Skin is the largest organ in our bodies, accounting for 16 percent of our weight. Skin has many functions, including protecting against outside influences such as shock, chemicals, microorganisms, ultraviolet radiation, heat and cold.

Skin is also important in regulating body temperature and touch.

Skin has a remarkable ability to care for itself and repair flaws, which is an essential prerequisite if we are to survive in a tough environment.

Many of us choose to use skin care products to enhance the natural protection and increase the feeling of comfort and pleasure. Skin and beauty care products made from natural ingredients have been around for thousands of years.

Recipes have been found in archaeological finds from China, the Middle East and Africa, and examples of the ingredients include ox bile and whipped ostrich eggs.

Since then a lot has happened and today’s products contain both natural and synthetic ingredients and come with advanced features.

But some people doubt the ingredients made of chemical products.

More than half of what you rub yourself with can enter the body and a skin lotion may contain more than twenty different chemicals.

There is an increased interest in the manufacturing methods of skin products and packaging.

Swedish company Estelle & Thild has invested in a totally organic line of skin care products for children and adults with concern about quality, health and the environment.

“Some years ago when I was looking for skin care products for my daughter, it occurred to me that there were no products that offered both high quality and that were environmentally friendly,” says Pernilla Rönnberg, President of Estelle & Thild.

“After thinking a lot about it and talking to various experts, I started a company with a holistic approach to environmentally sound products and packaging. It was also important to show that the products delivered on their promises and we therefore chose to certify them under an international environmental standard.”

Chemicals NOT used by Estelle & Thild include as parabens, mineral oils, lauryl sulphates, perfume, propylene glycols, synthetic emulsifiers and dyes.

“The organic ingredients are grown without using pesticides, and our products include Aloe Vera, which is considered one of nature’s most effective agents against skin irritation and is an excellent moisturizer,” says Rönnberg.

“Other ingredients come from plants such as oranges, avocados, cornflower, blueberries, figs, jojoba, chestnuts, almonds and more. Of course, we must protect the products against molds and microorganisms, but we only use antioxidants and preserving agents that are approved for organic products and at the lowest concentration possible,” says Rönnberg.

Ecocert Certification

The French certification body Ecocert Group was the first in the world to develop standards to provide certification of natural and organic cosmetics. Ecocert is the market leader in the control of organic products in Europe and the USA. The standards for skin care products were developed in 2003 and specify requirements relating to:

  • Some chemicals should not be included in skin care products.
  • Packaging should be biodegradable or recyclable.
  • The percentage of the product that comes from natural products.

The certification includes examination of the contents and packaging of the product, its production and the texts that describe the product.

Estelle & Thild’s products meet the “Ecocert Organic” requirements. That means that at least 95 percent of the plant ingredients must be organically grown and that at least 95 percent of the total content must be of natural origin.

Finally, at least 10 percent of the skin care products (excluding water content) must contain organic ingredients. Organic farming means that chemical pesticides may not be used.

“Because of the high quality of our products in combination with the relatively expensive methods of production and certification costs, our products are not the cheapest on the market,” says company founder Rönnberg.

“We are confident that customers appreciate our commitment, our mild products and our design concept. It has become increasingly common for large department stores and pharmacy chains to contact us wanting our organic skincare products in their range.”

This article was published in March 2012