ALL ABOUT ALLERGENS IN NATURAL FRAGRANCES
NATURE IS TRENDY
Since the United Nations (UN) published the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 in 2015, thousands of organisations and companies have modified their internal routes to align with these objectives, offering effective and quality products, but also committing themselves in a real and tangible way with the environment and society.
The rise of natural cosmetics products is a direct reflection of this trend in the field of beauty and personal care. Today, naturalness has become one of the characteristics most valued by consumers at the time of purchase decision, and it is expected to reach a global turnover of 25 billion dollars by 2025.
Included in the framework of trends called Green, Blue and Clean beauty, natural cosmetics highlights the benefits that Mother Nature can offer our skin, and also highlights consumer preferences towards transparency in product labels, prioritising those formulated with safe ingredients from local and sustainable origin, products free of toxins and artificial additives, as well as those products called vegan and, of course, cruelty free.
In short, it could be said that the market favours the purchase of products from natural cosmetics companies that are committed to the health of the user, society and the environment, not only as a final product, but throughout the entire development chain.
However, all these requirements are not incompatible with the consumer’s experience when using the product, which is derived from its activity, but also from sensory nuances such as texture and perfume.
Among the natural ingredients for use in perfumery aimed at the cosmetic and personal care sector are numerous plant extracts, essential and vegetable oils, as well as waxes and butters, among others; that are directly associated with respect for the consumer’s skin and the maintenance of its health.
When a perfume briefing is defined together with the client, different requirements are established, such as the olfactory universe, the naturalness of the fragrance, sustainability, and the storytelling of the ingredients, as well as the percentage of allergens to declare on the label.
In order to provide a correct and safe solution in this regard, it is very important that the perfume manufacturing houses that collaborate in natural cosmetics projects know in depth the ingredients with which they work and their compositions.
For example, natural essential oils are composed of certain aromatic molecules that give them their main olfactory characteristics. These molecules form part of the so-called skeleton of the oil and can be quantitatively recognizable and detectable through chromatographic methods.
Bordas, with more than 100 years of experience, is one of the Spanish leaders in obtaining ingredients and raw materials for fragrances and flavours, performing different extraction techniques such as steam distillation, cold press, hydrodistillation and solvent extraction, which allows us to offer a wide range of essential oils and other natural extracts such as gums, oleoresins, concretes, resinoids and absolutes.
NATURAL AND SAFE INGREDIENTS
However, just like snake venom is natural but it is poison; the creation of fragrances with natural ingredients does not always exempt them from being completely harmless for the consumer.
Some essential oils naturally contain molecules that are listed as prohibited, allergenic or with restrictions established in Regulation (EC) No. 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 30, 2009 on Cosmetic Products; or that have been included in the latest amendment of IFRA.
IFRA is the International Fragrance Association that establishes standards for the industry and for the safe use of perfumes and dictates regulations regarding the ingredients of olfactory creations that all associated companies must commit to follow.
These standards therefore regulate and limit the use of certain fragrance ingredients in final consumer products through maximum levels of use, prohibitions, or specifications such as purity or origin of the ingredients.
The standards establish rigorous, comprehensive, and global rules based on scientific evidence and consumer feedback, and are subject to independent oversight, review, and constant updating. These rules and updates are communicated to its partners on a regular basis, generally every two years.
In January 2020, the 49th IFRA amendment was published, which represented a great challenge and change for the perfumery industry and in which new data, methods, products, and ingredients regulated by the Association were integrated.
Subsequently, in an extraordinary way and outside the regular IFRA standard-issuing cycle, the 50th amendment was published in May 2021, and we are currently in the consultation period for amendment No. 51.
Bordas, as a member of the Association, is in constant communication with IFRA, who sends us different communications and drafts of future amendments, allowing us to anticipate changes in the formulation of fragrances well in advance.
For this reason, collaborating with Bordas, as a perfume manufacturer and IFRA partner, is therefore an extra guarantee of safety against the decrease in the probability that the final product may produce unwanted effects on the consumer’s health, such as skin irritations or allergic reactions.
A 360º TEAM WORK
The development of natural fragrances for the cosmetics and personal care industry requires not only the joint and committed work of perfumers, evaluators and the marketing team; but also the great knowledge of the analytical control team and the constant support from the regulatory affairs department.
As we have mentioned, the vast expertise of the analytical method department of the company supplying the fragrance is essential, since these methods, like the chromatographic ones, yield reproducible and reliable results that serve as a guide to guarantee the safety of the final products and compliance with current legislation, thanks to the detection and quantification of allergens and other substances that make up the perfume.
In addition, it is recommended to assess the experience and capacity of the supplier in reducing potentially harmful ingredients when manufacturing a perfume, ensuring high quality and safety without affecting its intensity or olfactory aspects.
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