Natural cosmetics or no trick?

Natural cosmetics or no trick?

Many natural cosmetics do not live up to the name

Natural cosmetics have enjoyed growing popularity among consumers for years. However, the supposed natural products often contain high levels of artificial fragrances and preservatives. Here, quality seals such as the “controlled natural cosmetics” certification mark from the Federal Association of Industrial and Commercial Enterprises for Medicines, Reformed Products, Food Supplements and Cosmetics (BDIH) can serve as a guide.

"Regardless of the fact that it is difficult for consumers to see the difference between certified and non-certified, natural and conventional cosmetics, sales in the field of natural cosmetics will continue to increase," reports the Association of Cosmetic Product Distributors (VKE). Already today, every eighth of the 12.6 billion euros spent on care products in Germany is invested in natural cosmetics. "With sales of 800 million euros, Germany is the largest market for natural cosmetics in Europe," said the VKE Cosmetics Association.

Natural cosmetics should support natural skin functions The BDIH names on its website as an advantage of natural cosmetics "the use of skin and environmentally friendly natural raw materials", which serve to "stimulate and support our natural skin functions". However, the term "natural cosmetics" is not legally protected, so that pharmaceutical manufacturers can describe their products as natural cosmetics at will. "Accordingly, there are definitely products that appear in the name of nature, but still contain fragrances and preservatives, but in return extremely little herbal active ingredients," explains Cologne dermatologist Uta Schlossberger to the news agency "dpa". According to the expert, the preservatives and fragrances in particular can cause violent reactions such as eczema. ”Itchy skin rash after the use of cosmetic products can be seen here as a clear warning signal.

Test seals provide security when buying natural cosmetics According to the news agency “dpa”, consumers can use test seals such as “Ecocert, EcoControl, NaTrue” or “controlled natural cosmetics” to ensure that the natural products do what they promise. For example, products with the certification mark "controlled natural cosmetics" may only contain "natural raw materials such as vegetable oils, fats and waxes, herbal extracts and floral waters, or essential oils and aromas from controlled organic cultivation or wild collection" according to the BDIH. However, the seal guarantees not only "a careful selection of the vegetable raw materials used", but also "the ecological compatibility of each product, i.e. environmentally friendly and resource-saving manufacturing processes, the optimal degradability of raw materials and the economical use of recyclable packaging materials."

The "without trick" According to the "dpa" announcement, manufacturers often advertise their supposed natural cosmetics with the so-called "without trick", which explicitly advertises which potentially harmful substances are not contained in the products. For example, the waiver of "fragrances and preservatives that can accumulate in the body" is declared. It also explicitly advertises the absence of ingredients derived from petroleum and the omission of emulsifiers that are suspected of drying out the skin. Numerous manufacturers have discovered “green” cosmetics as a sales opportunity and are pressing the relevant cosmetics into the market.

Effective protection against environmental stress The advantage of actual natural cosmetics is not only the absence of potentially harmful artificial ingredients, but also the combination of various active ingredients and vitamins, reports the "dpa". These would be better absorbed by the skin than the artificial ingredients. In addition, according to the news agency, the plant active ingredients are considered to be particularly effective in protecting the skin from environmental stress, since many plants have developed highly effective protective mechanisms against free radicals, bacteria or sun rays.

Allergic reactions possible According to the Stuttgart dermatologist Heiko Grimme, a member of the professional association of German dermatologists, the natural substances in the cosmetics harbor “however always a certain risk, especially for allergy sufferers.” Consumers have to “bear in mind that most of them Incompatibilities are triggered by natural substances, ”emphasized Grimme to the news agency“ dpa ”. So even the best tested natural cosmetics can cause hypersensitivity or an allergic reaction. Only help here to try out what the skin copes with best. (fp)

Photo credit: Konstantin Gastmann /

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