If you've made it this far, it's probably because you're considering making the switch to natural cosmetics or reinforcing your faith in them. With this article, we hope to help you find the answers to your questions and doubts.
Let's start by reviewing what natural cosmetics are, how they are defined, and what it means for a product to be certified as natural.
What does natural cosmetics mean?
As we have previously mentioned, there is no true official definition of natural cosmetics, although there has been a consensus on certain minimum requirements.
In general, natural cosmetics are understood to be made from 100% natural ingredients (vegetable, mineral, or animal) or naturally derived ingredients. Genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) are completely excluded, while synthetic preservatives, artificial colorants, and chemical fragrances, among others, are used in very small amounts or with strict authorization.
Natural cosmetics certify sustainable production processes that are environmentally friendly and consider biodiversity at all stages of the production cycle. They also take into account distribution, energy sources used, types of packaging employed, and recycling.
In 2019, natural cosmetics took a step further with the approval of ISO-16128 regulations, which establish new regulations defining the characteristics a natural product should have. This has helped minimize confusion among consumers.
What does natural or naturally derived ingredient mean?
We'll use a practical example: one of the most common naturally derived ingredients is vegetal glycerin, which is used as a powerful moisturizer for the skin. It is obtained through the saponification of vegetable oils using a process called hydrolysis.
During this process, the oils are "stretched" until they break apart, allowing the fatty acids to separate from the glycerin, which eventually binds with water, encapsulating it.
In this case, hydrolysis acts as a centrifuge under certain pressure and temperature conditions. This is why we refer to it as a derived ingredient.
In this case, when we talk about production, we are referring to a process of separation of elements, not a chemical synthesis like what happens with ingredients in conventional cosmetics that do not exist as such in nature.
We believe it is important to provide this brief introduction before delving deeper and giving you the tools to answer the question "why switch to natural cosmetics?"".
To do so, we summarize the main benefits that natural cosmetics provide.
The four benefits of Natural Cosmetics
# Greater peace of mind about your health
When we use a cosmetic product, we want to take care of ourselves without worrying that our skin might absorb something that could have negative consequences for our health.
Conventional cosmetics may include substances like phthalates, sulfates, or parabens
that have sparked a lot of debate. Supposedly, a product that enters the market must meet regulatory safety criteria, but the scientific community is still divided on the use of certain ingredients, and there is not always a unilateral consensus.
Natural cosmetics consist of a blend of minerals and plant extracts that help protect, nourish, and hydrate the skin naturally. However, this doesn't mean that every product labeled as natural cosmetics is automatically healthy, especially in the absence of standardized criteria.
# Multiple active ingredients and well-being
If we analyze the formula of a conventional cosmetic product and break it down based on the families of elements it contains, we will find active ingredients and another group of components (emulsifiers, fragrances, etc.) that are simple excipients or additives with no additional benefits for skin health.
In natural cosmetics, almost all ingredients can be considered "active," including that "other" group of components. For example, while the synthetic fragrance in a conventional cosmetic product only offers a simple olfactory experience, a natural perfume based on essential oils like rose, lavender, or mint can be aromatherapeutic and have calming properties for our body and mind.
# Greater sustainability
Ingredients used in conventional cosmetics often require mechanical and chemical processes for raw material extraction and component production, which can be complex and potentially harmful to the environment.
This should not be the case with natural and organic raw materials, which generally come from plant and flower crops with more artisanal and simple extraction processes. However, even in the case of natural cosmetics, it is necessary to ensure that our ingredients are sustainably harvested, guaranteeing environmental preservation and biodiversity. It is essential to emphasize this aspect as it involves conducting traceability studies on these ingredients. We may come across natural ingredients that have been grown with pesticides or questionable fertilizers, which is clearly undesirable.
This environmentally respectful approach is something we can no longer do without. It goes beyond our formulas and also reflects in our choice of packaging based on recyclability, strict limitations on plastic use, and generally shorter supply chains. Here
is more information about UMOA's sustainability approach
We have dared to appropriate the term "cosmetics with purpose," which is more characteristic of UMOA's cosmetics than natural cosmetics in general.
We live in a society that is highly developed in certain areas but far from achieving full inclusion or even full tolerance.
There are forms of diversity that seem to align well with trends and acceptance criteria of the moment, which change with our evolving society. But what about other expressions of diversity? What about those "different" diversities?
Opposed to a system that tends to align with certain models and patterns, at UMOA we believe that a diverse society that embraces differences will be tomorrow's greatest resource.
We don't settle for tolerance. "Tolerance" would be like being invited to the party; "inclusion" would be being asked to join the dance. And, at UMOA, we all want to dance.
Every time you use our products, you contribute to a project that aims to improve society through increased visibility of this cause, community education, and specific support for the most vulnerable individuals.
This is what having a positive impact
means to us: contributing to improving a society of which we are a part and upon which coexistence, integration, and well-being of its members depend.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that it helped you better understand the benefits of natural cosmetics and particularly UMOA's cosmetics.
Leave your comments below; we would love to hear from you.