What is a natural origin ingredient?

(As defined by the new standard ISO 16128-1), An ingredient is of natural origin if it is unchanged from its natural state or has been made using a process retaining more than 50% of its molecular structure from its original vegetal/botanical (plants, algae ...) or mineral source.

What is the difference between a natural origin and a botanical ingredient? 

A vegetal/botanical ingredient finds its origin in botanical sources (flowers, trees, cereals, algae…), and its natural origin status is defined by the process used to obtain it. 

If the process allows to retain more than 50% of its molecular structure from its original botanical source, a vegetal/botanical ingredient can therefore also be considered natural origin.

What is an organic ingredient?

An organic ingredient is defined by the new standard ISO 16128-1 (ISO = guidelines for technical definitions) as a natural ingredient originating from organic farming methods or from wild harvesting.

For example, the coconut oil and argan oil are certified organic ingredients present in all Aura Botanica formulae.


Then, are AURA BOTANICA formulas certified organic? 

A product can be certified organic by an external labelling organization if the standards of the said organization are met. It is more difficult to be certified organic, as there are no exemptions for certain ingredients / some synthetic ingredients are forbidden. Also, a minimum level of organic content must be met and varies according to the labels, for example 10-20% for the European standard COSMOS. Aura Botanica’s formulas were not developed to be certified organic but rather contain certified organic ingredients. 

What is biodegradability?

This is the capacity of organic molecules to be quickly and entirely broken down by the action of micro-organisms. It is measured with an internationally recognized method defined by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development). 

What is the percentage of biodegradability in each AURA BOTANICA’s products? 

As Kérastase is committed to becoming a responsible and sustainable luxury brand, all Aura Botanica formulas are at least 96% biodegradable* making it Kérastase’s range with the highest average levels of biodegradability:

- Bain Micellaire: 99% biodegradable formula

- Soin Fondamental: 99%* biodegradable formula

- Concentré Essentiel: 99%* biodegradable formula

- Essence: 96%* biodegradable formula

*test OECD 301 or ISO equivalent

What is a renewable ingredient?

Renewability of an ingredient is defined by its level of carbon content from botanical source, which must be above 50% of its total carbons to consider the ingredient as renewable. 

A renewable ingredient is therefore a botanical ingredient.

What is a green chemistry ingredient?

It is an ingredient transformed according to the 12 principles of green chemistry that can be summed up in 3 key points: 

- renewable origin (at least 50% carbon content from a botanical source)

- made according to an eco-friendly process, respectful of the human and environmental safety

- with a low impact on the environment (no bioaccumulation, high biodegradability, low water footprint)

What is a responsibly sourced ingredient?

An ingredient can be qualified as responsibly sourced if it meets the following criteria: has a traceable origin, its supply network respects critical points (i.e. respecting Human Rights respect…), is validated by a third party, and has positive social impact on a community.

For example, the argan oil and coconut oil present used in Aura Botanica products are responsibly sourced ingrediens, both are also part of L’Oréal’s ‘Solidarity Sourcing’ program launched in 2010.

How is the production of Kérastase’s formulas respectful of the environment?  ok from DGO to communicate it only on the website/PR

Kérastase’s production plant has reached carbon footprint neutrality since 2015, combining the use of biomass, photovoltaic technology and trigeneration energy. For the first time, a trigeneration facility has supplied steam, hot water, cold water and electricity to a manufacturing site and produced 100% of the energy needs for its manufacturing and packaging processes. In addition, the biomass plant has photovoltaic panels which provide the electricity necessary to achieve carbon neutral status since 2015. 

For more information visit: 


What about the outer packaging of Aura Botanica’s products, is it recycled? 

For the Bain Micellaire, retail 250ml and travel size 80ml bottles contain 100% recycled PET plastic – the first of Kérastase bains to achieve this.

The cartons of the Concentré Essentiel and Essence are made using FSC-certified cardboard. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certification ensures that products come from well managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. 


Why is some of Aura Botanica’s packaging not made with recycled material? 

Today, there are not large enough recycling circuits for all raw materials used to manufacture packaging. We are currently challenging all our suppliers to make a shift and start sourcing recycled materials that could be integrated in the other products in the near future.


What are silicones in hair care? 

Silicones (ingredients with the suffixes –methicone or –siloxane) are types of polymers that are inert, synthetic compounds. 

There are 2 main types of silicones: 

• Dimethicones

o AMODIMETHICONE or amino-silicones are smart silicones that stick to hair and help repair the damaged parts of the hair strand that are negatively charged (amino-groups are positive and the two attract one another). They also favour hair detangling and are excellent conditioners.

o DIMETHICONES bring shine, softness and smoothness to the hair. They have excellent light reflexion properties and help to reduce frizz.

