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Natural skin care

Laveldel Veld

Natural skin care: the composition of cosmetics can be synthetic or natural in nature. Where synthetic cosmetics once dominated the market, in recent years we have seen natural or organic skin care products grow enormously in popularity.

The trends at the moment are sustainability, no or as few synthetic ingredients as possible, biodegradable, no microplastics, fair trade, socially responsible, no parabens, no flalates, no mineral oils (source: natural marketing institute 2020)

On this page about natural skin care we go into detail about

  • What exactly is natural skin care
  • History of skin care
  • What are the main ingredients for natural skin care
  • Skin care for women
  • Skin care for men

Straight to skin care for men / women

Natural skin care in numbers

  • 8.8% annual global growth expected for natural products through 2026 (1)
  • 72% of consumers indicate a preference for clean and natural care products (2)
  • Market share of cosmetic products in figures Europe (2016)
    1. Skin care 25.7%
    2. Toiletries 25%
    3. Hair care 19.2%
    4. Perfume 15.8%
    5. Make-up 14.3%

Skin change timeline

  1. In addition to physical aging, your skin will also undergo changes from one decade to the next. Below is a brief summary of the most common skin problems based on your age.
  2. From birth – skin barrier and sun protection
  3. Teens and twentysomethings – acne, acne, acne
  4. Thirtysomethings – fine lines and wrinkles
  5. The forties – eye bags and dark circles
  6. Fifties – pigmentation spots and sun-damaged skin
  7. Seniors – dry skin and skin cancer

For more info: the science of skin care according to your age

What is 100% natural skin care?

The designation ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on a product refers to the development process of the product (i.e. the products used in its manufacture) and not to its entire life cycle.

Natural cosmetics ingredients contain a minimum of synthetic substances and are only produced using gentle extraction and processing methods, such as steam distillation and cold pressing.

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Organic cosmetics have the same requirements as natural cosmetics and at least 70-95% of the ingredients (depending on the label) must come from controlled organic farming. The percentage of permitted synthetic substances is even less than for natural cosmetics.

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History of skin care

The first archaeological evidence of cosmetics was from ancient Egypt about 6,000 years ago. Back then, cosmetics were not just for aesthetics. It was supposed to protect ancient Egyptians from the sun and insects. Makeup was also used to honor gods and goddesses. In terms of skin care, the ancient Egyptians used castor oil, sesame oil and moringa oil to fight wrinkles and maintain their youth. Soap paste made of clay and olive oil to cleanse their skin. In addition, Egyptian women used honey and milk masks in their beauty routine to moisturize their skin, and they also took milk baths and used salt from the Dead Sea to exfoliate, rejuvenate and heal their skin.

6,000 BC

1st clue – Holy oil

First indication of the use of ‘sacred’ oil (mix of olive and castor oil ‘ricinus’ oil) in ancient Egypt. Scented oils were also used to soften their skin and mask body odor. Ingredients such as myrrh, thyme, marjoram, chamomile, lavender, lily, peppermint, rosemary, cedar, rose, aloe vera, olive oil, sesame oil and almond oil were used.

6,000 BC

3,200 B.C.

First cosmetic products

Women in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) began manufacturing the world’s first man-made cosmetic products.

3,200 B.C.

2000 B.C.

First skin cleanser

There is evidence that the first skin cleanser idea originated 4000 years ago in Asia Minor. Asia Minor is located in modern-day Turkey. The Hitties community made the first skin cleanser by mixing soap powder ashes with water. She used this foamy mix to wash her hands. It wasn’t until 600 BC that the Phoenicians invented the modern ‘block soap’. The soap then consisted of goat fat, water and potassium carbonate.

2000 B.C.

1000 AD

Spread out through Europe

Cosmetic products are slowly spreading across Europe.
1000 AD

1800 AD


Makeup recipes: for removing freckles, improving complexion, removing gray hair and removing wrinkles

1800 AD

1850 AD

Victorian Beauty Regimens

Victorian beauty regimens: skin cleansing, beauty regimen: plucking eyebrow hairs, massaging castor oil into her eyelashes, rice powder to powder the nose, and polishing nails until they shine. For a healthy skin look, the women would rub beetroot juice on the cheeks. Most bizarre trend to enlarge your eye pupils: a drop of lemon juice in each eye would be enough.

