How it all started
When it was founded in 1877, Cosmydor specialised in the manufacture of premium soaps and eaux de toilette. It was hugely successful for almost a century thanks to the quality of its products, the originality of its fragrances and packaging, and the beauty of the illustrations used in its advertisements – including the iconic woman painted in 1891 by Jules Chéret, a famous artist of the time. The brand, which won prizes at the Universal Exhibitions in Paris in 1889 and 1900, disappeared in the late 1960s due to a succession crisis.
In 2015, a French entrepreneur fascinated by heritage brands and a naturopathy-lover creative rediscovered Cosmydor and were struck by its incredible aesthetic, original personality, and deep botanical roots. They decided to bring it back to life through exceptionally high quality cosmetics in line with the public’s new expectations for naturalness and authenticity.
They wrote an extremely demanding list of specifications and spent a year researching the best way to manufacture their products in a 100% artisanal manner and using aromatherapy-inspired 100% active natural components in France to meet the strictest “organic” requirements, while minimising environmental impact.
Cosmydor now offers a full range of products of the highest quality for all skin types.
ORGANIC NATURAL COSMETICS
Cosmydor’s raison d’être is based on one simple belief: nature provides everything we need.
For decades, in order to meet mass production requirements, mass-market cosmetic manufacturers have oversold the quasi-magical powers and performance of chemically created formulas. We are in the habit of using soaps, shampoos and creams that contain too many useless ingredients that are often harmful to our skin, our body, and the environment, or so-called “natural” products that are not what they claim to be.
Uniform appearance, artificial fragrances, colours that have been tampered with, textures boosted with silicone, or so-called “natural” ingredients in minuscule quantities to condone a misleading naturalness, all this has been done to disconnect us from our senses, the true scents of plants and flowers, as well as their benefits. Faced with a need and a growing demand for truth from the public, mass-market manufacturers are using a great deal of marketing techniques and media power to make us believe they have changed their formulas to make them more natural. This is not the case, and just reading a label makes this clear.
Rather than listing the harmful ingredients absent of our formulas, as they contain none, we choose to let you know what they actually contain and give you the exact percentage of active natural components in all our products, often 3 to 20 times higher than most cosmetics and skincare products. This concentration is the true guarantee of optimal efficiency. The same way we do not add perfumes in our creams and soaps (their extraordinary smell comes only from its ingredients: you literally breathe in the plants and flowers used to make them), we do not add any unnecessary useless fat to improve their textures.
For all those, men and women alike, who seek a credible alternative and rightly demand exemplary ingredients and exemplary artisanal manufacturing processes, credible and uncompromising organic labelling, as well as packaging with minimal impact on the environment, we create fresh, simple and healthy products. Our products are natural in the true sense (with the least possible processes) and do not contain any animal material apart from beeswax in some creams. We offer a maximum concentration of vegetable oils and essential oils rich in active natural components that are incredibly effective.
ULTRA-CONCENTRATION IN ACTIVE NATURAL COMPONENTS
It is not water, nor oil-based liquid paraffin, nor even texture agents such as silicon or synthetic ingredients – however “innovative” they may be – that guarantee the efficiency of a cleansing product or a cream. What they do guarantee are financial margins by avoiding the use of more costly manufacturing processes and by reducing active natural components that offer quality and efficiency.
Our approach, based on modern aromatherapy principles, is the opposite: we use as few ingredients as possible, and more active components. Vegetable oils and essential oils known for their moisturising, soothing, antioxidant, antiseptic and regenerating powers are not merely ingredients to us, they form the basis of our formulas. We only include active natural components in our products; we do not dilute to lower the cost; we remove anything unnecessary.
If we post the composition of our products on our website in a readable way it is because we have nothing to hide, and our active natural components represent from 25% to 99.5% of the product you buy.
Good to know: read the label!
Legislation requires manufacturers to indicate the components in descending order according to their percentage. You will notice that the percentage of useless or even harmful ingredients is often the vast majority, at the expense of quality active natural components. Cosmetics that boast the merits and benefits of an active natural component such as jojoba oil or lavender essential oil will often only contain between 1% and 2% of these ingredients.
ARTISANAL SENSIBLE MANUFACTURING METHODS
Conversion processes are just as important as the quality and quantity of active natural components. To allow them to retain all their benefits, they should be modified as little as possible and respected. When refining a good hemp oil, not only are its fibres that contain tannins and vitamins removed but, and most importantly, the fatty acids that make it up are changed and, although they bear the same name (the labelling “trans” for a converted fatty acid is not required), they become harmful to health.
