge to making natural cosmetics is that consumers have an expectation of how well products are supposed to work. While consumers might say they want green or natural products, they really want products that work. When formulating natural cosmetics, it becomes diffi cult because natural or naturally derived ingredients do not work as well as some of the synthetic ingredients. This is especially true for surfactants, colorants and preservatives. Surfactants Surfactants are the most versatile and important ingredients in cosmetic formulations. Unfortunately, there are not many surfactants that naturally occur, so trying to make natural formulas with surfactants is a real challenge. True natural - There aren't many natural surfactants that are adequate for use as cleansers. The closest are saponins. These are glycoside compounds that have the ability to form foam when put in a water solution. Unfortunately, formulators who have reported using saponins for cleansing products have been disappointed in their performance. Acceptable natural - According to USDA natural organic standards, there are no natural surfactants you can use. Some companies like Nourish Organic use a chemical trick where they create a surfactant in situ by including natural ingredients that chemically react to make a soap. But liquid soaps like these are harsh on skin, and most consumers don't like how they feel. Greenwashing natural - Since many natural consumers are tuned in to chemical scaremongers, the use of cleansing surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is probably not a good idea. Sulfates have a bad reputation on the internet, and even though they are considered natural by the COSMOS standard, consumers wouldn't accept their use. Colorants In the United States, there is no ingredient more highly regulated in cosmetics than colorants. It is illegal to use any ingredient (no matter the source) to color cosmetics that isn't approved by FDA for such use. This means if you are producing natural cosmetics the colors you can use will be strictly limited. The majority of approved colorants are synthetic ingredients. There are some colorants that don't require FDA certifi cation and come directly from nature such as annatto, chlorophyllin, carmine, henna and caramel. Unfortunately, there is a limited range of colors these ingredients can provide. The strategy most natural cosmetic companies follow is to either use the direct-from-nature colorants or use standard colorants but claim to use natural ingredients, arguing that these ingredients can be found in nature. Preserving Products Even if you can fi nd naturally derived ingredients that fi t your defi nition of "natural," you will still have the problem of keeping them free from contamination and microbial growth. When you use natural ingredients, this becomes more challenging because microbes are found in nature. Effective preservatives such as parabens, formaldehyde donors and organic biocides do not fi t with a natural theme, so you'll need alternatives. What makes this problem most challenging is that natural preservatives have shortcomings not found in traditional preservatives. While creating truly natural products can be challenging, it can be done. Perry Romanowski, vice president at Element 44 Inc., has spent the past 20 years researching and developing products to solve consumer problems in the personal care and cosmetic industry. He is vice president of Brains Publishing, which specializes in science education. In 2014, Romanowski founded the Practical Cosmetic Formulating online training program to provide cosmetic chemists continuing education ac ross a range of categories. A national director for the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC), he also provides consulting services for cosmetic formulating, testing and internet solutions. The Challenges of Formulating a Natural Cosmetic Line by Perry Romanowski Learn more about regulatory considerations in the natural beauty category from Perry Romanowski during the "Exploring Opportunities in the Natural Beauty Market" Workshop on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 1:30 p.m. at Suppl ySide West in Las Vegas. supplysideshow.com Scan Here Natural Beauty at SupplySide West

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