1850 AD


First deodorant

First deodorant



Launch Vogue

Vogue fashion magazine launched in the US.




Brand Coppertone, the first sunscreen




The term cosmeceutical was introduced by Raymond Reed. Cosmeceutical is the combination of cosmetic skin care with pharmaceutical effect. According to Raymond Reed, it had to meet a number of criteria: efficacy, safety, scientific substantiation and external use. However, a proper guideline and definition is lacking. Nowadays, it is widely used.




Aerosol Deodorant




The term anti-aging first introduced


Skin care in the future

The different skin care segments, cleaning, skin improvement, protection and perfume will remain in the future. What will change in the near future are: sustainable products, clean beauty, no micro-plastics, biodegradable, skin care tailored to your skin. In the future, the use of Artificial Intelligence to keep your skin optimal.

What is important to know about natural skin care?

Terms such as ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are often associated with ‘healthy’. However, whether a substance is imitated or extracted directly from nature says nothing about the degree of safety. There are enough substances in nature that can be harmful to health. In addition, natural oils (citrus, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, sage, thyme) may contain allergens that cause skin reactions in some people. All substances can be harmful to health. Whether a substance is safe depends purely on the dose in which it is used. In addition, good packaging is important. Natural ingredients break down faster due to exposure to light and oxygen. It is advisable to choose opaque, air-free packaging instead of a glass jar.

Another discussion; is the effectiveness of a natural and a synthetic ingredient the same? This is where scientific opinions differ. For skin care products, it has not been sufficiently researched. In food, on the other hand, a synthetic form of vitamin E does differ in efficacy. For example, laboratory-produced vitamin E (DL-alpha-tocopherol) differs slightly in chemical structure from vegetable vitamin E (D-alpha-tocopherol). Natural vitamin E has a greater antioxidant effect, because the body recognizes the natural variant better, and is therefore more effective. The same goes for beta-carotene in its natural form. However, it is not clear whether this also applies to other synthetic food supplements and skin care products.

The choice to use natural and synthetic ingredients depends on many factors. Costs (natural ingredients are more expensive), properties of the ingredient, and also company philosophy are important considerations for choosing natural or synthetic substances. 

Which ingredients are 100% natural

The three most commonly used ingredients for natural skin care are:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Vitamin E
  • Clay
Aloe Vera Gesneden Huidverzorging Mannen

Aloe Vera

Described by the ancient Egyptians as the ‘plant of immortality’, aloe vera extract is one of the world’s most important ingredients for treating irritated skin. Famous for its medicinal, antibacterial and moisturizing properties, aloe vera extract soothes and calms the skin.

Read more about Aloë Vera

Vitamin E

The fat-soluble compound, vitamin E, is found in many foods and supplements. It keeps the skin healthy by both protecting and restoring it and vitamin E is one of the world’s most powerful antioxidants. Studies have also shown that both vitamins C & E both help reduce skin damage from the sun.

Vruchten Met Vitamine E
Gezicht Vrouw Met Klei Masker


Clay is a 100% natural product. Clay contains many healthy minerals. Clay has the ability to cleanse the skin due to its unique absorbent capacity.

The differences in natural skin care for women or men

Traditionally, men take care of their skin quite simply. The focus is mainly on shaving, shower products and hair care. Often they often grab products that are in the bathroom. In recent years, partly due to social media, men have been striving for healthier and fresher skin.

Is skin care for men different than for women?

  • Shaving face: first soak the skin for 2 minutes, shave with a shaving product (gel, foam or oil) and then aftercare for better skin hydration.
  • Sebum: Compared to women, men produce a lot of sebum after puberty. This higher sebum production is due to higher testosterone levels. Due to the presence of more sebum, men have a greater chance of clogged pores, blackheads and pimples than women
  • Wrinkles: Men have more collagen in their skin than women. An advantage is that men are less likely to develop wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Skin hydration: Men’s skin dries out faster than women’s. Well-hydrated skin ensures fewer complaints such as itching, flaking and eczema in the long term.

