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Among others you find here publications about preservatives, emulsifiers, lipids, oils, extracts, vitamins, natural active agents and the INCI-declaration of cosmetics.


Nuts and nut-like fruits

Apple, nut and almond kernel – don't worry, Father Christmas isn't knocking, but it's about an insight into kernel-like compositions that play a role in food and skin care.

Sodium and potassium

Metals are mostly solid matter. It is quite different with the light metals sodium and potassium. You don't even see them, and yet they are present everywhere – even in your own body. Since the beginnings of life in the primordial oceans, they have always been present.

Is titanium dioxide without alternative?

Titanium dioxide was banned in food in August 2022 because a carcinogenic effect cannot be completely ruled out. Since then, substitutes for the pigment have been under discussion, among others in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and emulsion paints. In sunscreens, titanium dioxide still plays a dominant...

Gold and silver

Precious metals radiate eternity. Who would not like to immortalise themselves with gold and silver? Even the ancient cultures used the metals not only as jewellery, but also as burial objects. We can still admire much of this today in museums.

Titanium dioxide – the whitener

Until now, the use of titanium dioxide as an excipient in food, medicines, cosmetics and many other articles of daily life was considered harmless to health. But for some time now, concerns and restrictions have been increasing. We have compiled the background information for you.

Regional and sustainable – hemp, evening primrose, marigold & co.

Exotic natural substances are still the bestsellers in cosmetics. But in terms of effectiveness, domestic extracts, essential and fatty oils do not have to hide. The overview shows examples of which natural substances are not only ecological, but also sustainable in terms of treatments.

Calcium and magnesium – the stony elements

After sodium (Na) and potassium (K), calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) are the most common (metallic) elements in our bodily metabolism.

Phosphorus – concentrated energy

Although it accounts for hardly one per cent in the earth crust phosphorus is an essential component in all forms of life. In the cells, it is capable of storing and transporting energy as phosphoric acid.

Silicon – the chained element

Weder Metall noch Nichtmetall – Silicium ist ein sogenanntes Halbmetall mit ganz besonderen Eigenschaften.

Sulphur for a beautiful skin

Sulphur compounds sometimes are inconvenient but both commonplace and vital for our body and in particular for our skin and hair.

Water – more than just wet

An old saying goes where there is water, there is life. During evolution the first forms of life developed in water. They adapted to the different water conditions.

Nitrogen – a driving force

With a ratio of 78 per cent, nitrogen is the most important element in air. A multitude of its compounds can be found in skin care preparations.

Oxygen – a premier class element

We inhale it and egest the largest part of it in the form of carbon dioxide and water. It is transparent and without any scent. There is talk of oxygen: a colourless gas that only appears bluish when seen from the outer space and that we all seem to know.

Oxygen – more than just hot air

Oxygen is ubiquitous – in air and bound in water and in many other substances around us in our daily life. The colourless gas is full of surprises as the following article shows.

Thermal springs – an overview on thermal waters

Thermal springs are attractive destinations for people. Heat and the dissolved minerals and gases determine the physiological properties and hence the effects on health and personal wellbeing.

Small but mean – plastics and microplastics in cosmetic products

Plastic materials with their partly harmful additives such as plasticisers, antioxidants and Co. continue to be criticised because of the ecological problems they implicate. Mainly the outer packaging, the containers but also the ingredients of cosmetic products are involved, in particular, if it is...

The pH value of the skin and of cosmetic preparations

Many of the processes in physics and chemistry are non-linear processes. The following rule of thumb for the shelf life of cosmetic preparations can here be quoted as an example: The shelf life of a cosmetic cream (emulsion) halves when the temperature is raised by 10 °C while it doubles when...

CO 2 – more than just a greenhouse gas

There is not a single day without the horror stories on climate change and its consequences, be it in newspapers, broadcasts or TV. One of the main polluters is carbon dioxide or abbreviated CO2. Many of its useful properties however get caught up in the maelstrom of the negative...

Complexing agents & Co - ambivalent ingredients in cosmetic products

Stable and long lasting products are popular. Short-dated products or, in other words, products with short expiry dates are hard to sell. Long-lasting products frequently are associated with poor degradation profiles, though. Dr Hans Lautenschläger discusses the pros and cons of such ingredients.

Aluminium Update

Since the discussions on aluminium in skin care products swept the news about five years ago, aluminium salts have taken leave of antiperspirants and deodorant products. However aluminium compounds of natural or semi-synthetic origin still are used in cosmetic products. In the following we will draw...

Natural resources - herbal oils in skin care

Customers like herbal oils. Those who use or recommend them should be familiar with the matter, though, since customers also expect substantiate advice. Dr Hans Lautenschläger has compiled some interesting information on the subject.

Hidden harmful substances in cosmetic products

The German Cosmetic Directive (KVO) ensures that the use of cosmetic products is non-hazardous to the health of consumers. As with any other legal regulations there are grey areas that we should know.

