Sustainable Skincare products: Part 1

Consumer awareness & concerns do not only limit to the impact it does on the environment but also on their skin.

Cosmetics Skincare
Picture: Pixabay
CEO at Skinayu Organics |
Email: |
Nidhi Gudwani
Latest posts by Nidhi Gudwani (see all)

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by The Health Master

Formulating with Alternate Ingredients that are ‘CLEAN- GREEN & SAFE’ For Environment & Skin

This article will be covered in 3 Parts which will be covered as follow

Part 1 – we’ll discuss everything about

  1. Introduction to ‘clean’, ‘Green’ & ‘Safe’ Ingredients
  2. What is ‘Free From’ or ‘NO List’ of Formulations
  3. Alternatives to traditionally used harsh ingredients (1-3)
  4. Challenges in formulating & using ‘CLEAN- GREEN & SAFE’ COSMETICS (1-3)

Part 2 – we’ll discuss everything about:

  1. Alternatives to traditionally used harsh ingredients (4-7)
  2. Challenges in formulating & using ‘CLEAN- GREEN & SAFE’ COSMETICS (4-7)
  3. Conclusion & Solution


Consumer these days are aware & seeks more information about the products they use or want to buy.

They are also concerned about the ingredients they are made of, and the sourcing & impact of those products on the local & global environment.

Carbon Footprint & impact of a particular product on the environment is definitely a matter of concern for today’s consumer.

Consumer awareness & concerns do not only limit to the impact it does on the environment but also on their skin.

Few products may seem good on first application but they might contain any ingredients which are eventually harmful & harsh for the skin in the longer term.

These are the reasons why Sustainable Skincare products with natural origin & cleaner backgrounds have gained popularity in recent days.

Skincare with natural ingredients has become popular amongst consumers as they are considered safe for their skin & green for the environment.

Opting for clean – green – safe cosmetics is not a trend but has become a lifestyle choice for many. A large percentage of consumers have shifted their choices to buy safer & better products for their health.

What is ‘Free From’ or ‘NO List’ of Formulations

For leave-on skincare formulations, many products come with a ‘NO LIST’. It reveals that a particular product is formulated without the inclusion of any harmful ingredients that are present in its no list.

This ‘NO LIST’ gives a clear idea to the consumer that a particular product is FREE FROM certain ingredients that are harmful either to their skin or the environment.

For example:

Free From List like – Free From Formaldehyde

No List Like – Made With NO Silicones

Alternatives to traditionally used harsh ingredients & challenges faced

These alternative ingredients come with certain shortcomings & challenges. These shortcomings & challenges are faced both by a formulator while formulating or by end consumers while using those products.

This happens because it’s hard to formulate with certain green & clean raw materials. Also, the look & feel of safe cosmetics may be different from the other one. Clean – green – safe ingredients have few shortcomings.

Are the differences between artificial & natural-based ingredients so impactful? To consider this fact more deeply we’ll discuss the clean – green – safe ingredients under the following heads –

  1. Surfactants
  2. Silicones
  3. Emollients
  4. Emulsifiers
  5. Stabilizers
  6. preservatives
  7. Exfoliants

Let’s dig into all the clean ingredients in a skincare formulation.

1.     Surfactants

 The majority of skincare cleanser markets manufacture cleansers using fatty alcohol ether sulfates and fatty alcohol sulfates.

These are the Anionic Surfactants that provide excellent cleansing & superb foaming properties with an abundance of large bubbles & foam stability. These anionic surfactants with sulfates tend to over-strip the scalp & skin leaving it dry & flaky.

Alternatives to these harsh cleansers are sulfate-free cleansers like sodium cocoyl isethionate, Sarcosinate, and disodium cocoyl glutamate. They have naturally originated ingredients that have good foaming & cleansing properties.

They form medium to small bubbles, form creamy soft lather & are mild to skin and eyes. They perform excellent ye mild cleansing without stripping excess oil from the hair, scalp & skin.

Shortcomings to these mild sulfate-free cleansers are that they are hard to thicken. So, they require a different type of thickeners that eventually increases the cost of the product that the consumer bears.

Not only this, as discussed above, they tend to form milder foam, so it has to be applied in more quantity to get denser foam. But a few sulfate-free cleansers like sodium cocoyl isethionate, Coco Glucoside, and Decyl glucoside in the right percentage provide good foaming formulations.