• Siloxanes are low-molecular weight compounds widely used in numerous industrial sectors (household cleaning products, medical articles, cosmetic products, etc.). This group consists of a number of substances of which volatile cyclic siloxanes such as cyclotetrasiloxane (D4), cyclopentasiloxane (D5) and cyclohexasiloxane (D6). These raw materials are endowed with unique physicochemical properties (no odor or color) enabling various cosmetic performances to be achieved (non-oily and silky feel, ease of product application on the skin and hair, rapid product drying). Siloxanes D4, D5 and D6 are also widely used in a large variety of cosmetic products (skin care, makeup, hair care). But siloxanes D4 and D5 are also suspected to accumulate and persist in aquatic ecosystems. On this basis, L’Oréal stopped using D4 and limits the use of D5 solely to products that are not rinsed off.

More data on siloxanes:


What is the role of silicones in haircare products? 

Silicones are used for their unique properties to bring shine, softness and smoothness to the hair. For example, in shampoos, silicone supplies shine and softness without adding weight.

They are water-repellent and help create a fine layer that coats the hair strand and seal out humidity.  They are also very good conditioners. 

The reasons why silicones are largely used are that they don’t interact with other formula ingredients (e.g. they can be mixed with other conditioners or surfactants very easily) and they don’t affect hair fibers and proteins (e.g. keratin) with their very mild action. They also do not hinder other treatments that are often done to hair (e.g. colouring, perming etc.) but they instead protect (and repair) everyday hair damage by keeping hair soft, nourished and manageable.


Why then are some products silicone-free? 

From a sensorial standpoint, some consumers prefer silicone-free products, as they offer a specific sensorial signature with a different hair touch and appearance, a “squeakier” clean touch for shampoos, a more natural conditioning effect (firmer touch), a less coated finish.

Also some hairdressers and colorists prefer a “less coated” fibre before applying hair colour, or another treatment which is considered easier with a silicone-free product.

This is why Kérastase has developed a new range of silicone-free products in Aura Botanica offering 'nude touch' to complement its existing product offering.


Are there good silicones and bad silicones? Or some that are best to avoid and others that are better for the hair? 

Silicones present in Kérastase products present no danger to the users and are adapted to the cosmetic needs and expectations of the consumer target.

Why do silicones have a negative reputation?

Some people have pointed out the build-up effect of silicone coating. This is unproven because silicones, when used in well formulated products, do not build up on hair fibres. 

Are you sure silicones do not pose any health risks?

Safety of both ingredients and formulas is a cosmetic prerequisite. Kérastase has been safely using silicones for decades into hair care products. Before introducing an ingredient in a formula, it has to undergo a rigorous safety assessment. We determine the right level. We offer products that are safe, effective, with high quality that can be used in complete confidence. 

For more information, please visit:'or%C3%A9al-answers/product---ingredient-safety

Can silicones have an impact on scalp, hair loss or hair thinning? 

Some people have pointed out the negative impact of silicones on scalp or on hair. However, there is no known scientific evidence to justify this hypothesis.

Do silicones have an environmental impact? 

Silicones are safe for the consumers but not easily biodegradable in the environment. 

So, our laboratories are working to find new types of silicones which can be used in smaller quantities and with greater biodegradability or alternatives to silicones with similar end benefits on hair and a better environmental profile. 


What are sulfates? 

Sulfates (aka Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (aka Sodium dodecylsulfate), Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Sodium Myreth Sulfate, Sodium Myreth Sulfate) are surfactants, substances that reduce surface tension between two media (two liquids or a liquid and a solid for example) and therefore contribute to the emulsifying, foaming and/or wetting effect and to detergent efficacy of cosmetic products – notably shampoos & cleansers.

What is the role of sulfates in haircare products? 

Sulfates are detergent ingredients that contribute to the deep cleansing efficacy of shampoos, helping remove dirt, impurities, etc.

They are also good foaming agents to provide generous pampering lather during use and make the product simple and easy to rinse off.


When did sulfates start to exist in haircare? 

In 1934, L’Oréal made a revolution in hair care products with the launch of the 1st mass market shampoo without soap. Soap indeed dried hair out, making it dull and difficult to detangle. Based on sulfates originating from fatty acids, this shampoo was first a powder to dilute in water. In the late 40s, its formula was reworked to become a ready-for-use cream.

Sulfates have been used by Kérastase in its cleansing haircare products to develop well-balanced formulations, adapted to the cosmetic needs and expectations of the different consumer hair types targeted by our ranges.


