DSM - reassuringly natural

In an age in which we are increasingly concerned about our planet’s health, values such as sustainability, natural origin, safety, and transparency inform and drive people’s choice of beauty products worldwide. And with more and more consumers adopting healthier lifestyles, natural beauty products are becoming an integral part of caring for our appearance, overall wellbeing and the environment.

Natural & organic ingredients – more than just a trend

Natural ingredients and green credentials are now a priority for many facial skincare users. According to a Mintel study, half of UK consumers who purchased beauty products in the last year sought products made with natural ingredients. A third of consumers using facial skincare products in the US purchased products with natural ingredients; this figure jumps to nearly half when focusing solely on younger consumers (aged 18–34). And in China, 45% of female consumers using facial skincare products plan to use products derived from natural ingredients or botanical extracts to improve their skin.*

Consumers seek clarity 

A DSM infographic, based on feedback from social media influencers with whom we engage, clearly shows that five key behaviors and beliefs inspire consumer expectations in respect of natural and organic, naturally sourced and sustainably produced ingredients. People today are evidently paying much closer attention to where ingredients come from and how they are processed. They expect ethical and sustainable practices from manufacturers, are wary of misleading claims and want reliable and transparent labeling to aid their decision making.  With technology providing instant access to information beyond the product label, consumer demands for more transparency on green claims, ingredients, and processes will continue to rise. Clear, easy-to-understand definitions of terms such as “natural” and “organic” would go a long way towards meeting their expectations.

The results of a survey we conducted among brand owners who use natural marketing claims revealed that, alongside proven efficacy, high purity and safety, and formulation stability, they especially value our ingredients’ informative certifications.

Commitment to ingredient transparency

Building on this, DSM has summarized an overview of all its naturals in the DSM House of Naturals, a portfolio of 55 ingredients that are of natural origin, verified natural or certified organic. This range represents more than 60% of the entire DSM Portfolio. 

In line with its long-term commitment to providing transparent facts, DSM has designed a simple labeling system to help customers navigate the product range. From now on, you can get a quick overview of whether our products are certified organicverified natural (in compliance with the strict requirements defined by Ecocert, Cosmos, and Natrue) or of natural origin (based on the new ISO16128 standard with additional restrictions such as sustainable manufacturing processes, including extraction or biotechnological transformation of botanical sources).

You may already be familiar with the flagship naturals ALPAFLOR®, PENTAVITIN® and REGU®-AGE PF, but DSM also boasts an extensive portfolio of other natural products. Click here for information about all ingredients in the DSM Naturals Range and to find out more about our labels.

* Source: UK & US: Lightspeed/Mintel. China: KuRun Data/Mintel

A guide to DSM’s natural, organic and sustainable beauty ingredients

DSM’s range includes a number of natural skincare ingredients that are certified organicverified natural and of natural origin, covering a broad range of skin, sun protection, and sensory benefits. With its simple 3-icon system and clear definitions, the House of Naturals navigation aid offers our customers transparency as to the degree of naturalness of our ingredients and production processes.

A broad range of natural personal care ingredients

The DSM House of Naturals contains a broad range of personal care ingredients consisting of 55 products in total. It also demonstrates how DSM masters key production processes, including extraction and Green Biotechnology to deliver sustainable, transparent and safe raw ingredients. The efficacy substantiation for our natural ingredients meets the same standard as that of our synthetic ingredients, guaranteeing high efficacy on top of naturalness.

The House of Naturals navigation 

The House of Naturals navigation aid highlights the enormous potential of our portfolio to cover different product origin needs and benefits. For clarity it has been clustered into seven different categories:

Edible Vegetables:

Edible vegetables are well-known, safe ingredients, traditionally ingested and used topically for centuries. They provide key nutrients to the body and benefits to the skin. For example, the watermelon extract in our PEPHA®-PROTECT ingredient is derived from a special kind of watermelon that grows in the Kalahari Desert (Citrullus lanatus): In order to survive, it synthesizes tough defensive compounds, so-called compatible solutes, to protect important cellular structures such as DNA. 

Silk and Milk:

Milk is widely known for incomparable skin benefits. Bathing in milk has been a popular beauty regime among women for thousands of years – legend even has it that Cleopatra indulged in milk baths every day. The traditional and precious silk-cocoon-derived protein SERICIN enhances the skin with a shimmering, silk-like appearance and offers smoothing and moisturizing benefits. 


Our herb extracts offer high-performance, organic bioactives cultivated at a high altitude in the Swiss Mountains. ALPAFLOR® GIGAWHITE CB is an organic solution based on the extracts of eight alpine herbs to provide natural skin brightening. In ALPAFLOR® EDELWEISS CB, we combine carefully selected varieties of Edelweiss flowers which have a high content of skin actives such as leontopodic acid, a powerful antioxidant and a potent skin barrier enhancer.

