Natural Skincare Ingredients – Understanding What Makes Natural Skincare, Natural

Natural Skincare Ingredients – Understanding What Makes Natural Skincare, Natural

Posted by Fernanda da Silva Tatley on


One of the most common questions we get when discussing Azurlis™ skin care is all about what is it that is natural about our products, which we clearly define through our philosophy of “balancing science & soul”, but what does this mean?

When Azurlis was launched in 2010 and still today, our Vision was to make Natural Skin Care Products with ingredients that:

  • Were only botanical in origin;
  • Without any component that might be animal derived, such as honey or collagen;
  • Retained their natural structure, known to have benefits for skincare;
  • Had to be stable in a complex mix of different types of ingredients, such as the case of an emulsion (cream or lotion), where water-based and oil-based components are held together by an emulsifying wax;
  • Had to be adequately preserved to avoid bacterial and fungal contamination, to avoid products going off;
  • These preservatives had to be non-hazardous, for the users, as well as for the environment;
  • Are not petrochemical-derivatives, so no parabens, no silicones, no mineral oils, no PEG, no synthetic fragrances, no alcohols; and,
  • The that neither the ingredients nor the products were to have been tested on animals. PETA Vegan Approved.
  • In fact, we are firm believers that products for human consumptions ought to be tested only on willing human volunteers, as our immune system is quite distinct from that of animals.


With this approach we developed Azurlis' Collections, with some examples mentioned here, such as our cream-based (Moisturisers and Cream-Cleansers), our water-based products (Toners), as well as the oil-based Serum products and our oil-based Cleanser. These latter 2 product groups do not contain and preservatives, as they are entirely oil based. Why?

Because, preservatives are only required in products that contain water-based ingredients, which allows our Oil-based Products to be completely Natural.

But in any case, all Azurlis Ingredients meet the Natural Ingredients criteria described below, in Shades/Categories #1, #2 and #3, and therefore all Azurlis Products are Natural.

                                            The Beautiful Skin Serum touches your skin with the gentleness of nature and the care of an angel. 



The 4 Shades of Natural Skincare


Natural Skincare means different things to different people, and this can be very confusing and even annoying as people get to grips with what they are searching for.

Yes, there are different views of what is defined as natural, and as Lorraine Dallmeier, Formula Botanica CEO explains in their 2018 podcast, the definition of natural skincare is a hotly debated and divisive topic, especially because to date there are no word-wide standardised regulatory authorities.

Below is a summary of the definition of the 4 shades of natural that Formula Botanica advocates, and that we adhere to at Azurlis™ Botanical Skin Care.


Shade #1 – Natural – Chemically Unmodified


Any ingredient derived from natural resources that, is not modified chemically or through processing, e.g. an oil from a seed, that is cold pressed This is as Natural as you can get, and the only difference between the oil in the seed and its extracted version, is its physical structure.

Thus, any products that are completely oil-based and 100% natural, and if the fields/orchards/harvesting/processing adhere to organic certification standards, this ingredient can be 100% organic certifiable. This also means that products made with 100% organic certified oils can be 100% organic certified. Certification does carry costs for the manufacturer, so invariably such products carry a premium price.




Shade #2 – Naturally Derived


If the harvest ingredients are subjected to a variety of chemical reactions such as fermentation and hydrolysis, although they retain some benefits of the original source, their structure has been changed to enable their use in other ways. This is how the naturally derived emulsifiers from olive oil are created as emulsifying waxes, allowing for the blending of different types of ingredients in for example, creams and lotions. 

Solubilisers and chelators are made a similar way, however, there are few natural solubilsers in the market, and polysorbates are definitely not natural, as they contain polyethylene glycol (PEG).

Chelators are product stabilisers, and EDTA is an example of a fully synthetic version, whereas sodium phytate, used in natural skin care as well as many edible products, is derived from brans and seeds.



Shade #3 -  Nature Identical


This is sometimes a controversial shade of Natural, but an important one when one factors sustainability.

Nature Identical ingredients are not derived from a natural source, but it is instead made in a laboratory, with a structure that is identical to that of the ingredients in nature.

There are 2 good examples of ingredients that are abundantly used in the food and skincare sectors, namely citric acid and sorbic acid.

Citric acid is a pH regulator that can be derived from the peal of citrus fruits, however as millions of tones are used across the world, it would be totally unsustainable to harvest from citrus orchards.

Sorbic acid is a preservative that can be extracted from Rowen berries, but there is no commercial harvesting of Rowen berries to produce sorbic acid, so the only option to meet the quantities required by the markets is for it to be synthesised in the laboratory.

This applies to preservatives such as benzyl alcohol, salicylic acid, as well as fragrance compounds found in natural skin care.

Therefore, this Shade of natural reflects some pragmatism relating to environmental sustainability and manufacturing costs.




Shade #4 – Natural Mimicking of Synthetics


This is one Shade that is probably not even the radar of most customers, and it certainly is an unusual and intriguing one. 

Ingredients in this category are made from natural sources, but mimic synthetic molecules, having been developed through innovative processing for the skincare and paint markets. Examples include natural glycols from sugar cane and maize that mimic mineral oil, solvents and polishes. Because these ingredients exclude water, they can be used as preservatives and preservative boosters. But, they also add improved “slip” to the products they are used in, thus allowing for the creation of texture and feel that is more appealing in a product.

Of course, this does raise am ethical question – Do, we really want to use ingredients that mimic synthetics?... I guess the jury is out on this one.





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