Are there good sulfates and bad sulfates? Or some that are best to avoid and others that are better for the hair? 

Sulfates used in Kérastase products present no danger to the users and are adapted to the cosmetic needs and expectations of the consumer target.

Why do sulfates have a negative reputation? 

Some people have pointed out intolerance to sulfates. Sulfates, like any other ingredients in our formulas, are always carefully selected and comply with strict mildness requirements to develop the best products.

Sulfates have largely been used for many years in hair and skin rinse-off formulas. They now have a long history of usage confirmed by the numerous clinical data validating their good tolerance at the levels used in our formulas. 

Are sulfate free formulas really gentler on hair? If so why?

All our formulas, with and without sulfates, are developed to respect hair integrity, whatever the type of hair. 

Are you sure sulfates do not pose any health risks?

Safety of both ingredients and formulas is a cosmetic prerequisite. L’Oréal has been using safely sulfates for decades in hair care products. Before introducing an ingredient in a formula, it has to undergo a rigorous safety assessment. We determine the right level. We offer products that are safe, effective, with high quality that can be used in complete confidence. 

For more information please visit:'or%C3%A9al-answers/product---ingredient-safety


What is their impact on hair color?

Some people have pointed out the negative impact of sulfates on hair color. But, today, there is no known scientific data to confirm this hypothesis/we are not aware of any scientific evidence to justify this hypothesis.

Why then are some products sulfate-free?

Sulfate-free formulas have also a different sensorial signature. With sulfates, foam is even lighter, more abundant.

What are sulfates replaced with in sulfate-free shampoos like Aura Botanica? 

In Aura Botanica’s shampoo, there are 3 complementary surfactants: 

- Coco betaine

- Coco glucoside

- Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate

They have been selected based on their natural and renewable origin (mainly originating from coconut) and specifically combined together to provide effective yet gentle cleansing while delivering a lightweight lather for healthy glowing hair.


Do sulfates have an environmental impact? 

Sulfates have a limited impact on the environment. Our laboratories are continuously working to find new types of surfactants with a better environmental profile and a greater biodegradability.


What are preservatives? What are they used for?

Preservatives are substances of natural or synthetic origin whose principal role is to prevent physicochemical degradation and growth of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts and fungi) in cosmetic products. Most preservatives are synthetic substances belonging to various chemical groups (halogen-containing compounds, aldehydes, parabens, glycol ethers, organic acids). Preservatives are also very widely used to prevent microorganism contamination of foodstuffs and medicines. Preservatives are absolutely indispensable for ensuring the protection of certain categories of cosmetic products (lotions, creams, etc.) since microorganism contamination may occur during manufacturing (water, air, packaging materials) or during repeated use by the consumer. Cosmetic products have a long shelf life (6 to 24 months after first opening) and, unlike perishable foodstuffs, are stored at room temperature. A cosmetic product that is poorly protected and contaminated may induce health risks for the consumer.

For more information, please visit:

What are the preservatives agents in the Aura Botanica’s products? Why were these particular ones used?

Two preservative agents, salicylic acid and sodium benzoate, are used in Aura Botanica’s products. They were rigorously selected to guarantee the microbiological protection of the products during their lifetime.

If salicylic acid and sodium benzoate are the preservatives and are just in the Bain Micellaire, does that mean the Soin Fondamental and Concentré Essentiel do not have any preservatives in them at all? 

The Soin Fondamental and Concentré Essentiel have formulations which do not require the addition of preservatives to guarantee their microbiological protection of the products during their lifetime. 

What are the potential risks?

Despite the essential role of preservatives in the protection of cosmetic products, their benefit is regularly contested. Preservatives are accused of inducing allergies and playing a role in the emergence of certain forms of cancer, and are singled out as endocrine disruptors.

The number and concentration of preservatives used in cosmetic products are very limited and strictly controlled by numerous international regulations. The safety data on those preservatives are very regularly reviewed by the scientific experts of the international health authorities in order to take the most recent studies into account. The concentrations used in cosmetic products may then be adjusted in order to prevent potential impacts on consumer health.

Why is the protection of L’Oréal cosmetic products safe?

We use a very limited number of preservatives selected for certain specific categories of cosmetic products when protection against microorganisms cannot be ensured by any other means. The preservatives and their concentrations are rigorously selected to ensure the correct level of microbiological protection of the product under study, in strict compliance with the international regulations, while ensuring perfect safety for the consumer.

We have also developed a proactive innovation strategy in the field of the microbiological protection of formulae consisting of: 1) synthesizing new preservatives endowed with an irreproachable safety profile and 2) developing specific packaging systems and new formulations that are not vulnerable to microbiological contamination.

What are parabens?

