"For us, the word ‘clean’ is first and foremost a state of mind. It means being absolutely transparent about our products and our actions. And it also signifies giving our community all of the information you need to make the right choices."
But as here too it's all about balance and compromise, we require our brands to adopt an approach (whatever it is, as long as it is sincere and consistent) that evolves over time: whether it's fighting against over-packaging, opting as much as possible for recycled and recyclable packaging, donating part of its profits to a charity, and always remaining vigilant about the use of polluting raw materials, or limiting its carbon footprint by sourcing ingredients locally. Visit our Journal to discover the many commitments of our brands!
It is true that in France we are particularly protected by European legislation, the strictest in the world. Nevertheless, at a time when controversies are multiplying and it has become complicated to sort out the false from the true, we have carried out our own research, supported by numerous experts (toxicologists, regulators and formulators from different backgrounds), to realise that no ingredient is all black or all white.
But rather than not taking a position under the pretext that there is no truth, we are convinced of the importance of informing you, of the need to assume the convictions we have formed. And even if it is up to each of us to apply (or not!) our own precautionary principle, it is ultimately our responsibility as distributors to share with you the list of ingredients that give us serious doubts. Far be it from us to label them as dangerous to health, but we felt it was more prudent to temporarily rule them out (until the legislator can make a final decision)
Limiting the environmental impact of clean beauty is obviously a real priority. We are aware that our products are not irreproachable in this respect, because at present there is no ideal solution.
But as here too it's all about balance and compromise, we demand that our brands adopt an approach (whatever it may be, as long as it is sincere and consistent) that evolves over time: whether it's a question of fighting against over-packaging, opting as much as possible for recycled and recyclable packaging, donating part of its profits to a charity, and always remaining vigilant about the use of polluting raw materials, or even limiting its carbon footprint by sourcing ingredients locally. Visit our Journal to discover the many commitments of our brands!
Our first battle is with bullshit beauty. Tired of "empty" formulas, we track down the superfluous and the useless (which in the worst case is likely to provoke a reaction), against the tide of long blacklists, we focus on the active ingredients (whose coherence and concentration we study), and finally, we analyse a composition as a whole (contrary to "beauty applications", which are a bit Manichean for our taste), to evaluate the added value of a product and to be able to justify its price.
Focus on our methodology
It is true that European regulations lay the solid (and reassuring) foundations of clean cosmetic formulation. But that's not all: in parallel, two bodies are constantly analysing and studying the ingredients under the spotlight. These independent bodies, which play the role of whistleblowers, are the SCCS (Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety) and the CORAP (Community Rolling Action Plan). Both prioritise substances that are to be assessed over a period of time to ensure that the ingredients concerned do not pose a risk to human health or the environment. We have therefore chosen to exclude these ingredients which are currently under re-evaluation.
Ingredients temporarily excluded
European legislation remains the strictest in the world and, even if everyone is entitled to apply a principle of caution or, quite simply, to consume according to his or her own slant, we do not believe that authorised ingredients are dangerous to health. This is all the more true as some ingredients that are the subject of controversy are replaced by other molecules on which science has very little hindsight... However, for very rare families of ingredients that are currently being re-evaluated, we have decided to remove them from the formulas we reference. Once again, we are not saying that they are "toxic" or "bad", but, in all transparency, we no longer use them on a personal basis... and we are our first customers.
Cyclic silicones include cyclomethicone, cyclotetrasiloxane, cyclopentasiloxane and cyclohexasiloxane.
To put it simply, silicones are mainly used to "texturise" a product, make it easy to apply, improve the hold of a make-up product, combat water loss by creating a mesh on the skin's surface or stabilise specific active ingredients (such as retinol or peptides for example).
There are two types of silicones:
- The "heavy" silicones which will remain on the surface of the skin. This is the case of dimethicone, for example. For it, no problem, its harmlessness is well proven.
- So-called "volatile" silicones which disappear on contact with skin heat. This includes all silicones beginning with cyclo-.... They are strongly suspected of disrupting the endocrine system and some are being re-evaluated by regulatory bodies. In fact, some of them are already banned in rinsed products. And this could also be the case, in a few years' time, for non-rinse-off products. We have therefore decided to remove them from our formulas.
