In elaborating beauty and skincare products, traditional cosmetic suppliers use active ingredients based on plant, animal and artificial ingredients with recognised properties for rehydrating and protecting skin, and for modifying cutaneous surfaces.
Organic cosmetics laboratories use natural active ingredients, preferably from plant and mineral sources, such as essential oils and natural mineral water.
Alpaderm, the organic Swiss cosmetics laboratory, has chosen nearly 80 natural active ingredients, without any artificial additives, recognised for their beneficial and hypoallergenic properties, in order to develop its line of moisturising creams, cleansing lotions and skincare products for extremely sensitive and reactive skin, both for babies and their mothers.
Whether a substance, a particle or organic body, allergens cause an allergic reaction when they come into contact with people who are generally sensitive to allergens. Among the more well-known allergens are dust, pollen, spores, mildew, animal hair, acarina (mites), insect venom, eggs, peanuts, latex fruit (kiwi, avocado, banana), umbellifers, seafood, milk and food additives. In cosmetics, numerous active ingredients derived from petrol are considered as allergens.
Alpaderm, the organic Swiss laboratory, uses exclusively hypoallergenic natural active ingredients with no chemical additives in its skincare and hair treatment products.
Hundreds of substances exist in our everyday environment called allergens, as they cause cutaneous intolerance reactions in an ever-growing number of children. In order to avoid the vicious circle of atopic dermatitis and eczema, certain preventive rules with respect to personal hygiene and cosmetic care may be followed. Using natural hypoallergenic products without paraben keeps people's skin from coming into direct contact with numerous allergens.
An allergy, or hypersensitivity, is an ill-adapted and excessive reaction on the part of the immune system caused by contact with a foreign substance, or allergen. When allergies occur, the body considers this substance, which would normally be tolerated, as dangerous. Hereditary tendency towards allergic conditions is also called atopy, which can be considered as an aggravating factor.
With pulmonary symptoms (asthma) and oto-rhino laryngitis (hay-fever), cutaneous symptoms such as eczema, atopic dermatitis and hives are more frequent. For the latter, the most common medical treatments are antihistamines and corticoids, which are not well suited for the fragile and immature bodies of young children.
Preventing cutaneous allergies by using natural cosmetic creams, without paraben and additives, enriched with active hypoallergenic ingredients, has shown significant results.
The Alpaderm laboratory offers a line of organic skincare products for the most fragile baby skin and adult skin.
Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is a skin disease accompanied by dry, scaly, pruriginous wounds. Red patches appear on sensitive skin, generally on the cheeks, forehead and inner areas of the arms and legs. Atopic dermatitis often affects children, with hereditary allergic tendencies, before they are two years old. This is a chronic illness that occurs in breakouts, with relatively calm in-between periods during which wounds are still present but less significant.
While cortisone creams and anti-histamines are generally the most systematically prescribed treatments, they cannot be considered as being completely harmless for the youngest patients.
We know that dry skin is a predominant factor in the occurrence of atopic dermatitis. Along with carefully controlling the presence of allergens in a child's immediate environment, the use of organic, hypoallergenic organic skincare creams, enhanced with highly moisturising natural active ingredients such as primrose, jojoba and borage oils, nourishes even the most fragile skin and thus slows the development of patches.
Atopy refers to a hereditary predisposition to developing immediate allergies. Due to their genetic composition, “atopic people” tend to break out in allergic reaction in environments that can be considered as harmless for other people.
The frequency of atopic reactions is constantly on the rise throughout the world, now affecting nearly 20% of all children in the western world (according to estimates in the ISAAC study, Lancet 1998). For babies, these reactions often occur early on, before the age of 2 and sometimes starting at one month.
Atopic eczema is generally the first manifestation of atopy. The first symptoms include irritation and dryness of the skin, which becomes very sensitive, frequently accompanied by a burning and itching that is very uncomfortable on a daily basis, and sometimes evolves into asthma or rhino conjunctivitis.
At this time there is no known treatment that cures atopy, whose chronic nature and recurring tendency are often dominating factors. Only the symptoms may be treated.
A few simple rules can increase comfort for children suffering from atopy: avoid irritating products such as wool, perfumes and softening laundry detergents, allergenic foodstuffs such as eggs and peanuts; air out the house and only use organic cosmetic products without additives, using natural active ingredients and moisturisers, such as Cérat des Alpes for cleansing.