2.     Silicones

Silicones are various synthetic compounds that go through various chemical and synthetic processes in order to form polymers with large molecular structures.

Nature of the organic group and the conditions during polymerization, the structures, and textures of silicone like fluid, rigid, viscous, resinous, pasty, or waxy states.

Silicones are widely used in hair & skin care products nowadays. You hardly find any makeup product without any silicone.

These silicones slowly & slowly build up on the surface of our skin, scalp & hair & cause breakouts & frizz in the longer run. Although silicone-free skincare products have gained their presence in the skincare market with several silicone alternatives.

Alternatives to these emollients are undecane tridecane, coco caprylate, Di heptyl Succinate (and) Capryloyl Glycerine/Sebacic Acid Copolymer are a few plant-based sustainable alternatives to silicones. These are organic certified & sustainable also. They have a good feel & spreadability too.

The shortcoming of these plant-based alternatives is the cost of the ingredient & their availability. These ingredients are not easily available & have a huge price difference as compared to the silicones.

It’s even difficult to get the same gliding effect & aesthetics to the end product without any presence of silicones. It is hard to formulate certain silicone-free products like Face primers (which are applied before makeup) & Heat protection hair products.

3.     Emollients

If we talk about the ’90s then most of the skincare products were formulated using LLP (Light Liquid Paraffin) as its major emollient. LLP is mineral oil which is a petroleum by-product.

Nowadays‘ Free From Mineral Oil’ is common. Consumers are well aware that their creams & oils should not contain mineral oil. These mineral or petrolatum products tend to be comedogenic (that tends to block skin pores).

Alternatives to these petrolatum emollients are certified natural-based emollients like- Caprylic/capric triglyceride, Octyldodecanol, Coco caprylate, Undecane tridecane, Heptyl Undecylenate, etc are some of the emollients that come under green & sustainable ingredient’s category.

The shortcoming of these mineral oil alternatives is their cost. They are way more expensive than mineral oil. So, the end product price of these sustainable alternatives is quite high in comparison to the chemically processed emollients.

Although the sensory feel & aesthetic look of end products with sustainable green emollients are far better as compared to the cheaper ones.

To be continued in Part 2……


15 quick Skincare facts we must know

Skincare: 6 key ingredients to detoxify your skin

Face serums – introduction & benefits of using face serum: Part 2

Face serums – introduction & benefits of using face serum: Part 1

Minimalist Men’s Skincare routine – in less than 10 minutes

Alcohol in skincare products: Must read

Wrinkles: How to delay signs of Ageing

Wrinkles: Types and Causes

Difference between Humectant, Emollient and Occlusive

Does Skin’s pH Really matters ?

Skincare: Conditions beyond self-care

Steps for Skincare Regime (Part-2)

Steps for Skincare Regime (Part-1)

Oil cleansers: Everything you need to know about this innovation

8 ways to prevent skin problems from face mask

Benefits of using Sodium Hyaluronate on Skin

5 Benefits of using Niacinamide in Skincare cosmetics

7 Tips for Handling & Storage of Skincare products

Steps in Skin-Prep for flawless makeup

5 Reasons & Healing Tips for Cracked Heels

Natural Ingredients for Skin brightening and removing Sun Tan

6 Tips for Skin & Hair care during winters

10 Ways & Tips to get Healthy-Lustrous Hair

Pure Rose Water: Benefits and Uses

8 Best Oils for Healthy Hair: Tips for their application

Hair Conditioners: Myths and Facts related to them

Know your Skin type & Tips for it’s care accordingly

When should one start using Anti-Ageing Products?

7 Benefits of including FACE MIST in your Skincare Regime

Why to prefer organic emulsifiers over traditional ones ?

Why to include Peptides in your Skincare Products ?

7 Tips Every Men Should Follow In Healthy Skincare Regime

6 Tips to remove every bit of your Makeup

6 ways to pamper your Skin with self Skincare routine

6 reasons: How Gel creams are different from traditional cold creams

3 Tips: How to choose your Personal Care products

Changes in Skincare trends during the Pandemic

For informative videos on consumer awareness, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon

For informative videos by The Health Master, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon

For informative videos on Medical Store / Pharmacy, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon

For informative videos on the news regarding Pharma / Medical Devices / Cosmetics / Homoeopathy etc., click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon

For informative videos on consumer awareness, click on the below YouTube icon:

YouTube Icon
YouTube Icon