Our simple and gentle manufacturing processes allow us to best preserve the fragile compounds and not to alter the structure of the carbon chain. For example, for vegetable oils, we only use cold pressed virgin oils instead of refined oils obtained using solvents (which are cheaper).
Our processes are artisanal because they require ongoing human intervention and surveillance, a skill comparable to that of a carpenter, a master violin-maker or a seamstress working for one of the great fashion houses. We respect nature as much as possible at every stage of the manufacturing process, attempting to create a harmony between what it offers us and what we ask of it for our skin.
The irregularity of our solid soaps, the organic deposits you sometimes see in our liquid soaps, as well as the oils in some of our creams, are signs that our products are fresh and our expertise artisanal.
Cold process soap-making
The solid soaps you usually buy are hot-processed, in keeping with the leading industrial method. The increase in the temperature of the oils allows for the acceleration of the chemical reaction, speed and production quantity but is not without consequences for the oils and active natural components. Once mistreated, they break down and lose their properties. The naturally produced glycerine is removed and only the detergent properties of the soap are retained. Deprived of vitamins, fatty acids and natural glycerine, these hot-processed soaps strip the skin without offering any benefits. Recomposed glycerine, chemical agents and fats are often added in order to rebalance the skin’s pH, moisturise it minimally and allow the “ultra-rich” marketing card to be played.
Conversely, cold-process soap-making respects thousand-year-old artisanal methods of soap-making. It keeps the virtues and benefits of the vegetable oils and essential oils intact. Worked at low temperatures, the fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants naturally present in the oils are preserved. The natural glycerine that results from the saponification reaction is also retained, allowing optimal skin hydration. To achieve this, production must be carefully watched to manually adjust the ingredients... not to mention the patience required to wait three weeks for the soap to harden naturally.
Cosmydor holds the only certification in France relative to cold process soap-making.
It is impossible not to use a preservative in a cosmetic that contains water, for reasons of hygiene, safety and minimum use time.
Industrial cosmetics may have stopped using parabens but unfortunately they have replaced these with equally toxic preservatives such as triclosan, also known as 5- chloro-2-(2.4-dichlorophenol), phenol, cetrimonium bromide, methylisothiazolinone, formaldehyde and phenoxyethanol.
We are currently testing the use of completely natural preservatives but our data does not yet stretch back far enough to guarantee their effectiveness in all cases, and no-one else does. We are therefore using alcohol – a basic and effective product that the body produces naturally – in a proportion that never exceeds 2% so as guarantee its safety and avoid drying out the skin.
You will notice that the expiration dates on our creams are shorter than those of creams stuffed with dubious preservatives; this is a conscious and conscientious manufacturing decision.
We promote a responsible manufacturing policy because we believe it is foolish to make use of the benefits of nature while continuing to devastate it through habit, greed or carelessness. Cosmydor favours handmade over mechanisation and human expertise over automation.
The most demanding organic certification
All our products are certified by the organic Nouvelle Cosmétique label, hence comply with the strictest specifications of all existing labels in France, and probably elsewhere globally. Our agricultural raw materials come from organic farming. We favour harvested products. Naturally derived substances are tolerated if no organic ingredients can replace their function.
One very simple example of eco-responsibility is the use of powdered almond kernels, coffee beans or wheat germ in our exfoliating products (creams and soaps). Why on earth would you use plastic micro-beads, which end up in our oceans causing enormous damage to flora and fauna, when such simple and natural – still very efficient - solutions exist?
Our "no packaging" policy
Plastic, even if it is recycled, is still plastic which sooner or later ends up in the natural environment, poisoning it for centuries to come. Using cardboard with sophisticated printing techniques for packaging which is not intended to last after purchase does not seem sensible to us either. That is why we have opted for a “no packaging” policy.
Our jars, bottles and tubes are designed from noble and environmentally-friendly materials, such as opaline glass, Miron glass and aluminium – they also protect the organic molecules in our formulas.
Our products are only wrapped in tissue paper which is 100% biodegradable and made using artisanal processes in France. For our products’ transportation and presentation, we have chosen organic cotton bags or nice reusable boxes.
When we have no choice but to create a secondary packaging, it is only in recyclable cardboard and multi-use. For instance our creams’ boxes are designed to be re-used for decoration and storage of your little objects.
We are currently seeking innovative and effective solutions to get rid of the last plastic elements we use once and for all, namely the pumps for our liquid soaps (although they are as small and economical as possible) and the lids for our pots. We are also working on a re-filling system for our liquid soaps as well as recycled paper alternatives for wrapping our solid soaps.
In fact, we reject the very idea of “packaging”, and prefer to present and transport our creams and soaps in objects in their own right, capable of being an integral part of your bathroom’s aesthetic.
If you have ideas or wish to discuss this with us, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.