Calendula Calendula officinalis
Calendula is very widespread and grown in gardens throughout Europe’s temperate regions, but is no longer found in the wild. Its attractive yellow flowers have many properties.
Cosmetic properties: Calendula constitutes a very good active ingredient in soothing preparations. Reputed for its moisturising and antiseptic properties, it is considered to be the archetypal skincare plant. It also provides a protective barrier to help heal cracked, scratched and chapped skin.
Galen (Galien in French, AD 131 – 216), is considered as the greatest physician in Antiquity since Hippoctrates. He left a significant body of work, rich with nearly 500 treatises on medicine, philosophy and, of course, pharmacy.
For example, he established the proportions for a cream known as cérat de Galien, based on bee's wax. This cream is still used today for its ultra-nourishing ingredients in various high-end dermatological preparations. Cérat de Galien is used to effectively treat dry skin, bedsores, stretch marks and more, while stimulating epidermal regeneration in the most sensitive skin.
Traditionally, this cream is composed of white bee's wax, sweet almond oil, distilled rosewater and sodium borate. In order to minimize any risk of causing an allergic reaction, Alpaderm modified the formula by replacing rosewater and sweet almond oil with less allergenic plants such as camomile and primrose and jojoba oils. Renamed Cérat des Alpes, this new forumula is particularly well adapted to the reactive and sensitive skin of babies and their mothers.
Dating back to Antiquity, Cérat de Galien is one of the oldest formulas used in European cosmetics.
“Cérat des Alpes”: France Bourély-Jaczynski, PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Paris, France), Masters in Biology (Berkeley, USA) reformulated cérat de Galien cream for her daughter Lily, respecting the proportions but changing the ingredients. Sodium borate was replaced by a traditional derivative of vinegar, rosewater by natural mineral water captured at an altitude of 1800 metres in the heart of the Swiss Alps, and sweet almond oil by jojoba oil, primrose and borage, which are richer in essential fatty acids.
Several pharmaceutical brands on the market use the generic term “cold cream” to describe a similar preparation.
Cosmetics have existed since the dawn of time. Some of them, such as Cérat de Galien, date back to Antiquity and are still used today. Now cosmetics are subject to specific regulations: cosmetics include all substances and preparations destined to come into contact with various superficial areas of the human body, including skin and hair, in order to clean, perfume, change the aspect, correct the fragrence, protect and/or keep them in good condition. Cosmetics are therefore hygienic products and treatments with an esthetic purpose.
However they are presented, cosmetics generally have a similar structure composed of active ingredients, excipients for transporting said ingredients through the skin, and additives (preservatives) to ensure product stability over time. In the 20th century, many cosmetics were developed with complex formulas, frequently containing petroleum-by products.
An effective alternative nonetheless does exist, made by organically-certified laboratories like Alpaderm. These laboratories produce natural, hypoallergenic cosmetics without using artificial additives, and whose active plant ingredients come only from organic agriculture.
Called Xerosis in medical terms, dry or dehydrated skin lacks moisture. This generates an uncomfortable sensation of tightness, burning and roughness, with desquamination and thin cracks. Skin can become dehydrated regardless of its genetic composition, whether thick or thin, sensitive or insensitive, reactive or non-reactive. Extremely dry skin may also by a symptom of an allergy or cutaneous illness such as eczema or psoriasis. Factors that lead to dehydration include climatic conditions (cold temperatures, exposure to the sun), unbalanced diet and the use of cleansing products based on irritating active ingredients.
It is critical to rehydrate skin in order to restore this natural protective layer, composed of water and oily substances. Organic creams and moisturising lotions that use natural active ingredients such as primrose and borage oils and mineral water, not only rehydrate the epidermis but they help recreate this protective barrier. They also help restore skin's softness and smoothness.
ECOCERT is an organic inspection and certification organisation that operates under the supervision of, and in partnership with, national governments and regulatory bodies.
There are two main types of eczema, a non-contagious inflammatory skin condition: atopic eczema, which is believed to have a hereditary component and often affects young children; and contact eczema, which is a hypersensitive allergic reaction that occurs when the subject comes into contact with an allergen.
Characterised by irregularly-shaped lesions, sometimes microvesicular and dry, eczema causes severe itching that can be extremely bothersome. Skin grows thicker and becomes covered with scaly squames.
