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Interesting facts on the composition of dermaviduals® products


Preliminary remarks

If you compare INCI compositions or descriptions of ingredients, please note:

  • Based on frequent updates of the European INCI database which will promptly be integrated into the KOKO web pages, the actual compositions may temporarily deviate from the compositions printed on the labels of currently sold products.

  • The INCI data published in commercial internet portals which evaluate products on the basis of their ingredients may be defective as the information usually is entered by external users.

  • Commercial portals pursue interests of their own. Users of commercial internet portals can find information on the portal provider in the site notice. The site policy informs on which objective data bases have been used for evaluation purposes.

  • The website of the European Commission informs on the functionality of ingredients. Information on this website may be incomplete or not yet reflect the current data.

  • KOKO neither monitors nor rectifies official or commercial internet portals that provide information on cosmetic products on the market and the ingredients of cosmetic products.

The present documentation is intended to provide readers with additional interesting information to answer FAQs with regard to the following substances and substance groups. Please contact us via mail or phone if particular answers are missing or if you would like to have additional in-depth information.

Since the subject areas are rather complex and cannot be fully covered in the present documentation, you will find references to articles published in specialist journals and periodicals for more detailed information.

The articles can be downloaded from our website as html or pdf files. Please respect the copyright when using them.


  • dermaviduals® preparations contain alcohol (INCI: alcohol) in food grade quality

  • Unlike denatured alcohol (INCI: Alcohol Denat.) food grade alcohol neither is tax-advantaged nor does it contain hidden plasticizers such as Diethyl Phthalate.

  • The low alcohol concentrations in dermaviduals® preparations have no dehydrating effects on the skin.


  • dermaviduals® preparations are free of preservatives.

  • Preservatives are listed in the Appendix of the German Cosmetic Directive (KVO). They are effective in low concentrations and all of them have allergic potential. Therefore they are subject to a licensing procedure.

  • Microbiological stability of aqueous dermaviduals® preparations are ensured as described in the following.

  • Practically all of the low molecular, readily water-soluble substances have preservative features in higher concentrations. Among these substances are foods and natural substances of the skin as for instance salt (example: salted herrings), sugar (example: honey), alcohol, sorbitol (natural sugar alcohol) and glycerin (trivalent alcohol). These substances will not trigger allergic reactions under normal circumstances. Said effect is based on physical properties and intensified by the alcoholic functionality. Microorganisms cannot survive in these aqueous solutions.

  • Glycols (bivalent alcohols) such as propylene glycol (INCI: Propylene Glycol), butylene glycol (INCI: Butylene Glycol), pentylene glycol INCI: Pentylene Glycol), hexylene glycol (INCI: Hexylene Glycol), decylene glycol (INCI: Decylene Glycol) and caprylyl glycol (INCI: Caprylyl Glycol) have similar preservative properties. Like almost all the water-soluble substances, glycols also bind water (moisturizer effect) and are easily biodegradable. The tolerance of propylene glycol is covered in the referenced articles.

  • Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) constitute an exception here; dermaviduals® preparations are free of polyethylene glycols.

  • The above-mentioned water-soluble substances used in dermaviduals® preparations are dosed in such a manner that they have moisture-retaining and antimicrobial effects on the one hand but will not irritate the skin. Glycerin and alcohol will not dehydrate the skin in these particular concentrations.

  • The expiry dates of dermaviduals® preparations reach from 12 to 36 months and after opening from 3 to 6 months (symbol: opened jar). Low expiry dates do not result from lacking preservatives but from oxygen sensitive essential fatty acids and vitamins.

Vegetable oils

Essential oils


  • Emulsifiers are substances that either stabilize lipids and oils as droplets in water, or vice versa, water droplets in oil. They enable the manufacturing of creams.
  • In order to incorporate skin caring oils and lipids into its dermaviduals® creams, KOKO replaces emulsifiers by natural membrane substances, such as phosphatidylcholine, ceramides (INCI: Ceramide 3 = Ceramide NP) and phytosterols (from shea butter, INCI: Butyrospermum Parkii). This specific technology requires high pressure homogenisation in the manufacturing process in order to produce an extremely fine membrane structure similar to the skin barrier. In the case of liposomes and nanodispersions, cellular bodies are formed with a structure and diameter that are comparable with vegetable or human cells but also with chylomicrons.


  • dermaviduals® products do not contain amines.

  • Amines are auxiliary substances which serve for neutralizing anionic emulsifiers or adjusting the pH. Amines can react with atmospheric nitrogen oxides to form carcinogenic nitrosamines.

  • An exception are amino acids which belong to the Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF). They moisturize the skin and are able to protect the skin against atmospheric radicals.
  • References:

Consistency agents

Artificial dyes

Mineral oils


DMS deodorant cream

dermaviduals® self tanner
  • The product contains erythrulose and dihydroxyacetone (DHA).

  • DHA is a constituent of the human metabolism. By storing under sun radiation - what does normally not occur - traces of formaldehyde can be formed out of DHA. From the toxicological and allergological point of view it is not relevant. Storage at 5-10 °C in a refrigerator is recommended.

  • References:
  1. H. Lautenschläger, Self-tanning products - a beautiful sun-tan without sun, Kosmetische Praxis 2007 (6), 8-10
  2. H. Lautenschläger, Flawless skin - active agents and active agent systems, medical Beauty Forum 2014 (5), 32-35


  • Many of the dermaviduals® preparations contain highly pure phosphatidylcholine (PC).

  • Native phosphatidylcholine with its essential fatty acids is contained in liposomes and nanodispersions.

  • Hydrogenated phosphatidylcholine is the base material for lamellar creams alias DMS (Derma Membrane Structure).

