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Looking for Alternatives

By: Imogen Matthews
Posted: March 6, 2008, from the March 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In tune with the natural and organic trend, pure ingredients from unpolluted and unspoiled environments are gaining popularity, especially ones of Nordic and Alpine origin, and a number of ingredient suppliers are offering ranges sourced in these regions. “Their purity, provenance and results are what eco-conscious consumers crave today,” says Nica Lewis, head of cosmetics research, Mintel International Group. “Iceland’s untouched landscape, pristine glacial waters and potent herbs are inspiring a host of beauty products. Whether they spring from family traditions, years of scientific research or simply use Icelandic ingredients in a new context, these skin care ranges are part of a growing trend.”

Taer Icelandic is an Icelandic natural skin care range with a long family tradition of producing specialized herbal creams and remedies. The ingredients contain certified organic herbs grown on Hvammur Farm—a natural area in northwest Iceland—and include yarrow, the main herbal extract in the range, which is both paraben- and lanolin-free. Another Taer Icelandic product is Moa green balm, a multipurpose skin care product that is 100% natural with organic herbs and contains no chemicals, perfume, alcohol or parabens.

U.S. brand Skyn Iceland also draws on the purity of Iceland for its formulations, which contain a “biospheric” complex of nutrients from Iceland—including glacial water, arctic berries, butterfly bush and thyme extracts. The products are said to reinforce the direct link between the senses and the skin.

Hungary is also gaining a reputation for purity-made claims in toiletries, fueled by its popularity as a spa destination. For example, Omorovicza skin care products are formulated with the Pannon Complex, derived from the historical name for the region west of the Danube called Pannonia. The premium range includes a cleansing milk, exfoliating cleanser, day and night moisturizers and an eye cream. There is also a Deep Cleansing Mask containing mineral-infused mud from Lake Héviz and Queen of Hungary Mist—which contains rosemary, sage and lavender and was originally created in the 14th century for Elisabeth of Hungary,

Dr. Harnik Skincare, named after the late Hungarian dermatologist Helena Harnik, includes Anti-Ageing Intense Duo, formulated with Cova B trox, a muscle relaxing antiwrinkle complex that contains active marine magnesium, algae extract and polysaccharides. The Anti-Ageing Moisturiser SPF 15 contains algisium C (a versatile seaweed-based antiaging active), licorice and mulberry extracts.

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