There is a natural alternative to the prolonged use of cortisone-based creams for soothing the skin and reducing eczema symptoms. Skin repair can be aided by moisturising creams without allergens, developed with organic products that are naturally rich in active ingredients. Omega 3 and 6, contained in the essential primrose oil (oenothera) used by Alpaderm, offer recognised anti-eczema and moisturising properties.
The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin, which, going from exterior to the interior, is made up the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.
The epidermis is around 1 millimetre thick, though it varies significantly in different parts of the body, particularly the feet and palms of the hands.
Epidermal cells are born in the basal membrane, a thin yet highly active cellular layer that separates the epidermis from the dermis. Within three or four weeks, these cells develop while migrating towards the exterior, pushed by younger cells, then die in transforming into a layer of keratin, a hard protein which gives skin its strength. Little by little, these dead cells are eliminated (a process known as desquamination) and are replaced by new cells. Among these cells are the keratinocytes, which produce keratin, and melanocytes, which produce melanin, the protein responsible for the more or less intense coloration of our skin.
In direct contact with outside elements, the epidermis is an important protective barrier for our organism, despite its thinness. Sweat and sebum create a slightly acidic lubrifying film on the skin's surface, repelling bacteria and keeping the skin software and supple.
The epidermis becomes dry when exposed to outside aggression (climatic conditions, irritating cosmetic products), or in case of allergic tendencies. Its fragile balance is disturbed, opening the door to numerous conditions, including atopic dermatitis, which is increasingly frequent in young children today.
To effectively fight again the undesirable effects of drying skin, the organic Swiss cosmetics laboratory Alpaderm offers a line of hypoallergenic skincare creams whose natural active ingredients deeply moisturise children's and adult's skin. Cérat des Alpes cold cream, in particular, is recommended for helping restore the hydro-lipid film on dry and fragile skin.
Essentials oils are made by distilling the water vapour of fragrant plants, either in their entirety or in part (branches, leaves, fruit, flowers, rhizomes, etc.). It is important to note that citrus essences are not obtained through distillation, but rather via their zest, and are thus not actually essential oils.
Known since Antiquity, essential oils have been used for their fragrance in various religious ceremonies for the antiseptic and antiputrid properties for embalming and mummification. Starting in the Middle Ages, essential oils were used for their digestive and respiratory benefits. Throughout the 20th century and present times, essential oils have grown continuously in popularity, which is largely justified by their therapeutic properties that have been increasingly studied in universities and laboratories around the world.
Organically-certified cosmetic treatments, particularly well adapted to sensitive skin and dry skin, use essential oils such as camomile, for their high quality anti-inflammatory and soothing effects.
Evening primrose oil Oenothera biennis
Also called “evening star” and “evening primrose”, oenothera originated in North America, appearing in Europe only starting in the in the early 18th century. The plant was well known by the Indians for its medicinal and nutritive properties. When mature, the flower’s capsules contain hundreds of very small brown seeds, from which the oil is extracted.
Cosmetic properties: Rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids (particularly Gamma-linolenic acid), evening primrose oil protects skin from premature aging. Its fatty acids, excellent for reducing water loss in upper epidermal layers and for protecting the cell membrane, offer highly effective regenerative properties: softening, revitalising, restructuring and truly anti-wrinkle. Whether skin is greasy, dry or simply normal, oenothera oil regulates moisture levels and protects skin from external aggression (such as from sun, cold, wind and pollution).
Fine lavender Lavandula latifolia
Originating in Persia and the Canary Islands, lavender was apparently brought to France many centuries ago by the Phocians, just like grapes and olives. 20-60 cm high, this low shrub thrives in the Mediterranean region and is particularly fond of arid and limestone-rich (calcite) hillsides.
Cosmetic properties: Classified in the 18th century among cephalic plants, lavender was used similarly to rosemary for nervous disorders. Lavender water was also used as a relaxant in baths, in addition to its recognised soothing and antiseptic properties.
Hypoallergenic cosmetic products are designed to reduce the risk of allergies related to their use. They are particularly recommended for people with fragile and sensitive skin who suffer from intolerance to traditional cosmetic products.
Thanks to a rigorous selection of all-natural ingredients from the least allergenic plant types, and the elimination of artificial additives and excipients, the hypoallergenic skincare products produced by Alpaderm's organic laboratory helps protect and soothe the fragile and sensitive skin of children who suffer from allergies.