At Oh My Cream, we advocate moderation. And the sun is one of the pleasures to be allowed in small quantities. To protect your skin, we prefer to recommend certain mineral filters, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (without nano particles) or certain chemical filters (such as avobenzone for example, but there are others). For information, to date, no filter is 100% irreproachable... The formulator must therefore juggle with a range of available sun filters, in order to offer the best possible protection with good tolerance and the least impact on our environment. We ask a lot of our brands about these issues... but we also know that sun protection is key to protecting your skin from further damage. So we've put together a selection of products with different textures and scents to help you protect yourself when you're out in the sun.
However, we have chosen to discard homosalate and benzophenone, as they are currently being re-evaluated and the suspicion of action on the endocrine system was too strong.
The case of octocrylene: under review by the SCCS for several years, this sunscreen has long been suspected of disrupting the endocrine system. At the end of March 2021, the SCCS indicated that its use was safe up to 10% (the percentage to which it is currently limited by the Cosmetics Regulation) in a cosmetic product.
Octocrylene is therefore accepted in our charter, as the SCCS considers that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that it is a potential endocrine disruptor.
Again, we are not arguing about the importance of preservatives in a cosmetic. They are the ones that allow us to enjoy all the benefits of our skincare products while keeping our beloved formulas free from microbial contamination.
Ingredients we tolerate but watch carefully
When a product contains an ingredient of concern, we ensure that the concentration is as low as possible, and in most cases well below the threshold allowed by European legislation. We also take into account the purpose of the product, the frequency of use and the accumulation of controversial ingredients.
On the other hand, if we are used to tracking down the superfluous, we do not totally ban inert ingredients (which do not present any risk for the skin but which do not bring any particular benefit: mineral oils, certain silicones, perfumes, SLS etc.) but we verify that they do not make up the majority of the formula. In addition, when an ingredient is likely to cause a skin reaction in certain skin types, we check that the product in question is not intended for that particular target. For example, a mineral oil that is safe for dry, mature skin will not be suitable for problem skin, as its film-forming properties can create minor imperfections in this type of skin.
Derived from petrochemicals, mineral oils are inert for the skin and totally harmless. The reason for their exclusion? Their chemical composition has no affinity with the skin. These ingredients remain on the surface, forming an insulating film. This is why mineral oils are often used in dressing formulas for babies or very dry skin, because in addition to their barrier effect (which limits insensible water loss), they are very well tolerated and do not react with other ingredients in the formulas. Their lipophilic properties also allow them to easily emulsify other impurities.
At Oh My Cream, we tolerate them when they are present in products for dry or mature skin (they act as a dressing and the natural molecules treat the cause in depth). On the other hand, we think that they have no place in products for skin with imperfections.
They are foaming agents: the pretty bubbles in your favourite shampoo are thanks to them! They are often criticised for being too effective. Underneath their strong foaming power, they can be a bit irritating to the skin and eyes. Fortunately, this bad side can be countered by combining them with gentle foaming agents (such as coconut derivatives). Brands have also greatly reduced the percentage of sulphates used in their formulas. We keep a close eye on them, but we do not blacklist them. It's all about dosage and combination!
This small molecule falls into the category of beta-hydroxy acids (BHA). In addition to its exfoliating action, it is also known to regulate sebum production and to have a formidable anti-imperfection action. It is also a good preservative.
In an opinion published at the end of 2018, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) concluded that salicylic acid is not a problem if used under the conditions of the regulation. Used as a preservative as well as an active ingredient, it is authorised at limited concentrations (but prohibited in toothpastes, products likely to be inhaled, and products intended for children under 3 years old).
We therefore continue to accept this ingredient but watch carefully the products in which it is present.
Quats include Polyquaternium-7, Polyquaternium-10, Cetrimonium Chloride, Behentrimonium Chloride, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride and Behentrimonium Methosulfate.
They are used as a hair conditioner and are known for their good detangling properties. Some also have a preservative role.
