Solid cosmetics: the future of beauty?

Today, I would like to explore the topic of solid cosmetics with you! There is a lot of talk about it, and the variety and assortment of this new form of cosmetics is becoming increasingly wide and specialised. If once the only solid cosmetic was hand soap, today the selection is much wider: shampoos, conditioners, compresses, exfoliating cleansers, make-up removers, creams…. In short, nothing is really missing!

Solid cosmetics are becoming increasingly popular. Let’s tackle together some of the most frequently asked questions.

How are solid cosmetics made

Solid cosmetics all look like soap bars. But – beware – there are differences: the colours are natural (C’BEL only uses clays and botanical powders for example), the shapes are the most diverse, they are wrapped in environmentally friendly packaging. C’BEL cosmetics are packaged with paper that can be 100% recycled.
What makes solid cosmetics an ecological novelty is yet another: dry processing. Using a word from the technical language, we can say that we are talking about anhydrous cosmetics (literally ‘without water’). In the formula of these cosmetics, in fact, there is no water, either completely or at all.

An waterless cosmetic

Anhydrous cosmetics do not need water-repellent packaging (plastic), have a higher concentration of active ingredients (unlike liquids, the first ingredient is not water), resulting in a higher yield (on average, 60 g solid shampoo replaces 200 ml liquid shampoo). Therefore, they last longer and they allow you to save more. They do not need emulsifiers and silicones. Preservatives are absent or only in very reduced quantities. They are much more practical and easy to take everywhere. If you want to take your favourite shampoo on the go, you will no longer need to resort to a travel size.

What about liquid cosmetics?

In liquid cosmetics, a very high percentage of water is used on average, about 80% of the total product weight. All the active ingredients (the beneficial ingredients) are then placed inside, taking up the remaining 20%. The ingredients have to be processed in various ways for them to dissolve: many of them are not water-soluble. Their smaller particles would remain separated from the water particles, so it becomes necessary to add emulsifiers (substances that allow water and oil to mix) and silicones (substances that create a protective barrier that does not absorb water). Emulsifiers and silicones are indispensable substances to make the final product fluid and well-blended, creamy enough to be pleasant to use. In a solid cosmetic, they are not necessary.

Finally, there is also another extremely important element to consider: liquid cosmetics are susceptible to the proliferation of bacteria and fungi. These can develop precisely in water and alter the composition of the liquid cosmetic to the point of making it unusable and above all harmful. In water-based cosmetic formulas, to ensure preservation, manufacturers have to add preservatives and additives that are often neither natural nor bio-compatible with the skin and body.

If in liquid cosmetics the main ingredient is water, in solid cosmetics, the active ingredients take most of their percentage. These new cosmetics favour a higher concentration of natural active ingredients, such as oils and butters obtained from seeds and fruits and herbs obtained from roots, leaves and flowers.

Benefits of solid cosmetics

In just under 100 grams, there is the amount of active ingredient that would be dissolved in 2 or 3 bottles of equivalent liquid product. As if to say that instead of buying 3 plastic bottles, you buy one solid shampoo and use it for the same amount of time as the 3 bottles.

Beware though, the savings are not immediately visible. Solids can be slightly more expensive than liquids (being more concentrated, they cost the manufacturer more in raw materials). However – if used correctly – they last much longer.

Interesting fact: from a very interesting piece of news, we found out that you can do the same washes with a truck full of solid shampoo as you would with the bottles of liquid shampoo contained in 15 trucks. Think of how much less fuel is needed for transport! This highlights how much more environmentally friendly it is to use solid cosmetics, by choosing them you achieve zero waste: less fuel to transport the products, less pollution for the planet – less plastic.

Flaws of solid cosmetics

The cost of solid cosmetics is generally higher than for liquids. One packet can replace up to 2-3 bottles of shampoo, but only if used correctly will it save money (we will deal with ‘use and storage’ shortly). They can be difficult to dose: partly because we are not used to them, partly because of the prejudice that they produce little foam: the fact is that it can be easy to overdo it with a packet. It should not be left in a humid environment. If it is left in contact with water, it loses its identity as a solid and becomes soft and … easy to waste and contaminate!

After each use, the bar must be dried, protected from moisture and placed in its soap dish. Bamboo soap dishes are a great way to store your bars. Bamboo is environmentally friendly, strong, durable and also beautiful! Loofah is an amazing vegetable sponge, which is a great solution for storing your solids as it allows proper transpiration/drying of the product. Of course, you can always store your bar in its own packaging!

Do you use solid cosmetics? Do you agree with their many benefits? What are the difficulties you encounter when choosing or using one?

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