Itching, or pruritus, is a frequent dermatological condition. The main cause of itching is histamine, a molecule released by the immune system that is directly related to allergic manifestations. While there are many pathological causes for itching, dermatological conditions such as eczema and atopic dermatitis are at the top of the list. It is possible to reduce discomfort and restore healthy skin by choosing hypoallergenic cosmetic products that use naturally soothing properties, without paraben or aggressive active ingredients.
Jojoba oil / Simmondsia chinensis
Commonly called goat nut, jojoba is a shrub that grows in the deserts of Central and Southern America. With roots extending down to depths of 30 meters in sandy ground, jojoba captures micro-humidity and is thus able to resist completely dry periods of 12 to 18 months. In the wild, jojoba plants produce 1 – 2 kilos of oleaginous seeds from which jojoba oil, a liquid wax at ambient temperature, is extracted. Indians have used this plant for many centuries for its healing and cosmetic properties for skin and hair.
Properties for cosmetics:
Jojoba oil's richness in unsaponifiables gives it remarkable protective and “antiaging” properties. Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax whose similarity to skin sebum helps maintain the skin's protective hydrolipid film. This oil also activates elastin synthesis and slows down cellular water loss, making it an ideal product for dehydrated and very dry skin. Its revitalizing, anti-wrinkle and deep regenerating properties help skin stay supple, flexible and soft.
Jojoba oil Simmondsia chinensis
Commonly called goat nut (because feral goats eat the nuts), jojoba is a shrub that grows in the deserts of Central and Southern America. With roots extending down to depths of 30 meters in sandy ground, jojoba captures even the tiniest amounts of moisture in the soil enabling it to resist completely dry periods of 12 to 18 months. Jojoba plants produce oleaginous seeds from which jojoba oil, a liquid wax at ambient temperature,is extracted. Indians have used this plant for many centuries for its healing and cosmetic properties, particularly on skin, and hair.
Cosmetic properties: Jojoba oil is high in unsaponifiable fats, giving it remarkable protective and “anti-ageing” properties. Jojoba oil is actually a liquid wax whose similarity to skin sebum helps maintain the skin’s protective hydrolipid film. Many of its properties are beneficial to the skin: moisturising, revitalising, restoring suppleness, softness and deep regeneration. This oil also stimulates elastin synthesis and slows down cellular water loss, making it an ideal product for dehydrated and very dry skin, helping to keep skin supple, flexible and soft.
Madonna lily Lilium candidum
Adored by ancient Mediterranean civilisations, this beautiful flower with its rich perfume was planted in the royal gardens of the Minoans, as depicted in wall paintings in Knossos.
Cosmetic properties: Madonna lily is a highly valuable traditional remedy for external ailments: bottled in brandy or marinated in olive oil, its petals were used long before, well before the band-aid was invented, as an antiseptic and healing dressing, particularly for superficial burns, cracks and chapping.
Natural mineral water is underground water that is protected from all possible sources of pollution, and whose chemical properties must be stable. In some cases, natural mineral water must be able to provide properties that are beneficial to people's health. Even though some mineral water contains high levels of mineral substances, there are underground sources with low levels of mineral content, which are therefore well suited for use in hypoallergenic cosmetic products.
For its line of organic skincare products dedicated to children and adults with sensitive skin, Alpaderm has chosen the purest natural mineral water, drawn from the Alps at an altitude of 1,800 metres, whose quality is regularly verified by competent independent authorities. With its particularly low mineral content, this water blends into Alpaderm's creams and nourishing and moisturising treatments, thus limiting the risk of cutaneous and allergic intolerance.
In 2006, these chemical preservative products, used for their antibacterian and antimycosic properties, were present in nearly 80% of the cosmetic products commonly found in our bathrooms. They are also used as additives in the food we consume. Yet they are not completely harmless, as they belong to a group of environmental chemical pollutants with oestrogenic properties known as "environmental oestrogens". They actually have the potential to alter normal endocrine behaviour and thus have an influence on the reproductive system, and can be correlated to the development of certain types of cancer.
Alpaderm, the organic Swiss cosmetics laboratory, develops organic skincare products without paraben. Instead, a weak dilution (less than 1%) of a vinegar derivative is used for preserving its hypoallergenic creams, cleansing lotions for sensitive skin, gentle shampoos and sun creams.
