LisaLise Reviews Modern Cosmetics: Ingredients of Natural Origin

I feel quite privileged to have been contacted by the publishers of Modern Cosmetics  - Ingredients of Natural Origin - A Scientific View for a sneak preview copy of it before it even hits the shelves a couple of weeks from now.

And even though it's flattering to experience oneself among 'a chosen few', it didn't stop me from making it clear I would only write about the book if I found it worthy of attention and praise, and if they could accept those terms, they were very welcome to send me a copy.

They did, and they did.

You've already guessed the next part, because here it is.

A Complete Catalogue 

If this book had been around when I started out, it would have saved me about a zillion trips to the library. (those too young to know what a library is can ask Uncle Google)

Originally published in 2015 (in Slovenian), the book has now been translated to English.

Yay for all us English speaking folks, because this extensive catalogue of information will in all likelihood never make it to your bookshelf.


Because if you're anything like me and love to geek out about plant-based cosmetics ingredients, you simply won't be able to put it down.

There are links at the bottom to where you can read about the authors and story behind the book on the publishers site, so instead of repeating what is already written, I'm going to share a few reasons I predict this is going to be an indispensable tool for cosmetics formulators of all levels.

Everything in Context

There are scads of books on herbs, plants, plant chemistry, uses of plants and plant-based ingredients, but Modern Cosmetics brings these components into a single, cosmetics-making context.

Why is this useful?

Because it answers the most common questions formulators of plant-based cosmetics have when considering ingredients for a formula.

But the reason I am unable to put it down is something entirely different, because this book offers something uncommon to most resource books, and that is inspiration.

Following are just a few highlights.

Mechanism of Action and Use

The overall information and characteristics of each ingredient is followed by a super useful description of function, common use, and dosages for different cosmetic applications.

Pictured is pages 226-227.

(no, I didn't draw red lines all over my book. I took pics and drew red lines on the pics)

Here's the Mechanism of Action and Use text for Allantoin (top of page on right)
Allantoin acts as a moisturiser and a keratoplastic cosmetics ingredient, i.e. it softens the hornified layer of the skin. Given its keratoplastic activity, a 0.2% aqueous solution of allantoin is equivilant to a 10% aqueous solution of urea. Allantoin also has soothing and vulnerary effects. It is therefore suitable for the care of stressed and irritated skin, e.g. after shaving or sunbathing. It is used in cosmetics products at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 0.5%.

And underneath - extra historic info (indented light grey text)
Allantoin is probably the main active substance in roots of comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) which accelerates wound healing. Comfrey ointment is well-known in traditional medicine. According to the original recipe, it is made from lard.

Inspirational Skincare Tips

This is one of the reasons I can't seem to put this book down. How cool is it to find these little nuggets of inspiration throughout!

A great example is on page 161 where the monograph about wheat germ oil includes an instruction on preparing your own regenerative night oil mixture:
Gently for regenerative skin care
To prepare a nourishing night oil mixture rich in vitamin E, add a few drops of sea buckthorn oil to wheat germ oil. Pomegranate oil may also be used to enrich its antioxidative properties. 

Interesting Tidbits and Facts

Here's another example of the kind of detail of information and fun facts you get even when you just pick it up and browse through a few pages.

Pictured is the top of page 312, where this little tidbit about parabens caught my eye:
It is, however, a less-known fact that methyl paraben can also be found in nature, e.g. in bilberries, carrots, cucumbers and olives, where it is synthesized for defense against microorganisms.
I couldn't help nodding in agreement as my own article from 2012 came to mind.


I could go on highlighting things until the cows come home, but instead, I'm going to show you where you can get your own copy.

I know it's not on the shelves yet, but you can pre-order right here.

If you pre-order before November 15th, the publishers are offering a €20 discount.

From what I've heard, there's already scads of interest and the orders are pouring in.

Visit the main page here
Read about the Authors here (scroll down)
Pre-order the book here (scroll down)

Now, if you will be so kind as to excuse me, I have a bit of important reading to do.

Do Tell

Are you the type who loves to geek out about plant-based cosmetics ingredients?

This book was gifted to me in the hopes I would find it worthy of writing about. I did. There are no affiliate links in this article.


Charlotte said…
I have ordered mine and can’t wait to get mine!
Unknown said…
This is very exciting I ordered my copy!
Almocado said…
Sounds exciting! I think I’ll order one, thanks for the review.
Deena said…
Thanks so much! Just ordered mine!!
LisaLise said…
@Charlotte - Lovely! You won't be disappointed

@Unknown - Yay! Enjoy!

@Annette Almocado - Go for it! :D

@Deena - Wonderful! I still can't put mine down :D
Selma said…
I've just ordered mine copy, I can't wait to start reading and learning! Thanks for the recommendation and review Lise!
LisaLise said…
Hello Selma - I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it. It's such an inspiration to read.