Parabens are a series of preservatives that are very widely used to ensure the protection of foodstuffs, medicines and cosmetic products from microbiological contamination (bacteria and fungi). The parabens used in cosmetic products are of synthetic origin but they also exist naturally in certain foods such as red fruit, vanilla, carrot and onion, and in foodstuffs prepared from plants, some cheeses, products produced by bees (propolis, royal jelly) and in the human body.

For more information on parabens, please visit:

Why are parabens indispensable in certain cosmetic products? 

Parabens are very useful for ensuring the protection of numerous categories of cosmetic products (lotions, emulsions, creams) since they are very effective at low concentrations against bacteria and fungi, are heat-stable and act synergistically with other preservative groups.

In this group, ethyl and methyl parabens (short chains) are the most widely used, frequently in combination, while butyl and propyl parabens (long chains) are less used.


What are the potential risks?

The use of parabens in cosmetic products has been controversial for several years. Due to the ability of parabens to bind to estrogen receptors in vitro, the preservatives were suspected of a potential effect on reproduction in humans and on estrogen-dependent cancers such as breast cancer. The affinity of parabens for the estrogen receptor is, however, approximately 1 million times weaker than that of the estrogen (estradiol-17ß) present in the human body and no impact on human health has been formally demonstrated to date.

Are there parabens in Aura Botanica products? Why?

Aura Botanica formulas are paraben free, as there were alternative options adapted to the type of formulas and without any trade off on products quality and tolerance. 

More info on parabens:


Are there parabens in Kérastase products? Why?

Some Kérastase products still contain parabens. Parabens have been used for several decades in certain categories of our cosmetic products and only when indispensable to ensure effective microbiological protection.

More info on parabens:

Why are L’Oréal products containing parabens safe?

The scientific experts of the various international health authorities very recently reviewed all the toxicological data available on the 4 parabens (ethyl, methyl, propyl and butyl parabens) used in cosmetic products and confirmed that they could be used in all safety by consumers, while adjusting the concentrations for use of each of the parabens. We never compromise on the quality and safety of our products. Microbiological protection is one of the components of product quality and safety. Parabens have been used for several decades in certain categories of our cosmetic products and only when indispensable to ensure effective microbiological protection. The products then mainly contain ethyl and methyl parabens, which have a particularly positive safety profile. The concentrations of those parabens are rigorously defined in order to procure the correct level of microbiological protection for the product under study, in strict compliance with the international regulations, while ensuring perfect safety for the consumer. We have also developed an offensive innovation strategy designed to develop specific packaging systems and new formulations that are markedly less vulnerable to microbiological contamination, thus enabling limitation of the use of preservatives, including parabens.


What are fragrance ingredients?

Fragrances are the constituents of olfactory compositions which create the basis of the great perfumes, eau de toilette, etc. Fragrance ingredients are also used in household fragrances, to perfume cosmetic products and in consumer products such as household cleaning products. 

Since ancient times, man has made use of and traded in fragrances. The role of odors in social relations and well-being is well known. Olfactory compositions underlie the odors of cosmetics and contribute to the sensory pleasure related to their use. Fragrance ingredients include a very large series of substances of natural origin (rose, jasmine, lavender, orange, bergamot, etc.) or synthetic origin.

For more information on fragrance ingredients, please visit:


Why indicate 'Fragrance' in the list of ingredients and not the names of the substances?

The creation of olfactory compositions draws on a unique experience and perfumers jealously guard the recipes of the great perfumes on which their celebrity is based. In order to comply with the confidentiality necessary for the protection of industrial know-how, the composition of the fragrance is not indicated in detail on the labeling, with the exception of the list of allergens contained in the fragrance.

Is the fragrance in Aura Botanica natural? 

Aura Botanica’s fragrance has been designed to be eco-friendly with a high level of biodegradability. Achieving this would not be possible with natural fragrance components that have low biodegradability levels.

Does Aura Botanica fragrance have aromatherapy benefits?

Aura Botanica’s fragrance contains several essential oils, which are at the basis of aromatherapy, with invigorating and stimulating benefits, to help enhance the well-being of the mind, body and spirit.

What are the potential risks?

Fragrances are known by the dermatological community as being liable to induce allergies in certain consumers. In 2003, the European Union instituted, in the cosmetic regulations, the obligation of indicating, in the list of ingredients, the presence of certain substances rather than the simple statement 'fragrance'. In all, 26 substances considered the most allergenic are to be stated in the product labeling if present above a certain cutoff (0.01% for rinse-off products and 0.001% for non-rinse-off products). The consumer, who is thus better informed, is able to ensure the rational use of the cosmetic product. The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety recently reviewed all the scientific data on allergies related to fragrance ingredients in cosmetic products and recommended extending the list beyond the 26 substances that currently have to be stated in the labeling. The European Commission is working in close cooperation with industry to define the optimum manner of incorporating the expert opinion in new labeling provisions.