Psoriasis is a form of chronic dermatitis of varying degrees of severity, with periodic outbreaks that produce squames of dry white skin, like flour, often accompanied by burning sensations on all or part of the body, depending on severity. Hereditary around 1/3 of the time, psoriasis can also appear following an infection or because of stress. Existing treatments can only attenuate the symptoms or reduce their frequency.
As a complement to adapted medicine and UV exposure, it is essential to keep the epidermis moisturised. The nutritive properties of primrose and borage oils, and the soothing effect of essential chamomile oil which make up Alpaderm's Cérat des Alpes cold cream, comprise a natural and hypoallergenic moisturiser in the fight against this skin disease.
Children and adults with reactive skin, also called irritable skin, suffer from burning sensations, tingling and severe itching that can result either from physical or external causes (such as contact with allergenic substances). Even more than other types of skin, irritable skin requires the use of adapted, hypoallergenic and natural cosmetics.
Dermatological test carried out on Alpaderm's organic creams and cleansing lotions have shown their high level of tolerance and beneficial protective and moisturising properties on reactive skin.
Roman chamomile Anthemis nobilis
Originating in western Europe and North Africa, roman chamomile now grows in Europe’s temperate regions. Its properties are reputed to be more effective than those of it cousin German chamomile.
Cosmetic properties: For external application, roman chamomile is used in making soothing lotions. Recent focus on the properties of one of its compounds, azulene, has projected chamomile to the forefront of phytocosmetic products. Azulene’s antiallergic and soothing properties have turned it into the new cure-all for sensitive skin. Chamomile has been long been used for treating eczema.
Sea-buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoïdes
Sea-buckthorn is a thorny shrub that is so dependent on light that the plant actually dies if it is surrounded by tall trees. It seeks out sun, salty terrain, and forms impenetrable hedges along the coasts of the Channel and North Sea.
Medicinal and cosmetic properties: Sea-buckthorn has two specific elements that appear to have a beneficial effect on burns, eczema and dermatitis: palmitoleic acid, a rare fatty acid, and carotenoid. In addition, its high level of tocopherol (vitamin E), a recognised antioxidant, limits oxidation processes within epidermal layers. When used regularly, sea-buckthorn contributes to keeping skin looking beautiful, reducing sclerosis and slowing the appearance of wrinkles.
Our skin naturally secretes sebum, a lipid film that protects skin from outside aggression and keeps it from drying out. Sebum's slightly acidic nature also protects skin from infections, while helping skin stay supple and providing a certain level impermeability.
Skin may become hypersensitive as the result of both hereditary and environmental factors. Once irritated, sensitive skin is subject to numerous different reactions, including swelling, squames, redness, tingling, tightness, burning and eczema. The discomfort felt by children in particular is exacerbated by the use of overly aggressive cosmetic and cleansing products.
In addition, studies have shown that the greater the water loss in skin (the quantity of water lost through the skin via evaporation), the greater the skin sensitivity related to drying out. That is why it is so important to gently rehydrate sensitive skin. With its natural hypoallergenic skincare creams, rich in mineral water and active ingredients, Alpaderm restores the skin's lipid film and reduces the snowball effect of successive intolerances.
In cosmetics, skincare products and treatments include those products that improve the aspects of skin and help keep it in good condition, such as anti-wrinkle creams, day creams, night creams, moisturising creams, flower water, lotions, balms, etc.
Sustainable development (also called durable development) is defined in the 1987 Brundtland Report “Our Common Future” by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development as:
“…Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This notion includes two inherent concepts: that of “needs”, in particular with respect to the basic requirements of the most needy, for whom it is important to give the highest priority; and the concept of limitations that the state of our technologies and social organisation impose on the environment's capacity to meet both present and future needs.”
In other words, sustainable development implies leveraging values (responsibility, participation and sharing, discussion, partnerships, innovation, longevity, reversibility, precaution and prevention as well as solidarity in social, geographical and trans-generational terms) to create a dualistic and cooperative approach:
* In space: every inhabitant of our planet has the same human rights to Earth's resources.
* In time: we have the right to use the planet's resources, but at the same time we have an obligation to ensure its longevity for future generations.
Ecologists and other representatives of various political organisations consider the term “durable development” as an oxymoron, and prefer to use the term “sustainable” instead.