Endocrine disruptors - harmful for the endocrine system

Various substances have an effect on the hormonal balance. They occur in food, pharmaceutical drugs or cosmetics. Some of them have impeding effects.

Glycols in skin care preparations and dermatics

Glycols are widely used as cosmetic additives or active agents in skin care preparations and dermatics. They ensure that preparations are microbiologically safe, have excellent haptic features and improve the skin moisture. Their specific features are described in the following.

Sterile packaging - products and methods

There is one thing in common with food and skin care preparations: both are perishables. This is why sterile conditions are required for manufacturing, storage and application. Preservatives are just one of the options to ensure sterility.

Triclosan - partial ban, widely used

The antimicrobial chemical used as a preservative in cosmetic products has been criticized for a long time already. Our expert explains why and gives an update on the current legal situation.

Aluminium - a much-discussed element 1

For some time past there has been much discussion on aluminium containing antiperspirants and deodorants. Many of us are not aware that aluminium also is a component of hygiene products and many other cosmetic preparations and that it is ubiquitous in our environment - literally wherever we go.

Waxes - an indispensable family

What comes into your mind when you hear the term waxes? Maybe beeswax, candle wax or floor wax? It may not sound familiar in a cosmetic context but waxes are more common in cosmetics than you might think.

Summary: Release and bioavailability

A key issue considering the efficacy of skin care products is the release of the active agents contained. In this respect, not only the concentrations but also the base formulations of creams, dispersions and solutions play an important part. The subsequent penetration into the horny layer depot,...

Piggyback - an overview on transport systems

Speaking of transport systems for cosmetic active agents, we automatically think of tiny filled spherical bodies that wriggle their way through the gaps between the corneocytes and then empty their load in the deeper layer of the epidermis. That is a good story though, but unfortunately not a true...

Without carriers only modest effects - Functions and effects of carriers in cosmetic products

When we talk about carriers in cosmetic products we need to distinguish between particular chemically defined substances and physical carrier bodies. In conclusion, both alternatives have the same effects: combined with active agents they increase the bioavailability. An enhanced bioavailability...

Silicon - the global player in cosmetics

As a cosmetic agent, the element silicon plays a wallflower role: only at the first glance, though. As a matter of fact, the semi-metal is insignificant as an active agent. However, organic silicon additives and inorganic silicates are widely used in cosmetic products.

From soap to high-tech emulsifiers

There are two basic needs that are as old as mankind - hygiene and skin care. Both of them deal with the transport of lipid substances. In order to work most effectively while being gentle on the skin, modern cosmetic products make use of powerful tensides and emulsifiers. Recent emulsifying systems...

On substances that release emotions - a tour across the world of perfumes

Scents and fragrances are part of our daily life to the point that we often have become oblivious of them. But we unknowingly react to them. Tiny chemical molecules signalize messages with major psychological effects.

Acids and bases from A to Z

Acids somehow have a spectacular image in skin care. They either have caustic effects in the true sense of the word or they are the magic cure for a beautiful skin per se. Bases, as their counterparts, only live a wallflower existence as neutralizers. Details and backgrounds are covered in the...

Ubiquitous like sand on the beaches: silicon and its compounds

As a cosmetic agent, silicon plays a wallflower role. Only at the first glance, though: its salts and organic compounds are used in many applications, as e.g. masks, packs or hair care products.

Fragrance sample? Aldehydes and ketones

Formaldehyde and acetone are immediately associated with nail hardeners and nail enamel remover. In chemical terms, these substances belong to the substance class of aldehydes and ketones - which are well-known molecules in cosmetic products like e.g. preservatives, perfumes or essential oils.

Versatile use - alcohols in skin care products

What do you understand by the term alcohol or alcohols? What are the functions associated with it? Imagining cosmetic products without this substance class is almost impossible, except for powders.

Denatured!!? - Use pure alcohol!

Legislative authorities suspiciously regulate and survey the use of alcohol, even in cosmetic products. Both quality and safety of skin care products do not benefit from this policy.

Denaturants in cosmetic products - health is secondary

Concerning the ingredients of cosmetic products their purity is essential. The fact that the products may also contain additives that are mandatory, have nothing to do with skin care and may even cause counterproductive effects is discussed in the following paper.

(Poly)Saccharides in cosmetic products - From alginate to xanthan gum

Polysaccharides are omnipresent ingredients of cosmetics. They do an absolutely reliable job in silence and far away from the all-too-fleeting active agents and that is why we are no longer aware of them. How important they really are and where they are actually used is explained in the following...

Polyethylene glycols & Co - On effects and side effects

Besides water and oils hardly any other substance group is as widely used in skin care products and dermatics as polyethylene glycols and their related substances. Interesting things to know are compiled in the following article.

