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Frequently asked questions

Animal testing

Have Berner’s cosmetics been tested on animals?

No. Berner Ltd has never tested their finished cosmetic products on animals. We do not conduct or commission animal testing and we are not involved in animal testing.

Animal testing has been banned in the EU since March 2013. Berner Ltd does not purchase ingredients, formulas or products from suppliers that have conducted or commissioned animal testing or that have been involved in animal testing after the date the company has agreed to follow the standard. Berner Ltd only uses raw materials that have been approved by the EU legislation in their products.

Have cosmetics that are imported by Berner been tested on animals?

Cosmetics that have been tested on animals cannot be sold in the EU area. Berner acts in accordance with the EU legislation in this matter.


Are there microplastics in Berner’s own cosmetics or cosmetics imported by Berner?

In 2015, Cosmetics Europe issued a recommendation to the cosmetics industry to discontinue the use of microplastics in cosmetics products by 2020. We immediately discontinued the use of microplastics in our own cosmetics and skincare products in 2015. The last of our products to contain microplastics, the LV Hoitava roll-on antiperspirant, was reformulated in 2018. All of the cosmetics products manufactured by Berner in 2019, which are LV, XZ, Herbina, Oxygenol, Ainu and Tummeli, are completely free of microplastics.

We import a number of well-known cosmetics brands, such as Clarins, Sensai, IsaDora, Nuxe, Bronx Colors and Mavala. The products of these brands are free of microplastics. IsaDora’s glitter nail polish currently contains microplastics in the form of glitter, but other IsaDora products do not contain microplastics.

What substitute ingredients are used, for example, in exfoliating scrubs?

Fortunately, there is an abundance of alternative ingredients available. For example, we use plant-based microbeads in Herbina and LV exfoliating scrubs.

Palm oil

Do you use palm oil as such in the manufacturing of your products?

Berner Ltd does not purchase palm oil as a raw material in its unprocessed form, but palm oil is used in the manufacturing of certain raw materials used in cosmetics.

Why does Berner use raw materials containing palm oil in its products?

Palm oil is one of the most common sources of raw material for cosmetics and personal hygiene products. Palm oil and palm kernel oil are two types of oil derived from oil palms. The cosmetics industry uses palm kernel oil, which is a by-product of food production.

The use of palm oil involves environmental concerns related to its impact on rain forests. Recognising this, the industries that use palm oil, including the cosmetics industry, are constantly looking for new and more sustainable solutions for palm oil production.

Palm production offers a superior oil yield compared to the alternatives. Fully replacing palm oil with other vegetable oils, such as olive, coconut or rapeseed oil, would require a vastly greater area of land for cultivation. This would not necessarily be a better solution for the environment. For this reason, many manufacturers of raw materials for cosmetics are RSPO members to systematically support the sustainable and responsible production of palm oil.

Where do you get your palm oil-based raw materials from?

We purchase all of our palm oil-based raw materials from a raw material supplier that is a member of RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). RSPO develops principles for sustainable palm oil production. The members of RSPO are committed to increasing the ecological, social and economic responsibility of oil palm production. Supporting the RSPO’s objectives is currently the best way to contribute to responsible palm oil production.

However, membership of RSPO does not automatically mean that the palm oil is certified. Every raw material purchased has to be handled separately. This means that at the moment, some of the raw materials are certified and some are not yet.

We conducted an in-depth assessment in 2018 to determine which of the ingredients used in our production activities contain palm oil derivatives. We found that approximately 15 percent of the ingredients we use contain palm oil derivatives. RSPO-certified palm oil (Mass Balance, Segregated, Identity Preserved) represents 55 percent of the total amount by weight and 65 percent of the total quantity of products.

You have set a goal to move to a 100 percent RSPO Mass Balance certified quality in the raw materials you use latest during 2022. Mass Balance means that a part of the palm oil is non-certified quality. Why don’t you move to using raw materials where the palm oil used is 100 percent certified and traceable to the plant, i.e. RSO Identity Preserved quality?

