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Structure and philosophy

Our R&D DPT consists of 10 highly qualified scientists in the fields of chemistry, cosmetology and chemical engineering.

It has more than 32 years proven experience in natural products’ development. Mr. Koutsianas, one of the founders of Apivita, oversees the R&D processes, sharing with the R&D team his in depth knowledge of natural ingredients.

Main Activities of R&D department are:

  • Development and Formulation of new products
  • Evaluation of the formulas (Stability, Challenge and Patch tests)
  • In vivo and in vitro test of effectiveness
  • Monitoring trends of global cosmetic industry
  • Incorporation of the latest scientific research in the products
  • Participation in international congresses & exhibitions

We have scientific collaboration with universities and research institutes for extensive research on Greek plant actives and applications. We have already participated in 7 research programs in collaboration with the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (1995-2006). Recently we have been funded by the European Union together with Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France and Agricultural University of Athens in order to execute a new scientific project. The project full title is ‘’Exploitation of microalgae diversity for the development of novel high added-value cosmeceuticals’’ and the duration is 48 months. Apivita together with its partners will produce new active and natural ingredients exploiting marine plants of Aegean Sea. Find out more at

Ingredient Selection

Our principles for the selection of raw materials and active ingredients are:

  • We choose Natural Active Ingredients.
  • We do not use Genetically Modified Organisms.
  • We do not use Animal derived raw materials (except for bee products).
  • We choose raw materials that have not been tested on animals.
  • We do not use irradiation for the sterilization of the plant material.
  • We use plants from certified organic cultivations.
  • We use whole extracts because of the synergistic effect that their various substances offer.
  • We use raw materials coming from renewable sources.
  • Without dangerous synthetic ingredients.
  • We try to achieve the best balance of natural ingredients, safety and effectiveness.
  • All added ingredients are important for the products’ safety and efficacy.

APIVITA Alternatives to synthetics…

  • We replace synthetic preservatives with food grade, safe preservatives and we reduce the amount of preservation needed by adding essential oils, propolis and vitamins.
  • We replace silicones – which are not biodegradable - with natural or natural derived oils and esters.
  • We use honey, panthenol, plant glycerin as moisturizers instead of Propylene Glycol which is a by-product of gas production.
  • We use surfactants that are mild to hair and skin, do not build-up and biodegrade such as soapwort, etc.
  • We replace synthetic fragrances with natural essential oils.
  • We do not to use any synthetic colors.

Natural active ingredients’ action is proved by in-vitro or in-vivo tests.
The effectiveness of natural active ingredients is proved by in vivo and in vitro tests. As an example the Anti wrinkle action of Red wine Resveratrol is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1 In-vivo Anti wrinkle action (20 women, aged 49-69, with deep wrinkles used a cream with 3% Resveratrol for 2 months. Measurements in the crow’s feet showed decrease in the wrinkles surface

R&D  Plant Ingredients

All formulas are enriched with active ingredients of plants. Apivita natural products contain extracts, plant oils, essential oils, infusions and also isolated active ingredients of medicinal and aromatic plants. At APIVITA most of the plant derived active extracts’ development and production is performed in-house Since 1979 sixty plants have been studied and one hundred plant extracts were developed. We focused on creation of total standardized extracts with high biological value and concentration of active ingredients, made with organic certified plants and environmentally friendly solvents. We were the first company that replaced water with plant infusions in the production process. The infusion of herb in hot water resembles tea preparation. The Effectiveness of the infusion is measured with scientific methods:

  •  Total antioxidant activity is measured by ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay
  •  The ability of the infusion to scavenge free radicals is also being measured by DPPH method.

By infusion formation the formula of a cosmetic product is enriched with plant ingredients.


R&D  Innovation

We were the first company that incorporated propolis in soaps (1979). Nowadays ingredients such as propolis are considered cosmeceuticals.

According to scientific evidence propolis has beneficial effect on the skin. Propolis acts as an antibacterial and is used for its antiseptic and antifungal properties. Also due to the phenolic compounds and flavonoids it also possesses strong antioxidant effect and equivalent efficacy of Vitamin E and ascorbic acid. Propolis extracts also inhibit the formation of Reactive Oxygen species. Recently scientists considered propolis as a natural sunscreen agent due to its photoprotective properties.

Today propolis extract is produced by APIVITA in-house by a patented method. By this method, active ingredients of propolis (polyphenols, terpenes) form inclusion complexes with cyclodextrin, a molecule that is produced from starch, in order to increase stability, permeability and bioavailability of the active components in the skin. The title of the patent is ‘’Simultaneous extraction and inclusion complex formation of propolis’ active ingredients with HP- b-cyclodextrin’’ and has been submitted to the National Industrial Property Organization.

Royal Jelly is one of our active ingredients. Royal Jelly according to in-vitro tests increases the number of fibroblasts in the skin. Fibroblasts provide a structural layer for many tissues, and play a crucial role in wound healing. The main function of fibroblasts is to maintain the structural integrity of connective tissue.
The royal jelly that we use is Greek and the active ingredients of royal jelly have been encapsulated in liposomes (Figure 2).

Figure 2 Penetration of Royal jelly’s active ingredients in the Stratum corneum