Vegetable oils

Vegetable oils are the oldest known skin care products. Yet they are important as ever. Find out more about the manifold and interesting features of this substance group in the following.

Shelf life of cosmetics - what makes cosmetic products unstable?

Cosmetic products have a life of their own, all the more the higher the content of physiologically usable skin care substances. Also external influences have to be considered specifically when the products are bottled in jars. In the end, a mix of different influences determines the shelf life of...

Emulsifiers enable mixtures

Emulsifiers are indispensable wherever lipids, oils and waxes are mixed with hydrophilic media with the objective of obtaining a stable mixture over a certain period of time. They are, among others components of food and cleaning agents, lubricants and cosmetics.

A closer look on natural agents: facts and future aspects

Natural agents have always been a topical issue and also the object of vigorous advertising campaigns. The general public certainly associates the terms natural and biological with purity, harmlessness and good tolerance. However, not every product labeled with the term natural also contains pure...

Additives in cosmetic products

Besides the lipid substances for skin caring purposes and the lipid and water soluble active agents the INCI declaration of a cosmetic product generally lists a variety of further ingredients. They may be categorized with the term "additives" and have various functions.

Emulsifiers - looking for alternatives

Emulsifiers stabilize emulsions. Yet, evidence that emulsifiers may cause skin irritations is mounting. While looking for alternatives it was found out that stable creams for a variety of different applications can be produced on the basis of skin-related substances.

Shelf life and preservation

Along with the latest amendment of the German Cosmetic Decree (KVO) a new regulation becomes effective. Products with a shelf life of more than 30 months or more have to be labeled with the symbol of an open jar together with the date indicating how long the product may be safely used after opening....

Vegetable oils and extracts - essential components

The use of oils and extracts for basic skin care purposes already has a long tradition and still retains its relevance today. Frequently singular substances with defined effect can successfully be isolated, very often however this specific effect is closely related to the extract or respectively the...

INCI - Declaration

The ingredients of cosmetic products are declared in accordance with INCI standards. Knowing how to read the INCI provides information on the ingredients and gives important clues whether the particular customer can tolerate certain products or whether the cosmetics contain substances which should...


Preservatives are added to cosmetics in order to prevent product deterioration and combined with it to avoid any possible health risks involved for the consumer. In the following you will be informed about products which particularly require these additives, about the basics of preservatives and...

Ceramides - lipids with multiple assignments

In combination with other skin components ceramides form a natural barrier in the horny layer. They prevent the dehydration of the skin. There are new products which support the skin-own formation of ceramides.

Preservatives - germs et al. under control

Microbiological stability is a must for cosmetic products. Consequently preservatives are among the essential additives in cosmetics. They protect the products against microorganisms during the manufacturing process as well as during storage and application and they also are the deciding factor for...

Water and water - just not the same things: water qualities

When discussing active agents in cosmetics, very often the most important one is ignored: water! Professor Albert M. Kligman even speaks of "water dermatology" as an essential element of corneotherapy. In fact the quality of the water significantly influences the skin condition in a positive as well...

Free from preservatives

The microbiological stability of a cosmetic product is the prerequisite for its sales capacity.

Lipophilic substances - oils and lipids in cosmetic products

Although they apparently fail to show any spectacular effects, oils and lipids belong to the most important ingredients in cosmetic products. From the corneotherapeutic point of view they are right in the focus of current interest: selectively applied they help to regenerate damaged skin.

Active agents, the effective skin care - vitamins, oils & more

From A like allantoin to Z like zinc. There is a multitude of active agents on the market either as substances to be used for cosmetics or substances contained in cosmetics. Effects as well as efficacy depend on various factors which will be described in detail in the following article.

Quite a lot of different applications - new oils and extracts

An unprecedented number of new oils and extracts is currently introduced into the cosmetic market. To provide some assistance here, Dr. Hans Lautenschlaeger presents an overview on promising substances and their effects.

Ingredients - objective information appreciated

There is in-depth coverage on spectacular active agents in cosmetics. By contrast, base substances and additives are rather found in small print, though they give detailed information on tolerance and long-term effects of the product.

Emulsions - micro-emulsions - nano-emulsions

Cosmetic products have a multitude of technical terms and it is difficult to keep track of it. On the other hand just a basic overview enables to infer to their practical properties. Taking a look at the microcosm of emulsions is worth the effort.

Active agents, the effective skin care - smoothing the skin and providing overall protection

Active agents are a favorite subject of discussions and an important topic of many publications. Above all, the advertising material provides abundant printed information. However, what are the specific features of active agents, how do they work and what are their advantages and disadvantages? All...

Active agents - the effective skin care: lipids, the basic elements

Lipids play an important role among cosmetic active agents for the skin care. In terms of quantity, they are the most frequently used ingredients of cosmetics besides water. Seen from the historic perspective, skin care actually began with the use of lipids. Depending on geographical regions and...

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Revision: 27.05.2021