A high percentage can be irritating and their manufacturing process raises ecological questions. As this family is very large, they do not all have exactly the same structure (Quaternium 15 has been banned). However, today it is one of the only alternatives to silicones. Oh My Cream does not ban them, but watches carefully when they are added to a formula. Similarly, we prefer Behentrimonium Chloride and Behentrimonium Methosulfate which are effective alternatives used in natural cosmetics.
These are emulsifiers that act as texture agents and "push" the active ingredients inside. Some are also humectants, which means that they retain water and prevent drying.
It is true that their ecological impact is not neutral (in particular their manufacturing process is questionable). However, this family of ingredients does not pose any health problems, this family of ingredients does not pose any health problems. We have therefore chosen not to blacklistnot because we don't care about ecology, but because we want to offer a product that is suitable for all skin types.
Phenoxyethanol is a synthetic preservative widely used in cosmetics, particularly following the post-paraben controversy. Some people point the finger at it and claim it is an endocrine disruptor, but to date there is no scientific data to support these claims.
Moreover, at the maximum authorised dosage (i.e. 1%), it has been proven that 47 pots of cream would have to be applied to the face to reach a "toxic" dose. And when you know that many brands don't even go as far as this authorised percentage, you can use your favourite products with complete peace of mind...
They are called chelating agents, which means that they have the ability to bind other molecules, allowing the formula to remain perfectly stable. They have no impact on health. On the other hand, it is true that this ingredient has a significant environmental impact: it does not disintegrate in the environment and continues its work by "catching" molecules.
However, given its harmlessness and effectiveness (natural alternatives exist but are less effective), we decided not to use it for the time being.
It is true that some fragrance molecules can be allergenic or sensitising. Those that are allergenic must, by legal obligation, be listed at the very end of the composition when they exceed a certain threshold: 0.01% in rinsed products, 0.001% in non-rinsed products, so that people who are allergic to them can identify them. Why is it not indicated below these thresholds? Because these are the thresholds for triggering an allergic reaction for sensitised people.
It is also important to know that a natural perfume is very often more allergenic than a synthetic perfume. Indeed, to perfume a product with natural ingredients, essential oils are the most used molecules. However, these are complex ingredients sometimes comprising more than a hundred molecules, which means that there are so many messages for sensitive skin to "assimilate". We have therefore chosen to include brands that use both synthetic and natural fragrances in our listing, because we are convinced that this contributes enormously to the sensory experience of a product. And to satisfy all skin types, we also offer fragrance-free brands.
The assets we want in our formulas
While we make it a point of honour to exclude certain cosmetic ingredients (which we personally no longer use), we put even more energy into selecting products with the cleanest, most expert and most effective compositions possible. And because it would be impossible to list them all, discover below the non-exhaustive list of clean beauty ingredients that we favour in our assortment!
We value natural ingredients very much but are also open to quality synthetic actives, because we strongly believe that science has as much to offer as natural and/or certified organic cosmetics. For example, some very sensitive skins do not tolerate a 100% natural formulation; in terms of anti-ageing, great achievements have been made by cosmeceutical brands... It is up to each person to place their cursor where they wish.
Floral waters (or hydrolats) are obtained during the distillation process of essential oils. They are therefore distilled waters - much less concentrated than essential oils - with very interesting cosmetic virtues. Soothing, moisturising, balancing... They are mainly used in tonics, pure or in synergy with other active ingredients or hydrolats. There are as many benefits as there are floral waters on the market.
Floral waters are notably present in the following lotions and tonics:
Ah, plant oils! They are the stars of our cosmetic products, asthey are found in almost all skin care products and very often as the "base" of a formula. Each oil has its own benefits: we don't stop at their nourishing powers alone. They can boost regeneration, be regulating, illuminating, protective... enough to satisfy all skin types, even mixed to oily skin!
You will find vegetable oils in the following products:
- Nourishing Oil Cleanser Tata Harper, composed of a blend of 6 precious vegetable oils
- Huile Correctrice Oh My Cream Skincarewhich features macadamia and sesame oils
- BioRegenerate Oil Pai Skincare, the cult oil with wild rose
- My Huilette Night The Oilttes, a combination of rich oils (argan, jojoba, avocado)
Essential oils are real concentrates of natural benefits. While they are increasingly found in medicine cabinets, they are also widely used in clean cosmetics (e.g. moisturising creams, care oils or serums). cosmetics (e.g. moisturising creams, care oils or serums). They are known for their purifying, regenerating, purifying, anti-ageing, soothing properties... They can also replace synthetic fragrances or be used to preserve a product naturally.
