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Vraiment actif ?

Really active?


Active ingredients in cosmetics are a broad subject…

Active principle, active ingredient, extract – all these terms are used, but what do they mean? Is there a difference between them? What purpose do they serve? Where do they come from and what do they do? You have probably already asked yourself these questions, and here at TiL, we have a somewhat unique philosophy on the matter, and we will try to shed some light on it for you.


What is a cosmetic formula? 

To simplify, an emulsion or cream is a mixture of water (aqueous phase, majority) and oil (oil phase), with one dispersed in the other in the form of small droplets:

  • An oil-in-water emulsion: water surrounds the oil droplets, resulting in light, moisturizing textures that penetrate well.
  • A water-in-oil emulsion: water droplets are inside the oil droplets, creating richer, more nourishing formulas.

But as you know, these two phases do not spontaneously mix, so an emulsifier is added to bind them together, making the mixture homogeneous and, most importantly, stable.

  • Next, ingredients that affect the texture and sensory aspects are incorporated, along with the famous actives, the “noble” part. They have a specific action on the skin or hair, targeting specific issues and providing hydration, radiance, firmness, anti-aging benefits, sebum balance, etc.
  • They can be of natural (plant-based, marine, microbial) or synthetic origin.Depending on the case, they can be soluble in water or oil, so they are integrated into the oily or aqueous phase. They are the ones responsible for the activity and effectiveness of a product, and even in small quantities, they make a difference.
  • Finally, preservatives are added without which the cream would turn into a “culture broth” for various bacteria and fungi. 😊

We would like to take this opportunity to convey a message: be cautious with DIY (do-it-yourself) approaches, as consultations with dermatologists for skin reactions are on the rise…

“Extracts” or “actives”?

Both contribute to the product’s activity:

  • Extracts are substances derived from natural raw materials, mostly plants(or marine sources): trees, flowers, plants, fruits, algae, etc. They are obtained through extraction processes that isolate the desired active molecules, such as maceration, distillation, cryo-extraction. This concentrates all the beneficial compounds from the original plant, including vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids, which have various benefits for the skin.
  • Actives, specially developed for their properties, can be of natural or synthetic origin, such as vitamin C, retinol, hyaluronic acid, etc., with targeted effects.



Proven effectiveness, or not?

An “objectified” active principle means that its effectiveness has been measured and quantified through scientific or clinical studies: in vitro tests on cell cultures, in vivo tests on human subjects. It ensures real effectiveness. Often, extracts are present in a formula without any objective data supporting their effectiveness. When an extract is “standardized” it means it is controlled in terms of concentration or active ingredient content. This guarantees a consistent amount of active molecules in each batch. Standardization is achieved through methods like chromatography or spectrometry, which separate and identify the compounds present in the extract. It is common for extracts to be present in a formula without any objective data supporting their effectiveness.


Understanding composition

The INCI list (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) is mandatory on all cosmetic product packaging and lists all the ingredients present. They are listed in descending order by percentage: the first ingredient on the list is present in the largest quantity, and the last ingredient is present in the smallest quantity. Natural ingredients are listed using the plants’ Latin names. For example, silver linden is listed as Tilia Tomentosa.


TiL: natural and objectified formulas

 The three years of R&D conducted to develop our exclusive active ingredient and all the formulas followed the approach of using natural and objectified formulas.

  • Development of Tiliactiv4®

This exclusive active ingredient is both local, natural, standardized, and objectified. It was developed after a comprehensive molecular analysis of each part of the linden tree, a world-first: buds, branches, leaves, and flowers, revealing a high concentration of moisturizing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant molecules. These molecules are then extracted using cryo-extraction because we only use fresh material. As soon as the different parts of the linden tree are harvested, they are frozen to preserve the integrity of the active molecules (they lose much of their effectiveness when dried into a powder). They are then highly concentrated into extracts and combined (like assembling a Champagne blend) in Tiliactiv4®, which is at the heart of all our cosmetic formulas. Created by biotechnology using fresh materials from our centuries-old linden trees in Dordogne, it is anti-free radicals, soothing, anti-wrinkle, and hydrating.

 Its effectiveness has been measured and objectified:

Soothing: 64% inhibition capacity of 5-LOX (inflammation).

Antioxidant: 68.7% radical scavenging capacity.

It is standardized, meaning that regardless of the harvest, varying quality due to different climates, and the linden tree parts being more or less beautiful each year, it always contains the same concentration of active molecules. It also ensures consistent quality because we have complete control over the harvesting process of our wild linden trees, located in a family estate in the heart of the preserved nature of the Périgord-Limousin Regional Natural Park.

  • Formulation creation

The specifications given to our laboratory were very ambitious, but we achieved it!

  • Natural formulas: All our formulas are 97% to 99% natural while having an exceptional sensory experience, which was an absolute requirement.
  • Objectified actives with proven effectiveness: All the selected actives, complementing Tiliactiv4®, have scientific data supporting their effectiveness, with solid documentation. For example, Centifolia Rose extract was originally used as a healing agent after surgical procedures before being used in cosmetics.

All actives are Made in France.

TiL skincare formulas have also undergone clinical studies with women to measure their effects on various parameters of youth and skin beauty, with consistently positive results.

So, greenwashing is not our style! We also avoid unsubstantiated promises… TiL is both natural, effective, sensory, and represents the highest form of sophistication: simplicity.

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