The type of cosmetics we use is a matter of choice, just as the food we eat, the way we spend our leisure time or the books we read.
Mihaela Isac is a chemistry engineer and a graduate from Bucharest’s Polytechnic University. After graduation she applied for a Master’s Degree in Therapeutic Chemistry at the University of Bucharest’s Chemistry Faculty. She had looked at many cosmetics labels, in search for products with no synthetic compounds, but she eventually found out that the only way to a have a genuinely natural product was to make it herself. And that’s how the Mnosmetics were invented – Mnosmetics is a word especially coined to name Mihaela Isac’s cosmetics.
Mihaela Isac: “I was happy with the outcome, it made me realise that I got a talent for manufacturing such products. Besides, it was something I loved to do. People acknowledged my talent and my wish to create such products, they encouraged and supported me as I started to make the most of that talent, and that’s how I began to prepare those vegetal cosmetics for other people as well. We all have a talent that makes us happy, a talent we can make the most of by offering the gifts we have to the others as well.”
The paradox that never ceases to astonish Mihaela is that many people take up detoxifying diets, and then use cosmetic products with synthetic chemicals. All those who are concerned with their own health should know that the substances in the cosmetics they use are absorbed by the body through the skin. Many chemical ingredients in cosmetics and body care products are toxic and have negative effects on our health, Mihaela says.
Mihaela Isac: “The skin is the biggest organ in the human body. The skin absorbs the products we apply on it. If they have beneficial ingredients, the effects of their use will in turn be positive. But if those products contain toxic chemical substances, they will have negative effects on the skin as well as on our internal organs. And here we mainly speak about the effects that add up after many years of using those products.”
So far, hygiene and beauty products have not been perceived as directly influencing our health, because they are designed for external use. We simply do not realize that substances enter the body through the skin. Women absorb especially large amounts of toxic substances through the skin when they use ordinary cosmetic products, Mihaela Isac told us.
Mihaela Isac: “Women’s daily routine implies the use of cleansers, face creams, of makeup and other hygiene products, many of which have harmful ingredients. There is a whole list of dangerous substances, that common cosmetics contain: parabens, the aluminum which is included in deodorants and antiperspirants, aromatic carbohydrates from oil or other oil-based products (Vaseline and paraffin), the lead in lipstick and so on. There are many other harmful substances. An alternative to what is currently available on the market could by the organic cosmetics products.”
We’ve asked her whether it is difficult to make cosmetics after one has understood what effects these ingredients have.
Mihaela Isac: “It’s not that complicated. I first think of what I want to prepare. Let’s say I want to make a hair and scalp mask. I start reading about the ingredients first; then select those I might use for the product. Next I start drawing up the recipe, think of the amount of ingredients, then make a sample for me; test it for a while, then, if necessary, improve the recipe.”
Mihaela Isac does not limit herself to producing moisturizing creams, lotions or conditioners. She also makes perfumes, which she views as ‘healing olfactory essences’.
Mihaela Isac: “My perfumes are not used as daily deodorants. They are designed to enhance the psycho-emotional experiences mentioned in their description. For this reason they can be used before bedtime or even during the day, if that person wants to experience a certain mood. For a maximum effect the perfume must be applied between the nostrils and on other parts of the body, like the forehead, the neck, the chest or two fingers below the belly button. Alternatively, they can be smelled right from the bottle.”
But besides producing and selling handmade cosmetics, Mihaela pleads for consumer education.
Mihaela Isac: “People should be more aware of what they use and of what they spray on their skin. They should see beyond appearances, TV commercials, labels and packaging, and have a look at the content itself.”
All ingredients used at present (aromatic essences, oils) were initially used as cures, says our interlocutor. Ancient Egyptians were the first to use aromatic products for cosmetic use. Mihaela very much lays emphasis on the healthy ingredients of cosmetic products giving them the right place in a recipe.