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Will it be a cosmetic that is good for the skin and the environment? It is not easy to find your way around the many products sold freely, without a prescription. Skineco (International Association of EcoDermatology) while it seeks to combine environmental sustainability, dermatology and skin needs, it is also committed to promoting cosmetics companies with a “green” footprint by “stamping them” with an “approved”. Is always Skineco, as we anticipate Pucci Romano, specialist in Dermatology and Skineco vice president, is also training the figure of the ecodermatologist: he will be the dermatologist of the 3rd millennium.
1) When were you born as Skineco? How many are you and what is your mission?
Skineco was born in 2008 by my will and by Riccarda Serri, two dermatologists who have always been attentive to the knowledge of cosmetics and sensitive to environmental sustainability. Skineco's mission is to promote eco-thermocompatibility, a discourse absolutely not foreseen, not even minimally, in the concept of "dermatologically tested" today. Our intention, with Skineco, is to combine the science of sustainability with the science of skin and the needs of the skin.
2) How does current European legislation deal with the biodegradability aspect of cosmetics?
Legally, there is a gap to fill e Skineco, in this regard, it inspired a bill, presented by the Honorable Ermete Realacci, to assess the eco-toxicity and biodegradability of cosmetics.
The objective of the text presented is also to create a virtuous supply chain. In Italy there is no form of ecological certification relating to cosmetics that is managed and guaranteed by the state, but there are many "do it yourself" certifications that can be adapted to any need and, very often, different from each other. This creates unsustainable confusion on the part of consumers. In addition to these ecological labels, there are also many brands without any regulations, these are fancy logos that the manufacturer places on the label in order to attract "ethical" customers.
3) What aspects should a cosmetics company that can be defined as eco-friendly?
Often the marketing of a cosmetic focuses entirely on its active ingredients, both of natural and synthetic origin, but to formulate a product there is a need for other substances to carry the active ingredients and almost always these vehicles are represented by substances not very similar to the skin. and also to the environment.
L'INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is the list of cosmetic ingredients that must be legally required, since 1997, on every cosmetic placed on the market. To understand if a cosmetic product is valid or not, it is important to know which active ingredients it has and in what quantity. Among these, there are some that we would like not to find again in the cosmetics of the third millennium.
4) Some examples?
Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) which contain ethylene oxide which can form dioxane, formaldehyde sexors which are carcinogenic, amines (DEA, MEA, TEA, MIPA), EDTA which destroys marine organisms, once discharged into the water. Nonoxynol, poloxamer and nonylphenol - can lead to hormonal alterations, Triclosan is a toxic antibacterial if too present, -trimonium and -dimonium are non-biodegradable and BHA is also an endocrine disruptor. In addition there are nanoparticles: there is much discussion about their penetration into the body through the skin and the impossibility of following their traceability.
5) How can users make a conscious and green choice among the many cosmetics on sale?
It's not easy: cosmetics are products that are sold freely, without a prescription. If you let yourself be guided by the dermatologist, he has a duty to be competent in the matter. But if you choose by yourself, it's really like being in a jungle of products that promise many beautiful things ... and understanding INCI is really difficult.
6) What are the effects of climate change and environmental pollution? And on the skin?
There are already some epidemiological studies that correlate the presence of atmospheric pollutants with the onset of skin diseases and it already appears that almost all of these pollutants cause skin damage. The resulting damage can be manifold, from aging to allergic-inflammatory responses, to hyperkeratinization and the development of tumors. As in all epidemiological studies, a correlation is also established in the case of the effects of environmental pollutants on the skin, which however leaves the question of “how?” Unsatisfied. Little or nothing is known about the cellular, molecular and biochemical mechanisms through which air pollutants induce skin damage. Little or nothing is known about the possibility of additive or synergistic effects of the individual pollutants with each other.
In this regard, Skineco promotes the study "Effects of atmospheric pollutants on the skin and identification of preventive and therapeutic targets" involving the CNR of Rome and the University of Bari-Faculty of Chemistry. Add knowledge on "how?" it will certainly serve to validate / deny the epidemiological correlations and, above all, to identify the main agents of damage and its mechanisms. This offers preventive intervention tools, both environmental and medical and, in the latter case, also targeted therapeutic tools.
7) Are there any guidelines on eco-dermo-compatible certification today?
Such as Skineco we have the possibility to award a “Skineco Approved” sticker for the products of those companies that are beginning to show signs of change and formulate their products taking into account our guidelines, which are also published on the site.
Since last September, we have started training courses to give birth to a new figure: theEcodermatologist, the dermatologist of the 3rd millennium, who in recommending a cosmetic, must also have skills in formulation chemistry. There are also initiatives dedicated to consumers to promote easy literacy and make the user able to choose the best product for their skin.