Natural Oils:

Argan, sunflower, soy and sesame oils are some of the most traditional and best-known sources of beneficial compounds, such as unsaturated fatty acids and unsaponifiables. Ancient Chinese literature reveals that soy beans were extensively cultivated and highly valued for soy bean oil production prior to the year 2000 BCE. Argan Oil is the main constituent of our REGU®-SEB ingredient, which provides effective long-term regulation and control of sebum production.

Yeast and Fermentation:

Preparations from yeast have long been used for cosmetic and pharmaceutical purposes. Fermentation is perhaps the most ancient food processing method mankind has ever used, as it unleashes many different compounds, some of which are highly beneficial to the skin. DSM’s portfolio includes a number of products that leverage this time-honored production process. Discover ERYTHRULOSE, a skincare ingredient which is produced by fermenting corn and offers a new dimension for self-tanning products.


More than 70% of Planet Earth is covered by water. This provides many unique environments and rich resources that have considerable potential to produce bioactive compounds for use as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals. For example, our PEPHA®-AGE Scenedesmus rubescens belongs to the genus Scenedesmus, which is known for its unique self-protection capabilities. In its fresh-water environment, it has developed a unique set of active components to defend against external stressors such as blue light and UV light.


Silica and Titanium Oxide minerals are found in nature and can be used as versatile ingredients as well as filters for UV protection. Our PARSOL® TX leverages titanium dioxide to create a UVB filter that also contributes significant UVA protection. 

The most stringent rules fostering ethical, sustainable practices

Organically grown ingredients without GMOs are important purchasing factors for more than 77% of all personal care consumers1. DSM’s Certified Organic label indicates that ingredients and the processes that go into their production have been assessed and certified according to the strict organic standards of ECOCERT, COSMOS, and NATRUE:

  • ECOCERT is the pioneer when it comes to organic certification. Created as standard for natural and organic cosmetics in 2002, it now has broad worldwide recognition with a presence in 80 countries. Its goal is to promote natural and organic substances, respect for the environment, and high ethical values.
  • COSMOS represents a step towards a single European organic standard initiated by the five main European organic and natural standard-setting organizations. The COSMOS standard was approved in 2010. It aims to promote the use of products from organic agriculture, respect biodiversity, and use clean manufacturing processes that take account of human health and the environment.
  • NATRUE was founded in 2007 by European manufacturers of natural and organic cosmetics. Its mission is to safeguard and promote pure and authentic, natural skincare.

Leading the way: ALPAFLOR®

Our ALPAFLOR® skincare bioactives are extracted from resilient alpine flowers. The portfolio offers a full range of high performing ECOCERT, COSMOS, and NATRUE certified ingredients cultivated in the Swiss mountains.

Organic cultivation of the plants for ALPAFLOR® EDELWEISS CB protects natural sites against wild harvesting, helping to preserve the biodiversity of alpine flora as well as ensuring a sustainable supply of botanically and chemically well-defined plants of the highest quality. It also guarantees the protection of soil and groundwater against chemical pollution, while new manufacturing processes have led to a 40% reduction in water use over the whole ALPAFLOR® product range since 2007.

As a pioneer in the organic market, we focus on standardized high-altitude cultivation combined with our phytochemical expertise to ensure outstanding quality, efficacy, and traceability from seed to bioactive.

ARGAN OIL – a shining example 

This ECOCERT, COSMOS and NATRUE organic certified ingredient is a powerful natural shine enhancer and provides intensive care for dry or brittle hair. With high concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids, tocopherols, and polyphenols, Argan Oil also helps to protect and restore skin functions, providing suppleness and softness. It is ideal for nourishing and protecting formulations.

1 Mintel Report: Natural and Organic Personal Care Consumer, US, December 2016

Independently verified natural cosmetic ingredients and sustainable manufacturing processes

According to a broad Mintel report, over 86% of millennials – people born between 1980 and the mid-1990s – find claims involving the presence of natural ingredients and the absence of artificial additives to be highly influential. This generation tends to be suspicious of green and natural claims following rumors of “greenwashing”. They are comfortable with technology, using it to access information and make informed product choices. To enjoy consumer confidence, natural claims must therefore be backed by transparent, trustworthy labeling.

DSM’s Verified Natural label – don’t just take our word for it

Verified Natural is DSM’s label for products manufactured with care for the environment and respect for natural resources. It is reserved for ingredients whose starting materials are verifiably natural. Their production methods follow the same rules on processes and solvents as those for organic ingredients.