Some emblematic products using the benefits of essential oils:
- Oil Bath for the Senses Susanne Kaufmann
- Balancing skin booster concentrate with Ylang Ylang Merme
- Cream deodorantSoapwalla Kitchen
- Anti-Frisottis Elixir John Masters Organics
Yes, that's right. The number of varieties is incalculable, because that would be like having to scour every square inch of the world! To name just a few plants that are very popular at Oh My Cream:aloe vera is ideal for moisturising and repairing the skin,oatmeal is very soothing,arnica is a natural anti-inflammatory, green tea has astringent and detoxifying properties, camomile is very effective in combating redness and feelings of discomfort...
You will find it in the following products, for example:
- Chamomile & Rosehip soothing day cream Pai Skincare
- Active 7 Eye Gel Ren
- Detox Cleansing Foam Patyka
Superfoods are not only good for our bodies, they are also good for our skin! We love using them in our cosmetics for their ultra-protective antioxidant power. But why are you hearing so much about antioxidants? In our bodies, as in our skin, we have a natural reserve of antioxidants that fight free radicals (molecules that unbalance our cellular functioning) on a daily basis. The problem? When excessive stress, pollution and poor diet get in the way ... the natural antioxidant/free radical balance is upset. This is called oxidative stress. So, just like the importance of eating 5 fruits and vegetables a day, adopt treatments rich in pomegranate, goji berries, or broccoli .
Care products that are full of superfoods:
- Purifying Mask Tata Harper
- Goji Essence Kat Burki
- Youthful Shaping Cream Patyka
- Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seed Anti-Stretch Mark System Pai Skincare
Mainly used in purifying and detoxifying masks, there are many varieties to meet the needs of all skin types. Why do we like them so much? By acting like real magnets on the surface of the skin, they are very effective in absorbing impurities and tightening pores, but not only that... they can also be found in many products for their anti-pollution and even soothing powers.
The clay mask is a classic, reinterpreted in several forms:
- Invisible Pore Purifying Mask Ren, clay combined with spirulina to fight against pores
- Deep Clean Facial Merme, 100% green clay version!
- Charcoal Detox Mask Patyka, clay and charcoal, for a freshening up
Although they have the same exfoliating function as fruit acids, fruit enzymes are less powerful: this is why they are recommended for sensitive skin. In this large family, we find papaya, kiwi, apple, pumpkin, pomegranate... Stimulating cell renewal, they also have the capacity to smooth the skin texture by nibbling the dead cells on the surface.
Fruit enzymes are found in the following scrubs:
- Exfoliating powder Oh My Cream Skincare,
- Vitam Foaming Cleanser Nuori
- Renaissance Cleansing Gel Oskia
- Enzyme Peel Susanne Kaufmann
The main fruit acids used in cosmetics are lactic and glycolic acids. They belong to the family of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA). These powerful exfoliating agents stimulate cell renewal, microcirculation and collagen synthesis. We prefer chemical exfoliants based on fruit acids to classic grainy scrubs because they are gentler and more respectful of the skin barrier.
Fruit acids can be found in masks, lotions and exfoliating powders:
- Renaissance Mask Oskia
- Radiance Renewal pads Indie Lee
- Ready Steady Glow Toner Ren Skincare
- Daily Microfoliant Dermalogica
We love this molecule which has the capacity to retain up to 1000 times its weight in water! Hyaluronic acid, although naturally present in the skin, sees its natural reserves diminish over time, increasing dehydration but also small wrinkles. This is why offering a supplement through a cream or a serum for example, is not a luxury!
This star moisturizing ingredient is present in many compositions:
- Moisturising Serum Oh My Cream Skincare
- Hyaluron Serum Moisturising Susanne Kaufmann
- Hyaluronic Gel Moisturizer Tata Harper
- Plumping Oil Oh My Cream Skincare
Probiotics are the "guardian bacteria" that our skin may need to defend itself against bad bacteria. They help to rebalance and strengthen the skin flora and are also highly recommended for very sensitive skin. To find out more, you can read our article Our favourite skincare products with probiotics and their benefits.
You will find it in these products for example:
- Cleansing Emulsion Oh My Cream Skincare
- Lotus & Orange Blossom Tonic Pai Skincare
- Probiotic Concentrate Aurelia Probiotics
- Molecular Multi-Nutrient Day Cream Allies of Skin
Peptides are powerful anti-ageing active ingredients whose role is to "give a hand" to the cell renewal process. Widely used in clean cosmetics, they are very interesting for slowing down the appearance of wrinkles and the loss of skin firmness since peptides stimulate fibroblasts and activate their own production. The circle is complete! They also have an anti-stain and anti-pollution action.
For a good dose of anti-ageing thanks to peptides, we bet on :
- Super Peptide Firming Cream Kat Burki
- 1A Retinal & Peptides Overnight Mask Allies of Skin
- Age-Repair Serum Peptide & Polysaccharide Grown Alchemist
- Hydra-Mist Lemon & Amino-Peptide Grown Alchemist
Yes, fine particles, exhaust fumes and blue lights accelerate ageing, sensitise and dull the complexion. So, vitamins are antioxidants by nature. But some active ingredients are antioxidants in higher doses: this is the case of superoxide dismutase, asaxanthin, glutathione (active ingredients naturally present in our body), resveratrol... They are particularly appreciated for their high protection against pollution, since their role is to neutralise free radicals. Lastly, they are mainly found in very technical products.
Some treatments using the properties of antioxidants to help urban skin:
- Active Oil-Free Moisturizer Indie Lee
- Molecular Multi-Nutrient Day Cream Allies of Skin
- CityLife Booster Anti-Pollution Concentrate Oskia
Vitamin C (or L-ascorbic acid) is theultimate radiance and anti-stain ingredient. It also neutralises free radicals (aka pollution) and boosts collagen production, making it a great anti-ageing ingredient. We take care to select products with the highest quality vitamin C content, but also by favouring its stabilised formula as it is a very fragile vitamin. For more details, see our article Vitamin C: why does my skin need it?
For a vitamin C cure, we rely on :
- Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream Kat Burki
- Super-C Nutrient Beauty Capsules Oskia
- Supreme-C Treatment Nuori
- Biolumin-C Eye Serum Dermalogica
Retinol is a powerful anti-ageing ingredient. Capable of acting right down to the deepest layers of the skin, it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin fibres, to better limit the appearance of wrinkles... but not only that. It also promotes cell renewal, smoothing skin texture and allowing the skin to reduce the appearance of pigmentation spots or the remnants of old imperfections. We are now able to offer this super-active in non-irritating versions so that you only get the benefits. Sensitive skin can also turn to a new natural active called bakuchiol which delivers similar results ;-)
- Retinoid sleep serum Oskia
- Overnight Retinol Repair Dermalogica
- Retin-C Treatment complex anti-ageing serum Kat Burki
- 1A Retinal & Peptides Overnight Mask Allies of Skin
- Infinity Bio Fusion Serum Nuori
Niacinamide (or Vitamin B3) is a vitamin with numerous cosmetic benefits, mainly found in serums and which has the particularity of being very stable. Among other things, it smoothes the skin texture and fights against imperfections, brings radiance to the complexion and stimulates the production of collagen, which makes it an excellent anti-ageing active. And, like other vitamins, it has antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from pollution. Niacinamide really does have it all!
To test niacinamide in action, turn to :
- Anti Blemish Serum Oh My Cream Skincare
- Age Bright Clearing Serum Dermalogica
Plant stem cells, the use of which in cosmetics is the result of extensive scientific research, are highly valued for slowing down skin ageing. They are able to effectively stimulate the self-renewal process of the skin cells. We believe in this new and advanced anti-ageing technology!
This type of highly technical active ingredients can be found in the following serums and creams:
- Stem Cell Serum Indie Lee
- EGF Serum Bioeffect
- Super Peptide Firming Cream Kat Burki