Inspired by the use of botanical materials in folk medicine, suppliers are developing ever-more effective natural cosmetic ingredients. This feature, written by John Woodruff, looks at materials of natural origin developed for use in skin care products
There are materials of natural origin in every category of cosmetic ingredient. This is far from being a new trend; at one time, natural materials were all that were available when creating compositions for application to the human body. Then, towards the end of the 19th century, petroleum-based materials, such as mineral oil, petrolatum and paraffin wax became widely available, and the second half of the 20th century saw an explosion in the number of synthetic materials offered to the cosmetic formulator.
The majority of these were based on carbon and, in most cases, came from the petrochemical industry or were silicon-based fluids, emulsifiers and elastomers. However, materials of natural origin were still widely in use where these offered benefits in price or performance.
Then, in the last quarter of the 20th century, significant numbers of consumers started to react against using materials of animal origin, petrochemicals and anything sounding vaguely ‘chemical’. This has resulted in a host of new materials claimed to be ...
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