For plant-derived ingredients, this means that the initial crops may be cultivated in a conventional way, but each of the processing steps is regulated by standards such as those of the independent certification bodies ECOCERT, COSMOS, or NATRUE. As a matter of course, these norms include areas like waste management and energy management, just as they do in certified organic production.

For example…

ERYTHRULOSE: This skin care ingredient is certified 100% natural by ECOCERT. 
This natural tanning adjunct promotes a beautiful, natural-looking homogenous and glowing skin tone, enhancing the skin’s overall appearance. For use in formulations designed to provide a long-lasting, even tan without stripes – the natural way.

VALVANCE® Look 100: The sensory and visual modifier ingredient’s 100% natural rating was issued by NATRUE. It  is a perfectly balanced composite of silica microbeads and TiO2 crystals. With an instant effect, it conceals shadows, dark lines and circles under the eyes.

The label for derived natural cosmetic ingredients based on ISO 16128

DSM’s Natural Origin label follows the criteria set out in ISO 16128 which was introduced in September 2017. The standard comprises guidelines on definitions for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and offers a framework to determine the natural content of ingredients as well as formulations. According to ISO 16128, to receive a natural origin rating the natural part of an ingredient must be greater than 50%. 

The ISO standard aims to harmonize definitions for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients in order to provide greater transparency for manufacturers and consumers, and to date it is the only internationally recognized standard to do so. DSM values the clarity it provides and would like it to go even further. DSM has therefore joined with other industry representatives in a working group led by the European organization FEBEA to compile a report that will provide fresh insights into technical aspects of the standard. 

The ISO standard aims to harmonize definitions for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients in order to provide greater transparency for manufacturers and consumers, and to date it is the only internationally recognized standard to do so. DSM values the clarity it provides and would like it to go even further. DSM has therefore joined with other industry representatives in a working group led by the European organization FEBEA to compile a report that will provide fresh insights into technical aspects of the standard. 

DSM goes further 

In the meantime, although the ISO standard permits materials with 50% natural content, we have decided to stipulate a natural origin score of 60% or above for the ingredients in our House of Naturals. We have also excluded any ingredients which meet the requirements purely because the formulation solvent is of natural origin. 

And since sustainability is a core value for DSM, we have further decided to exclude manufacturing processes that do not comply with Green Chemistry principles. 

DSM’s Natural Origin ingredients include: 

VALVANCE® Touch 210: This sensory modifier ingredient for sun care formulations delivers protection that feels good. Consisting of porous spherical pure silica microbeads, it was demonstrated to be of 100% natural origin using ISO 16128 calculations. 

BEAUACTIVE®: This cosmetic ingredient hinders the production of sunburn cells and the stress marker p53, which can increase skin pigmentation. It also helps prevent conspicuous facial pores by enhancing the skin’s own collagen production. BEAUACTIVE® is manufactured using green technology and also received a natural origin rating of 100%. 

REVITALIN® PF: This skin bioactive ingredient delivers boosts the skin’s oxygen content and consumption to help energize and revitalize skin. With a natural origin rating of 98–99.9%, its eco credentials speak for themselves. 

PARSOL® TX: Assessed as being 98–99.9% natural origin, this inorganic UV filter provides a fantastic SPF boost and makes a significant contribution to UVA protection 

Related Products

  • SYN-UP®


    Our unique peptide cosmetic ingredient SYN-UP® has excellent capacity to fight against dry skin conditions and, skin redness, due to its interaction on two common skin bacteria.



    ALPAFLOR® -ALP-SEBUM CB is an organic bioactive rich in flavanoids and oenothein B - key compounds that show sebum-regulating and anti-inflammatory activities. It is COSMOS and NATRUE organic certified and Fair for Life fair trade certified.

  • OXY 229 PF

    OXY 229 PF

    New studies on the skin microbiome show that the skincare ingredient OXY 229 PF reduces sebum levels and minimizes Corynebacterium Kroppenstedtii - a novel target for the control of skin redness.



    The natural moisturizing skincare ingredient PENTAVITIN® provides powerful hydration to all facial areas, visualized by new facial skin hydration color mapping technology.

Related Formulations

Related Trend Articles

  • A good beauty approach to beauty and personal care

    Consumers more and more value “feel-good”, “guilt-free” and products they can trust. DSM’s latest market study shows that this enthusiasm for “Good Beauty” has various personal care trend expressions.

  • Green Chemistry in skin care

    People are concerned about the impact chemicals in their cosmetic products have on their health and the condition of their skin and hair. 'Green Chemistry’ focuses on designing products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances.