Holism can be defined as the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone. Instead, the system as a whole determines how the parts behave.1 I rather like this definition, as it expresses the inseparable nature of the self from the forces around us. It also explains why, when I’m asked for my opinion, my response almost always begins with “it depends.”
For cosmetics, holistic beauty is an ancient concept that has reemerged in recent years alongside our larger focus on health and subsequent vigilance for what is in, on and around us. This includes physical, mental and emotional forces. Product developers have honed in on these factors to identify tangible solutions for beauty; such as nutricosmetics, exposome protection (UV and pollution) and psychodermatology (anti-stress).
The current issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries intertwines facets of holistic beauty in several ways. It spans the categories of hair, skin, color and sun; it aims to both improve and protect hair, skin and formulations in general; it also seeks to reduce mental stress and appeal to green tenets for beauty benefits.
More specifically, it opens with a look at consumer hair concerns by Popescu (Page 7). Werle, et al. (Page 32), explore Prunella vulgaris as a natural adaptogen to decrease mental stress, impart scalp wellness and improve hair loss and dullness. Marsh, et al., provide a primer on natural oils, their structure and function, and how these affect hair and skin formula properties such as melting point, viscosity, penetration and oxidative stability (Page 36).
Lionetti and Deola (Page 46) explain the role of oils and fillers to improve UV-protective color cosmetics. In relation, our Expert Opinions this month (Page 14) shares ideas for photoprotection and skin defense.
Carvalheiro, et al. (Page 42), describe a novel green extraction process to upcycle α-tomatine from unripened tomatoes leftover from food processing; this is tested for antioxidant effects in a natural soap. Mainkar, et al., repurpose pomegranate peel from fruit juicing to create an anti-pollution, anti-blue light and anti-aging active (Page 26).
Finally, Laden (Page 22) delves into clean beauty with some criticisms and suggestions for improvement. This issue “holistically” spans the spectrum of cosmetic topics; hopefully with a little something for everyone.