Ewa Daniél is a toxicologist and co-founder of AllergyCertified. she has made risk assessments of cosmetic products and make-up for many years and knows all the ingredients that are worth knowing about. ahead of her session in the natural beauty theatre, Ewa talks about the biggest challenges and skincare trends in the natural and organic beauty industry today.
What are the most prevalent and harmful toxins commonly found in mainstream cosmetics?
The preservative Methylisothiazolinone (MI) is one of the most harmful ingredients used in cosmetics. There has been so many cases of allergy towards this ingredient in Europe that the dermatologist call it an epidemic. Healthy consumers using cosmetics preserved with MI can get skin allergies and because it's airborne, some also can develop asthma and problems with their breathing. Because of this, new EU regulation has banned the use of MI in leave-on products such as face-cream and body-lotion etc. But unfortunately it is still legal to use it in rinse off products such as shampoo and soap in concentrations were people develop allergies.
Beside MI you can also find allergenic perfume and formaldehyde in cosmetic products, both can be allergenic and formaldehyde can also be carcinogenic.
Are there any new trends/research that anyone working in your field should know?
It’s very interesting to see that cosmetic products must be both green/organic and allergy/skin friendly. Some years ago the consumers were divided - there were some consumers who only bought organic products, and there were consumers who only wanted allergy friendly products. Now people want it both, and there is a very big demand on organic cosmetics products with an allergy certification.
What are the biggest challenge(s) for the natural and organic beauty sector?
Unfortunately organic is not similar with skin friendly, and some organic ingredients can be very allergenic. Examples could be known in plants such as poison ivy, and hogweed, that most people know can be allergenic, but many people and products are not aware that organic perfume is just as allergenic as synthetic perfume (a perfume such as the organic Oak moss is one of the most allergenic perfumes known). Because of this misunderstanding that organic is more skin friendly, we see that more children are getting allergic to organic products. We have many organic cosmetic producers who are surprised to know that their products contain ingredients known to be allergenic.
How can companies, buyers and associations like AllergyCertified help overcome these obstacles/challenges?
It’s a challenge to make organic products which are also skin friendly - but it is possible, and we are always willing to help producers choose ingredients with the lowest allergy potential in their products.
What are the key points you’ll be covering in your session at this year’s Natural Products Scandinavia?
What is skin allergy, which ingredients are allergenic, how can you make your cosmetic products more skin friendly, and the criteria for obtaining the AllergyCertified logo on cosmetics products.
What are you looking forward to most about Natural Products Scandinavia?
I am looking forward to seeing all the organic brands attending the fair and am looking forward to talking about allergy and how to avoid it. Also I will hopefully talk to some producers interested in making cosmetics which are both skin friendly and organic.
Ewa will be speaking in the natural beauty theatre on 15 November at 1pm - 1:45pm.
Natural Products Scandinavia will return to Malmö, Sweden, on 15-16 November. for more information and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit www.naturalproductsscandinavia.com or www.nordicorganicfoodfair.com and quote priority code npuk322 (direct link: https://registration.n200.com/survey/0r4ptka5aril2?actioncode=npuk322).