Valuing Science in Green Beauty: Why we’re proud to be CosmEthically Active
What I respect most about science is the fact that it’s always learning - challenging existing theories, testing, retesting, and continually exploring. It’s what drew me to study nano- and biotechnology and to the green beauty industry - the desire to be at the cutting edge of science. This desire lead me on a journey to find a certification that would signify our effective, yet thoughtful formulations.
Since the start of LUXE Botanics I’ve been approached by various natural certifications globally to apply. They ranged from simple certifications of ingredient origin to more comprehensive certifications that included reviewing their potential harm to the planet. But none of these ever considered the efficacy of the natural product. Then I saw an article on the new Modern Cosmetics: Ingredients of Natural Origin Volume 1. I immediately ordered it and when it arrived, poured through its pages over a weekend.
The Modern Cosmetics authors are an accomplished team of European scientists that have post graduate degrees in pharmacy and teach university level courses in pharmaceutical biology and technology. Together they’ve published perhaps the most comprehensive book about cosmetic science ingredients of natural origin – it’s a must read for any cosmetic formulator or brand owner. In addition to publishing Modern Cosmetics, in 2020 they created a robust certification program for natural cosmetics that goes beyond any I’d come across.
Their CosmEthically Active certification is the first of its kind to evaluate cosmetics through an integrated approach with a special emphasis on efficacy, compatibility, and formulation. It considers 4 key areas of the natural product formulation:
- Nature above all when selecting the ingredients: Not only the sourcing and the effect on the planet throughout their lifecycle but also their skin compatibility. A special note here that they consider many semi- and fully synthetic molecules to be compliant because they are synthesized from natural origins and they reduce the burden on the planet – these ingredients are what we at LUXE Botanics call Ethical Synthetics.
- Use of cosmetically active ingredients in active concentrations: Concentration matters – using the bare minimum of an ingredient will not necessarily be effective. The certification also looks at how a product is marketed to ensure that there are no misleading claims
- Rational use of ingredients with no redundancy: Selection of ingredients and their concentrations must be evidence based and their total number should be kept to a minimum to achieve the desired result
- Pursuit of ethical principles with no animal testing: Product and ingredients must comply with cosmetic regulations, must use ethical marketing practices and not be tested on animals
They also conduct lab testing to verify stability and that the cosmetically active ingredients in the formulation are present in the percentage that publicly published studies recognize as effective.
Over the past 3 years I’ve been working with the Modern Cosmetics team to review and update our formulations. It’s been a collaborative process in which the Modern Cosmetics team has been integral to reviewing each ingredient and the formulation, and their extensive knowledge has led to the development of our most effective formulations yet. They will also be part of any new formulations we create (stay tuned!).
While I am proud that we’ve achieved our CosmEthically Active certification (we are one of only 13 brands globally to achieve this!), the journey doesn’t stop here. What excites me most about their ethos is that it represents to me the change I’ve been trying to lead in our industry – one towards science, not away from it. To embracing all the new green technology that’s available to us to create effective formulations that also meaningfully care for people and planet.
Jené and the LUXE Botanics Team