Skin care for women

Women focus more on different skin problems, is the skin dry, sensitive, restless accompanied by pimples or are there pigment spots or fine lines. Hormonal can cause the skin to be restless one moment and drier the next.
Relevant articles

The best-selling skin care products for women

Do you want an immediate overview of all skin care products for women? All skin care products for women.

  • All products have the ideal pH 5 acidity – for good skin resistance and skin barrier.
  • Vegan, Zero Plastic inside
  • Iconic Elements skincare has been named the Best Holistic skincare line 2022 by EU Business News.

Skin care for men

Sun protection is an underestimated product in men, a day cream with a sun filter is not often used as a routine. For men, skin cleansing is not a standard ritual, an American survey found that 33% of men do not wash their face daily. And cleaning your face twice a day leads to significantly fewer pimples. Furthermore, hydration of the skin to prevent itching and eczema and nowadays men also want to use something against pigment spots.

Learn more about natural skin care for men.

The best-selling skin care products for men

Want an instant overview of all skin care products for men? All skin care products for men.

  • All products have the ideal pH 5 acidity – for good skin resistance and skin barrier.
  • Vegan, Zero Plastic inside
  • Iconic Elements skincare has been named the Best Holistic skincare line 2022 by EU Business News.

What our customers think of our natural skin care

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This cream contains high-quality, safe ingredients. The packaging is very hygienic. The cream works perfectly for my sensitive skin. I think it is a top cream that fits in the higher segment in terms of effect. While the cream is still very affordable
SonjavdLely Wonderful day cream!
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This cream is perfect for my aging skin. It lubricates very well and because of the pump you can easily dose it. Great value for money!
Felicia32 Very happy with this skincare line
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Lubricates very nicely and feels good. Didn't know at first that UVA rays are present year-round. Been looking for a brand without microplastics in ingredients for a while.
Lotus72233Lotus Top product
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I have been using Targeted Pigment Serum for two weeks now. The pigment spots have already decreased by 50 0/0. Had a pigment spot on my nose for five years and is gone now. Skin pores have become less coarse and skin even. Product is great. Would recommend this product to anyone.
NathalieLem very satisfied with Iconic Elements
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I am very happy that my skin reacts well to it and that the products do not contain certain ingredients and that it is environmentally friendly!

Frequently asked questions about natural skin care


  1. Natural Skin Care Products Market Size, Growth & Share 2026 (

Vitamin A: stimulates your skin's own collagen, reduces skin pigment and ensures faster skin renewal. An alternative is Bakuchiol, which causes less skin irritation and has a similar effect to vitamin A.

Vitamin B3: reduces pigment spots by inhibiting the release of melanin from pigment cells to skin cells. Stimulates your skin's own resistance, improves skin barrier by stimulating ceramide production.

Vitamin C: reduces pigment spots, stimulates collagen production in the skin

It depends what you want to use it for.

For irritated skin are: aloe vera, avena sativa (wheat extract), Ectoine, panthenol, bisabolol from chamomile.

Pigment spots: Arbutin, niacinamide, vitamin C, resveratrol, kojic acid, retinol, bakuchiol.

Fine lines and wrinkles: Vitamin A, C, B3 (niacinamide), peptide, bakuchiol, Coenzyme Q10

There are several ways to moisturize dry skin.

Group 1: Occlusives, retains moisture in the skin by physically blocking it. Examples include bee or vegetable waxes, cocoa butter, wool fat. Disadvantage: sticky and shiny

Group 2: humectants, draw moisture from the deep layer of skin to your epidermis. Examples: hyaluronic acid, honey, glycerin. Disadvantage: skin feels tight.

Group 3: emollients, fill the space between the keratinocytes in the upper skin layers. Examples are skin oils, ceramide, squalene. Disadvantage: does not hydrate enough.

A mix of these 3 groups is ideal.

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