Where Inactive Ingredients Hide in Skin Care Products

Creating an all-natural cosmetic cream with 22 active ingredients

Image for active ingredients blog post for Celsus Bio

A conscientious skin care routine means treating yourself to natural, nourishing products. For those of us attempting to reduce the visibility of a hard-earned scar or unanticipated stretch mark, it’s important to find a product that fulfills its promise of banishing the blemish while also supporting the overall health of our skin. What many of us don’t know is that potentially harmful chemical compounds hide in the inactive ingredients in many mainstream products.

Producers of cosmetics are proud to promote their primary active ingredients, but what about the rest of the stuff listed on the back of the box? Inactive ingredients are often used to give skin care products a longer shelf life or a better consistency, but these synthetics are in no way “natural.”

“Because your skin is porous, you actually absorb 60 to 80 percent of what you put on it, depending on the compound,” said Pieter Oosthuizen, creator of CELSUS Bio-Intelligence Scar Cream. “That means you shouldn’t put anything onto your skin that you wouldn’t put into your mouth.”

A Holistic Approach to Choosing Organic Ingredients

The Western pharmaceutical method involves starting with a specific botanical and isolating a single compound that is seen as the beneficial, or active, compound in the plant.  This compound is often synthesized in a lab.  While this is not necessarily bad, a lot of added benefit comes from using that active compound within the context of the entire plant.

“I'm amazed at the complexity and benefits contained in even a single plant,” Oosthuizen said. “Organic ingredients have been around forever, and people have been using them forever. There is nothing wrong with modern Western medicine, but it’s not like we were the first to invent solutions to the problems our ancestors have been dealing with for thousands of years.”

What Those Unpronounceable Ingredients Are Really Doing

Let’s say you have an essential oil that you would like to use to reduce the visibility of a scar. It is too concentrated, so you will want to suspend it in a base, or carrier. If you want it to be creamy, you’ll probably need an emulsifier, and then you’ll need to preserve it with something to give it the desired shelf life.  Most conventional skin care products use chemical compounds (some even petroleum-based) to fulfill these functions.

“When people read the ingredients on the back of their skin care products, they see unpronounceable gobbledygook and think that those are pharmaceuticals that are actually treating their scar - meanwhile they are chemical preservatives, emulsifiers, and fragrance” said Oosthuizen. But the know-how exists to do this naturally. You can get the same stability, shelf life, and consistency with natural compounds or common food-grade preservatives.

Creating a Cosmetic Cream with an Active Base

CELSUS’ philosophy is to use as few non-active additives as possible.  To accomplish this, the company instead uses functional active ingredients to do double duty in the formulation.  Take aloe vera, for example. Long known for its protective and soothing qualities, aloe forms the primary carrier or base for the scar formula. From there, Oosthuizen has precisely chosen all-natural, active ingredients to create an aromatic, moisturizing, truly organic skin care product.

“There are ways, just like with organic food, where you can make these products without compromising,” he said. “Our formulation has 22 active ingredients specifically designed to address each stage of the scarring process.”

Read more about the active ingredients of CELSUS Bio-Intelligence Scar Cream or check out customer testimonials to make your own opinion.