We use raw materials that have palm oil compounds as their primary materials and, unfortunately, the majority of these raw materials are not yet available in Identity Preserved quality.

Is Berner planning to replace the usage of palm oil with other oils?

We also use plenty of other natural oils in our products, including olive, avocado, almond and rapeseed oil. In addition, we utilise Finnish ingredients such as sea buckthorn oil and other berry seed oils, and the usage of these in our products is constantly increasing.

For example, the development of XZ Blueberry shampoo, a special product to mark the centenary of Finland’s independence, was based on Finnish raw materials and innovations: domestic blueberry seed oil and betaine extracted from sugar beet.


What are parabens? Why are they used in cosmetics?

Parabens are common preservatives used in cosmetic products, medicines and food products. Parabens are effective preservatives and they have a very small risk of causing allergic reactions. As preservatives, parabens are widely effective against microbial spoilage: they fight effectively against molds, yeasts and bacteria. Without preservatives, microbes will quickly ruin a product and the product could even become a health risk.

What kinds of parabens are used in cosmetics?

Paraben is a common name for several different paraben compounds. Parabens used in cosmetics are categorised into the following groups:

  • Short-chained methylparaben and ethylparaben
  • long-chained propylparaben and butylparaben
  • and branched and long-chained isopropylparaben and isobutylparaben

The usage of long-chained and branched parabens in cosmetics has been restricted in the recent years and they are not used in Berner’s products.

Products containing parabens that are produced by Berner are safe for users. The paraben levels of the products are lower than what the current legislation and the new preliminary recommendation allow. Ensuring consumer product safety is the basis for the legislation on cosmetic products. Berner constantly follows the development of legislation and recommendations to ensure the safety of products.

Does Berner manufacture paraben-free products?

Yes. We want to respond to the different wishes of Finnish consumers. There are plenty of choices in our selection for consumers who wish to use fully paraben-free hygiene and cosmetic products. Some examples include all Herbina shampoos and conditioners, Ainu skincare products, most of Herbina’s skincare products and XZ shampoos and conditioners. The ingredient information of the products can be found on their websites:,,,

You can read more about the use of parabens in cosmetics from the Allergy and Asthma Federation’s website.

Products suitable for vegans

What raw materials of animal origin are used in cosmetic, hygiene and household products?

Raw materials of animal origin generally used in cosmetic and hygiene products are honey and beeswax, lanolin extracted from sheep’s wool and silk protein derived from silkworms. Carnitine, a red colouring, is derived from beetles. Others are collagen, which is made of fish/crustacean origin, squalan and keratin. Fatty acids of animal origin have been used before. Today, almost 100% of the fatty acids and glycerine used are of plant origin.

Have raw materials of animal origin been used in Berner’s cosmetic and skincare products?

LV, XZ, Herbina and Tummeli hygiene products do not contain raw materials of animal origin, apart from the products listed below that contain honey or lanolin-derivatives or beeswax:

Honey has been used in the following products:

  • XZ Chocolate-Vanilla Conditioner
  • XZ Cottongrass Shampoo
  • XZ Cottongrass Conditioner
  • XZ Cottongrass Intensive Care Conditioner
  • XZ Energising Fruit Shampoo
  • XZ Energising Fruit Conditioner
  • XZ Energising Fruit Cream Conditioner
  • XZ Rhubarb-Currant Conditioner

Glycerol and fatty acids used in the products are from plant oils.

Lanolin-derivatives have been used in the following products:

  • XZ Oat Oil Conditioner
  • XZ Cottongrass Conditioner
  • XZ Energising Fruit Cream Conditioner
  • XZ Blackcurrant Cream Conditioner

Beeswax has been used in Ainu Zinc Cream.

LV household products are vegan apart from LV Fabric Softener 1 L, LV Fabric Softener Concentrate 750 ml and LV Easy Iron.

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