  • The INCI terms are Phosphatidylcholine (native PC) and Hydrogenated Phosphatidylcholine (hydrogenated PC). Hydrogenated PC contains bound saturated fatty acids.

  • Phosphatidylcholine is an essential component of herbal and human cell membranes; it is extracted from soy lecithin which contains about 30% PC.

  • Lecithin is the historical INCI term for PC. The change of the INCI term from Lecithin to Phosphatidylcholine (INCI) and the change from Hydrogenated Lecithin to Hydrogenated Phosphatidylcholine (INCI) start at KOKO on April-1, 2021. The compositions are unchanged.

  • PC is extracted from lecithin by means of high pressure liquid chromatography, a process that ensures that phosphatidylcholine is free of soy proteins.

  • Gene manipulated soy cannot be completely excluded. A comparison of the analyses of phosphatidylcholine from natural and from gene manipulated soy ensures that both are chemically identical.

  • Hydrogenated PC (INCI: Hydrogenated Phosphatidylcholine) is gained by hydrogenation of native PC.

  • The compositions of hydrogenated PC and native PC are physiological.

  • References:

    1. H. Lautenschläger, Biodegradable lamellar systems in skin care, skin protection and dermatology, SOFW-Journal 139 (8), 2-8 (2013)
    2. H. Lautenschläger, Phospholipids - the all-rounders, medical Beauty Forum 2014 (3), 18-20

Complexing agents

UV filters



  • Antioxidants and radical scavengers belong to the most common components of cosmetic preparations and are also used in dermaviduals® preparations - mostly in moderate dosages. Antioxidants are not appropriate for skin care in every situation, especially if there is sun exposure. That is also valid e.g. for products containing vitamins and essential oils.

  • Exogenous radicals are scavenged by a multitude of nitrogenous substances. Predominant are amides such as urea and amino acids as for instance glycine and methylglycine which both belong to the NMF factor and contribute to the osmolytic balance of the skin. The highest concentrations are in the lowest layer of the stratum corneum. Substances of the NMF for instance react with atmospheric nitrogen oxides into inoffensive reaction products. The clinical evidence of the NMF motivated A.M. Kligman to develop the corneotherapy.

  • References:

Herbal, biotechnological or synthetic ingredients

pH values

  • The pH value of the skin surface averages approximately 5 ("acidic") and depends on gender, age and skin area. The unimpaired acid mantle of the skin supports the natural skin flora and inhibits the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.

  • Water and skin care products with pH of 5-7 do not disturb the acid mantle of the skin as a rule, because the natural acidic buffer recovers the original pH immediately after treatment.

  • Most of the dermaviduals® products show a pH value of 6-7.

  • Products with pH values of 5-6 are Aloe vera extract, Green tea extract, Hamamelis extract, Liposome concentrate Plus, Liposome NMF complex, Grape seed extract, Whitening concentrate, Kiwi seed oil nanoparticles, Linseed oil nanoparticles, Butcher's broom serum, Eye cream, Face tonic, Cleansing gel, DMS massage cream, dermaviduals® self tanner, DMS deodorant cream, Sun cream SPF 15.

  • References:
  1. H. Lautenschläger, Acids and bases from A to Z, Kosmetische Praxis 2010 (4), 13-15
  2. H. Lautenschläger, Water and water - just not the same things: water qualities, Kosmetische Praxis 2005 (4), 8-10
  3. H. Lautenschläger, What influence does the pH level of skin care products have?,

Animal ingredients

Animal tests

  • KOKO has never conducted animal testing.

  • The tolerance of dermaviduals® preparations has been and still is exclusively tested by voluntary external test persons. (patch test)

  • None of the dermaviduals® preparations on the market has ever caused an irritation.

  • Efficacy testing regarding the sun protection factors (SPF) is effected in Germany.

  • Further efficacy testing is not performed neither on a national nor international level.

  • KOKO submits complete and detailed documentation for every single preparation including the formulation, the dosages of ingredients and the tolerance testing to national and international administrations and regulatory authorities.

  • Since 2004 animal testing for cosmetics has been banned throughout Europe. There is a Europe-wide ban on the marketing of animal tested products.

  • Since 2009, also animal testing of singular cosmetic ingredients has been banned. Any relating exceptions were finally banned in 2013.

  • KOKO does not advertise its products with the terms "animal testing-free" or "not tested on animals", or the like. Based on the Europe-wide bans, this type of advertising would be non-compliant with the "Act on unfair competition".

  • References:

    2. German Cosmetic Directive (KVO) and European Cosmetic Directive


  • KOKO is connected to "Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland" and pays fees for recycling of packaging material like containers (glass, plastic, boxes) - inclusively shipping cartons, stuffing and carrier bags.

  • KOKO refrains from the Green Dot on labels and packaging, because the marking is not binding and irrelevant for the export.

  • All manufacturers like KOKO are registered in "LUCID" of "Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister".

  • References:
  1. Green Dot - "Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland"
  2. In German: Was bedeutet das neue Verpackungsgesetz für den Verkauf kosmetischer Präparate und die Entsorgung von Verpackungen im Institut?

  • are solid plastic particles smaller than 5 mm. Significant in this context are persistent plastics such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). They become an ever-growing problem in lakes, seas and oceans as they find their way into the food chain via microorganisms, fish and birds and finally cause disorders.

  • References:
  1. H. Lautenschläger, Microplastics - What do they have to do with cosmetics?,

Use of devices in connection with dermaviduals® products

  • Device-assisted techniques and preparations allow multifunctional work: physical-physiological treatment, improved penetration of cosmetic active agents, active agent stimulation under the influence of energy, and onset of the particular active agent action.

  • Skilled and experienced staff are prerequisites for the use of devices.

  • References:

Please note: The contribution is based on the state of the art at the revision date.

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Revision: 23.05.2023