We wanted to create a brand using natural ingredients, suitable for both male and female skin. Many products claiming to be natural only contain minimal amounts of natural ingredients. Many scientific reports discuss how synthesised ingredients penetrate the skin, accumulating in the body’s organs and causing major health issues. We do not add artificial fragrances or dyes, resulting in a range suitable for both sexes.
Tailored for different skin types
Our products are specifically formulated with different skin types in mind. Whether you have normal, dry, oily, combination, sensitive or mature skin, we've got you covered.
We are against all forms of cruelty, and never test any of our products on animals. We never use fats or oils derived from animal sources, and always opt for plant-based alternatives.
All our products are packaged using amber glass, which is fully recyclable. We believe in a minimalist approach to packaging, and as such do not have boxed containers for any of our products in order to reduce waste.
We only use partners and suppliers that share our values and only use premium, ethically sourced ingredients farmed in a sustainable manner.
At Apothe.Co we believe that all our skincare products ought to be as natural as possible and made in small batches to ensure quality. All our ingredients are, wherever possible, organic, natural or naturally derived. There are some ingredients you would never find in any of our products. For more information on all of these, please see www.safecosmetics.org and www.ewg.org and www.beatthemicrobead.org.
- Parabens are chemical preservatives widely used in skincare products.
- Health concerns: Parabens are linked with skin allergies, endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental toxicity and cancer.
- Environmental concerns: Parabens are also linked to ecological harm, as low levels of butylparaben can kill coral. Parabens have been detected in surface waters, fish and sediments.
- Labelled as: Ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben, *paraben.
- A large group of ingredients used widely in skincare products.
- Health concerns: Sulphates are known to deplete the skin’s protective barriers, strip away moisture and irritate the skin.
- Labelled as: Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium laureth sulphate (SLES), ammonium lauryl sulphate, *sulphate.
- Phthalates are a group of chemicals used in skincare products and are also frequently included in many fragrance preparations (parfums/perfumes).
- Health concerns: Known to be endocrine disruptors and linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity. Some forms of phthalates are banned in the EU (DBP and DEHP).
- Labelled as: Phthalate, DEP, DBP, DEHP and fragrance, parfum, perfume.
- A fragrance or perfume is a blend of aromatic extracts which includes synthetic ingredients. Many products simply list fragrance on the label, but few mention the specific ingredients that make up that fragrance. This lack of disclosure prevents consumers from knowing the full list of ingredients in their products. Note that perfumes are different from pure essential oils, used as a natural fragrance in skincare products, which are 100% natural.
- Health concerns: Fragrance can irritate skin and may have toxic hormonal effects. Links to cancer, reproductive toxicity, allergies and sensitivities.
- Labelled as: Perfume, parfum, fragrance.
- Used widely as a preservative
- Health concerns: can cause skin irritation and is linked to cancer.
- Labelled as: Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, polyoxymethylene urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol) and glyoxal.
- In cosmetic labelling, the term alcohol, used by itself, refers to ethyl alcohol. Cosmetic products, including those labelled alcohol-free, may contain other good alcohols, such as cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl, or lanolin alcohol. These are known as fatty alcohols, and their effects on the skin are quite different from those of ethyl alcohol. These are used as emulsifiers, thickeners or emollient and are derived from natural oil or fats, often from coconut oil and are rich in skin-healthy fatty acids. We use cetearyl alcohol which is plant-derived. It follows that per EU/US labelling requirements our products may be labelled as alcohol-free. To prevent the ethyl alcohol in cosmetics from being diverted illegally for use as an alcoholic beverage, it may be denatured. We do not use any denatured alcohol (ethyl alcohol) in our products. If we ever do, we will clearly indicate on the label when denatured alcohol is used; conversely, we will also indicate when a product can be considered alcohol-free.