Why are L’Oréal products safe?

In our research teams, certain staffs are specifically responsible for assessing the safety of fragrance ingredients. The olfactory compositions that we purchase comply with the standards of the IFRA, the international organization representing the producers of olfactory compositions, and undergo an initial safety assessment by the supplier. In addition, the compositions are required to comply with very strict in-house specifications to which the safety assessor contributes. After having checked that the composition fulfills the regulatory obligations and safety requirements, we conduct clinical tests in order to confirm the safety of the product containing the fragrance composition. The dual assessment by both the supplier and L’Oréal ensures that our products can be used in all safety.


What is an allergen?

Allergens are substances that are foreign to the body and that may induce, in certain subjects, after several contacts, an exaggerated response of the immune system known as an 'allergy'. Allergens are naturally present in our environment and diet. For example, pollen or the mites in dust may give rise to asthma; peanuts, shrimp and strawberries are known to induce allergic reactions that may potentially be very serious. Lastly, synthetic ingredients may have allergic potential. This is the case with certain medications, colorants, fragrances, etc.

Several types of allergies are to be distinguished, among which the best known are immediate allergies, mainly food allergies, which may be very severe, and delayed contact allergies, which gives rise to cutaneous symptoms (redness, itching, etc.) that may be extensive to a greater or lesser degree.

For more information on allergens, please visit:

What are the risks with cosmetics?

Cosmetic products may occasionally give rise to allergic reactions, mainly contact allergies. The reactions are due to the presence of ingredients such as certain hair colorants, preservatives and fragrances (cf. datasheets). The reactions are rare, generally confined to the product application site and totally reversible on discontinuation of product use. The reactions may necessitate dermatological consultation and an appropriate treatment.

Why are L’Oréal products safe?

The ingredients that we use in our products have all undergone rigorous evaluation of their allergenic potential. When we evaluate cosmetic product safety prior to marketing, we verify that the ingredients constituting the product are used under conditions in which they will not induce allergies in consumers. Lastly, we verify the absence of allergic reactions by conducting appropriate clinical trials on our products. This rigorous approach covers all the products that we develop.

In rare cases and for very specific products, when an allergic risk is known and cannot be totally eradicated with the current state of scientific and technical knowledge, we inform the consumers of the risk incurred via the product labeling and we propose a method of detecting allergic potential before product use. This is the case for hair color products, for which we recommend systematically conducting a cutaneous allergy test 48 hours before coloration (see hair colorants). It is to be noted that we pioneered the recommendation of this test.

In general, we recommend that consumers who know themselves to be allergic read the list of ingredients in the labeling of all cosmetic products attentively in order to avoid use of products that contain the ingredient(s) responsible.



What is gluten? Does L’Oréal use gluten?

Gluten is a mixture of substances, mainly consisting of proteins, present in the seeds of certain cereals such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. Gluten is present in numerous foods containing those cereals. It is used for its viscoelastic properties, particularly in baking.

We do not use gluten as an ingredient in our cosmetic products. Despite our high level of requirements relating to the quality of our raw materials, small traces of gluten may be present in a few of our raw materials derived from wheat, rye, barley and oats.

For more information on gluten, please visit:


What are the potential risks? 

Intolerance of certain protein fractions of gluten, also known as celiac disease, is relatively common in humans. The intolerance is characterized by marked impairment of the walls of the small intestine, which may interfere with the intestinal absorption of certain essential nutriments, thus resulting in serious deficiencies. The disease is induced by intake of foodstuffs derived from rye, oats, wheat or barley. Treatment necessitates life-long compliance with a gluten-free diet.

Why are L’Oréal products safe?

We decided not to use gluten as an ingredient in our cosmetic products. Traces of gluten in certain raw materials may be present in some cosmetic products in tiny proportions. The exposure of the human body to those very small quantities of gluten is not associated with a consumer health risk, even in consumers presenting with celiac disease. Ingestion, even accidental, of lipstick containing a few traces of gluten cannot induce adverse effects because the quantities of gluten are so small.

Consumers who know they have gluten intolerance rightly wish not to use cosmetic products containing ingredients derived from the incriminated cereals. Before choosing a cosmetic product, consumers may very easily verify the absence of the Latin names of the cereals involved in the list of ingredients (wheat: Triticum vulgare; barley: Hordeum distichon; oats: Avena sativa; rye: Secale cereale).


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