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Merck gets natural certification for pigments range

By Simon Pitman , 25-Aug-2009
Last updated on 25-Aug-2009 at 12:49 GMT

German chemicals player Merck says it has secured NaTrue certification for its cosmetics pigments range.

The company said that an evaluation by the organic and naturals cosmetics group for its pigment range resulted in fulfilling the necessary criteria to secure the certification.

The criteria was met because the company uses only natural and nature-identical raw materials in its pigment line, while also incorporating only the chemical processes permitted by NaTrue in the production of the ingredients.

Natural processing techniques

Those manufacturing processes include chemical reactions such as hydrolysis and oxidation, processes that are considered by NaTrue to be natural and do not have any potentially dangerous repercussions.

Merck says that as a result of the NaTrue evaluation nearly its entire range of pigments can be formulated into natural personal care and cosmetics products, enabling manufacturers to fulfill natural certification requirements also.

NaTrue, which was established in Brussels last year, is now a globally recognised certification body, that offers certification according to three separate grades.

Colour cosmetic users want to go natural

Pigments are most often used in colour cosmetics products, such as lipsticks, nail varnish and eye shadow, and are vitally important to distinguish products and to provide formulators the right shades for this fashion-driven and fast-changing sector.

But increasingly make-up users are demanding colour make-up ranges that avoid synthetic or harsh chemicals, both to avoid harmful allergic reactions and as part of an increasing trend towards cosmetics products that are deemed to be more natural, and therefore healthier.

“The effects of cosmetics alone are no longer enough. Consumers are attaching increasing importance to safe ingredients. Natural ingredients are no longer just a fashion,” said Dr. Matthias Lergenmuller, head of global business for pigments at Merck.

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