Without parabens is not enough: natural cosmetics are much more


Not all that glitters is gold. The ingredients must be, in addition to being natural, of quality.

Words like “organic”, “bio”, “natural” or “friend of the environment” on the label of a cosmetic product do not mean anything, unfortunately. In Spain and the European Union, these claims can be used without any legal protection. There is no regulation for the production of natural or organic cosmetics.

The practice of image washing (greenwashing) is common among large cosmetic companies. Marketing makes products look health and environmentally friendly, but it’s just that, advertising. In reality, these “fake naturals” hide formulas full of substances dangerous to health.

The only way to obtain any guarantee is to know first-hand the production methods of the brand or to acquire products with a recognized private certification, such as Cosmos, Natrue, Ecocert, Icea, Cosmebio or Vida Sana.


Private certifications establish a series of minimum requirements, but not all endorsed products have the same quality. Manufacturers can resort to substances of natural origin, but if they are subjected to industrial processing, natural agents lose their properties.

To discover the authentic natural cosmetics, without cheap industrial components, you will have to look at the INCI ingredients list. Here are some clues to becoming an expert cosmetic detective.

  • The top positions on the ingredient list are the ones that are found in the highest proportion. If the advertisement highlights, for example, the presence of “organic lavender”, but it is towards the end of the list, it is advisable to make sure that the first ingredients are also natural and little processed.
  • The authentic natural soaps contain vegetable oils saponified cold. In that case its name appears in Latin: Olea europaea (olive oil), Cocos nucifera (coconut oil), for example. If they appear as “sodium olivate” or “sodium cocoate” it indicates that they are refined products.
  • The filler ingredients at the top also suggest that it is a more cost-effective product than an effective one. “Capril / caprilate”, “capril caprate triglyceride”, “coco caprate” or “palmitate”, for example, are used to lower costs and, in reality, their properties are practically nil.
  • The waxes and glycerine are used and allowed in natural formulations but are slightly occlusive skin.


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