- Health concerns: Can be extremely drying and irritating to the skin. Ethyl alcohol strips the skin from its natural acid mantle and disrupts its barrier function. It may cause inflammation, lead to an increase in acne-causing bacteria and leave the skin vulnerable to allergens and irritants.
- Labelled as:
- Bad alcohols are methanol, isopropyl alcohol, propanol, benzyl alcohol, and sd alcohol, alcohol denat., ethanol and ethyl alcohol.
- Good alcohols are natural wax or fatty alcohols: cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol.
- 1,4-dioxane is a known carcinogen linked to organ toxicity, but you won’t find it on ingredient labels. That’s because 1,4-dioxane is a contaminant created when ingredients are ethoxylated (1,4-dioxane is generated through a process called ethoxylation, in which ethylene oxide, a carcinogen, is added to other chemicals to make them less harsh). Ethoxylated ingredients on their own are of low concern, but the process of ethoxylation may leave behind trace amounts of carcinogens. However, the potential presence of 1,4-dioxane can be controlled through purification steps to remove it before blending ethoxylated ingredients into cosmetic formulations.
- Health concerns: Ethoxylation may result in toxic contaminants linked to cancer.
- Labelled as: Sodium laureth sulphate, PEG compounds, *xynol, *ceteareth and *oleth.
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are chemically synthesised compounds that are often used for their antioxidant properties.
- Health concerns: Irritants and linked with system toxicity (BHT) and cancer and hormone disruption (BHA).
- Labelled as: BHA, Butylated hydroxyanisole, BHT, butylated hydroxytoluene
- Common preservatives found in many cosmetic products.
- Health concerns: Linked to inhalation toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity.
- Labelled as:
- Methylisothiazolinone (MIT): 2-methyl-4-isothiazoline-3-one, Neolone 950 preservative, MI, OriStar MIT and Microcare MT.
- Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT): 5-Chloro-2-methyl-4-isothiazolin-3-one and MCI.
- Ethanolamine compounds are used as emulsifying agents, fragrances and pH adjusters in many cosmetic products. DEA is a chemical that is regarded as toxic enough by the EU to be banned from cosmetic products.
- Health concerns: Bioaccumulation (remaining on the upper layers of the skin after exposure), cancer and organ system toxicity.
- Labelled as: DEA, TEA, MEA
- Silicones perform several functions in skincare products: as emulsifiers, they help to combine other substances in the cosmetic; as an emollient, they help to soften or smooth the skin surface; and as a surfactant, they give better distribution or application of the product when used. We believe that there are better plant-based alternatives available, given that silicones are harmful to the environment.
- Environmental concerns: Harmful to aquatic animals in freshwater and ocean water.
- Labelled as: *thicone and *siloxane
- Petrolatum is the result of petroleum refining. When not fully refined, it could be contaminated with the toxic chemical Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
- Health concerns: Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs, including skin contact over extended periods of time, is associated with cancer.
- Labelled as: Petroleum jelly, paraffin oil, paraffinum liquidum, mineral oil and white petrolatum
Artificial colours (dyes)
- Dyes are synthetic compounds added to skincare products to make them more appealing.
- Health concerns: Can irritate the skin, cause inflammation, block pores and interfere with your skin’s natural oil balance.
- Labelled as: CI 00000, where 00000 is a colour index reference number
- Manufactured solid plastic particles of less than one millimetre in their largest dimension. Rinse-off cosmetic products containing plastic microbeads are banned in the US and EU.
- Environmental concerns: Microbeads can cause plastic particle water pollution and pose an environmental hazard for aquatic animals in freshwater and ocean water.
- Health concerns: Microplastic ingredients, if ingested, may adversely affect our health. Scientific research into potentially harmful effects of microplastics at the cellular and organ level is ongoing.
- Labelled as: Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or Nylon.
We are clear about what we don’t use in our formulations. Similarly, we are careful about the ingredients that do make the cut. To that end, the complete list of Apothe.Co ingredients, along with risk scores from all well-known cosmetic databases, can be found here.