It used to be that if you wanted natural or organic personal care, you had  to  give up  a certain degree of functionality. This is no longer the case. The new generation of personal care products—debuted February 13-16 at the Vivaness show, running  parallel to  BioFach in Nuremberg—has harnessed the power of plants to create modern effectiveness.

From clinically-proven anti- aging products to toxic-free, quick-absorbing sun care, many organic products now function  at  the  same level if not better, than their conventional counterparts. In fact, most major conventional manufacturers are moving more in the direction of organic these days, says Elfriede Dambacher of Naturkosmetik Konzepte, a consulting firm for the natural cosmetics sector. “Even in conventional personal care, most of the new active ingredients are made by nature, not by scientists in labs,” she says.

The  difference between today’s new organic personal care and the previous versions is not just about new ingredient discoveries, though. “Today, more than ever, there is  a  more  evolved technical understanding of natural active ingredients—and how they can be combined to work together synergistically,” Dambacher comments.

Organic Anti-Aging

While fountain of youth has yet  to  be  discovered, there are several natural ingredients that   have  been  shown  to effectively fight  aging  and erase years from your skin. The  new  men’s  line  from the  Swiss company Farfalla has been shown through independent clinical studies to reduce wrinkle depth  by 25 percent. One  key ingredient in the men’s line is Maca root. Traditionally a food consumed by South American native cultures to increase fertility, libido, stamina and strength, maca root  also has been found to help stimulate collagen production. Extract from the bud of the sorbis domestica tree is another active ingredient used to reduce wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes.

Although the men’s personal care market is much smaller than the one for women, there is room for growth. Several companies are creating products  to  meet  the  needs of today’s more hip “personal care aware” male, including Speick, Lavera and  Surya Brasil.

Another organic line with proven anti-aging results is Time Miracle from the Latvian firm Madara. A key ingredient in this line is extract from the flowers of Galium verum, also called “lady’s bedstraw.”  This extract is rich in antioxidant polyphenols  that   neutralize 70 percent of free radicals protecting skin from oxidative stress and slowing down the ageing process. The company’s Galium7 (G7) cellular repair complex includes collagen- rebuilding and skin-repairing Northern  plants such as red clover, sea buckthorn,  lady’s mantle, and field horsetail. A placebo-controlled study  has proved that components of G7 reduce fine wrinkles in 93 percent of women who used the product.

There is a long list of organic, nature-based ingredients with anti-aging properties. The Brazilian company, IKOVE, offers an  Acai Age-Resisting Serum that is 100 percent plant derived and incorporates acai as well as rosehip along other  revitalizing Amazonian botanicals.

Meanwhile, the anti-aging line from Organix Cosmetix features Incan Inchi oil, which is rich  in  Omega 3,  6  and 9,  allowing the  restoration of the cutaneous barrier and epidermis elasticity, and keeping skin hydration and youthful appearance. Another ingredient  used  in  Organix is Sepilift DPHP,  which comes from a plant-derived amino acid that stimulates contractions of collagen fibers, protects elastic fibers against enzymatic breakdown and  scavenges free radicals. Organix’s line  also includes Gatuline Expression, an extract from the tropical plant Acmella oleacea, which  has also has been clinically shown to reduce wrinkles.

Other Super Ingredients

According to Dambacher we also may see more ingredients from the  sea in  natural and organic personal care products, such as algae and plant stem cells. Organic Ocean, a line from  B4U  Laboratories, is already using algae as the main active ingredient in its line.

Plant stem cells gained a lot of  attention  when US  First Lady Michelle Obama mentioned  that  she  used  a product  from  3lab,  which features stem  cells from  a very rare  Swiss apple  tree, Phyllanthus Emblica. Today stem cells are being extracted from   a   range  of   natural sources from  edelweiss and roses  to   argon  trees,  and more, mentions Dambacher. Keep an  eye out  for  more development in this area.

The Future of the personal Care Industry

As more and more consumers seek natural and organic alternatives and conventional companies start running  out of non-renewable, petroleum based ingredients like mineral oil—the world is going to look to our industry for solutions. The organic industry is poised to set the trend and be the rudder that steers the trends of the big personal care industry ship.