Cibe laboratori was one of the first Italian companies to start the production of herbal cosmetics and soaps, back in 1977, when natural beauty products were completely unknown.

Today – more than 40 years later – terms like natural, eco-sustainable, eco-compatible, organic, bio-dynamic and fair-trade are widely used from food to building.

Ingredients and in their origin make the difference.

Regarding the cosmetic ingredients, you have to consider that in the most part of toiletries you can find a lot of water. Therefore the quality of the process water is also very important. Second, don’t forget that the skin is the largest organ of our body and, as a door, lets the substances on its surface to go through.

Therefore, choosing one cosmetic product over another should not depend on external characteristics such as packaging or price, but on the quality of the single ingredients and the finished product.

But, to better understand: what is a “natural” cosmetic?

In principle, by Natural Cosmetics it is correct to refer to products with low environmental impact, natural active principles and plant-based bases (the name is listed in English instead of Latin when the natural ingredient has been chemically transformed).

Therefore a high number of Plant Extracts present in the formula is important to evaluate the naturality of the product (and thanks to their extraordinary richness they catch the interest of the Consumer), but it is equally true that the contemporary presence of petrochemical origin bases (INCI name: petrolatum, vaseline, paraffinum …) shows the concurrent “non-naturalness” of the product itself, being the bases the most part of the cosmetic components.

That’s why the cosmetic market offers different “degrees of naturalness”.

In our laboratory, all products are formulated by selecting raw materials not tested on animals (since 1998, when we joined the International Standard “Stop vivisection”), without mineral oils nor petrochemical surfactants and therefore choosing plant-based bases, safe and friendly skin preservatives, with water subjected to three filtration and purification treatments. In our formulas you’ll see only vegetable oils (and not paraffin, petroleum jelly, silicones and the like), extracts of officinal plants, natural active ingredients and essential oils: quality and choosing the ingredients is a philosophy.

A further selection is done by requesting GMO-free plants and extracts as well as preferring products from certified ORGANIC agriculture or spontaneous growth. We often produce herbal extracts inside our laboratory, with a centuries-old process and with officinal plants coming from our green valley.

In our artisan laboratory we guard as a treasure the teachings of Nature and the Herbalist Tradition of our area, the province of Savona, home of the cosmetic par excellence: the Soap. This age-old skill flows into our formulas and then into natural, safe and effective cosmetics.

To date, calling a beauty product “organic” legally means nothing: an ORGANIC (ECO or BIO in some countries) cosmetic can be a cosmetic that contains even a single organic ingredient as well as a certified organic cosmetic. It’s an unregulated term because the FDA, USDA, or EU do not have any regulations or standards on it.

Due to the presence on the market of many companies marketing their cosmetics by recalling a general concept of “Bio, Eco or Organic” not verified by anyone, in recent years some spontaneous study groups emerged in Europe, evolved into entities and finally produced similar self-regulation codes in the cosmetic sector.

Thus depending on the State and the self-certification, the product can be defined by market operators as organic, bio-dynamic, bio-ecological.

Pending a common reference standard, all these codes certify those products that protect the skin, respect the environment, give the consumer full transparent informations and preferably or mostly contain organic ingredients.

The certification therefore works neither more nor less as a quality mark.

At national and european level, there are several certification agencies: as regards cosmetics certified as organic, our company has chosen ICEA (Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification).

Who really loves Nature, sooner or later turns to a sustainable and healthy lifestyle or even go Vegan: it might be justified by the loving to other living forms or the humble vision of the human being as part of the Creation, but all these people affirm with their own choices their respect for animals, for other human beings, for ecology.

But the leaving from Mediterranean diet habits, together with a consumerist lifestyle, overeating and junk food consumption, have created the premises for sensitization to ingredients such as preservatives, perfumes, surfactants, mineral oil based raw materials, solvents, etc. which we can find  everywhere (in food, cosmetics, clothes, toys …): for these people, shopping soaps, household cleaning products and natural or organic cosmetics is not only a choice, but is actually more a necessity owing to health reasons.

Not wanting to argue with anyone, let alone well-known and widely followed names both among chemistry professionals and among the sector bloggers, who suggest the Consumer to value a list of ingredients by combining chemical names with more or less positive symbols (traffic lights, leaflets , smiley faces or thumbs), you may not evaluate a Cosmetic as it deserves.

The european regulation in this matter wants the ingredients to be listed in descending order up to the presence in formula equal to or greater than 1%: all the remaining ingredients can be included just jumbled up, with allergens and the dyes at the end, regardless of their percentage.

This means that more or less in the middle of the list we could find ingredients present in very small amount in the formula (at 0.001% i.e. 1 g per 100 kg of product for instance) and in the third-last position, ingredients also present at 0.999% (therefore almost 1%) .

In some ingredient “black list” you can often find the dyes, which are always in the last position and are usually present in minimum percentages (we are talking about 0.0 ..%), make-up sector apart, where the color is the master.

In these “black lists” you also find allergens of perfumes, but often the presence of allergens of perfumes is an indication of their naturalness: if they are mostly composed by essential oils, they present their specific allergens.

You can then find cosmetic ingredient guides that equally blame ingredients obtained from vegetable origin and ingredients obtained from mineral oil, because of the not ecological extraction of the first ones.

How then is it possible to properly inform a Consumer without specific preparation, technical information and appropriate studies and help him in purchasing cosmetics?

It is not possible.
It takes years of studying and a lot of experience to understand what’s inside a cosmetic. Therefore – even googling through the web but without taking the answers at face value – we suggest you to pay more attention to the preservatives, allergenic ingredients and above all to what you read in the top positions of the list (therefore in greater amount), checking their natural or synthetic origin.

None of our cosmetics contain mineral oils, silicones, propylene glycol, bht, bha, animal ingredients of cruel origin, preservatives based on isothiazolinone.

Any ethoxylated detergent or emulsifying mixtures are however of vegetable origin, i.e. they start from vegetable oils and fats.

Finally…the 90’s chain letter about sodium laureth sulfate  to pose health risks is probably the first viral fake news of the 20th century. Check it through reliable web sites 🙂