The greening of an industry

This year’s in-cosmetics saw an unprecedented number of companies presenting green solutions for the C&T industry. In the first of a two-part review, SPC reports on all the latest initiatives as well as looking at new launches in more traditional C&T areas


This year’s in-cosmetics saw an unprecedented number of companies presenting green solutions for the C&T industry. In the first of a two-part review, SPC reports on all the latest initiatives as well as looking at new launches in more traditional C&T areas

If you hadn’t already realised that the cosmetics industry was in the throes of a green revolution you would have been hard pressed not to spot it at this year’s in-cosmetics show in Amsterdam. From organics and naturals to sustainability and the myriad of certification standards, green was arguably the driving theme of the show.

Over the last few years there has been a nod towards green in the industry but the subject has remained niche, with suppliers offering a few green extracts, actives and emulsifiers. Today however, formulators are embracing green and companies have developed comprehensive natural and organic product lines to cover the whole formulation process on a large scale.

“The natural trickle has become a torrent,” explained Penny Vanemon, marketing director, National Starch Personal Care. “However, it’s a dynamic but fairly confusing landscape with no clarity over standards or functionality.”

National Starch Personal Care launched a range of certified organic biopolymers, described as a functional alternative to both synthetic and conventional natural ingredients that enable formulators to create organic products with greater functionality.

The Naviance line features two ingredients based on waxy maize and two based on tapioca, which are said to be safe, mild and easy to formulate thanks to their compatibility with other ingredients. According to National Starch the products are suitable for use in creams and lotions, gels, baby products, sun care and hair care. The company has been working with LACON and Ecocert in Europe for certification and with Quality Assurance International in North America.

“We are making a concerted effort to develop green technology that will support this important consumer trend,” added Vanemon. “There is a lack of functional products on the market and we are addressing this aspect. It’s a whole new learning experience but we are taking our existing experience into the organic area.”

Cognis began its green initiative last year but has now moved into the second stage with its green formulation guide and helping to see people through the regulations. “We’re thinking ahead - anticipating what our customers want for their customers,” said Viola Stahl, communications manager, corporate communications with Cognis. “We’ve had a great response from our customers who are very grateful for our knowledge and experience. It’s a learning process for Cognis too and different customers have different demands - it depends who you’re formulating for. And we’re working on being even more green with each step - the aim is to keep ahead of everything.” Expect to hear about the next step early in the second half of this year. Among the ingredients featured on the green theme was Euperlan Green, said to be the first green, ethylene oxide and amine-free pearlizing wax dispersion, while Plantacare 1200 GLY was presented as a green surfactant for oral care.

The active ingredients business of Cognis, Laboratoires Sérobiologiques (LS), was also exhibiting products designed to appeal to today’s environmentally conscious consumer. “In line with the Cognis green theme, we decided to present two faces - natural and hi-tech - to show our expertise, particularly in claim substantiation, said Anne-Laurie Rodrigues, strategic marketing manager, LS. “All industries are offering green solutions - you’re sometimes made to feel guilty if you don’t - and through the internet people have access to information and want to be sure a product is not harming the environment. We present green solutions according to how far a customer feels like going.” To make this easier, LS has produced a simple card system that gives its actives a green leaf grade as well as indicating which are Ecocert approved, which are preservative-free and which paraben-free.

Croda has also gone down the green route, launching Up Close and Green, a new green guide to its speciality raw materials. The guide enables formulators to determine how green a product is, with reference to origin (plant, animal or mineral), petrochemicals, silicones, preservatives and biodegradability amongst others. The guide also features a Green Criteria that marks a deliberate move away from the current certification standards available. Under the criteria all products in the guide are free of ethylene oxide and propylene oxide-based components, contain no petroleum distillates, no phthalates, no parabens, no formaldehyde-releasing preservatives and have not been tested on animals.

“There are so many discrepancies between each certifier that we have left the option of which standard to follow to our customers,” explained Sarah Millns, marketing communications coordinator, personal & health care, Croda. “We are also waiting for the European certification standard to launch, which may change some criteria.”

Following this sentiment, the company has developed two new sun care products, Solaveil CT-300 and Solaviel CZ-300, and two hydrating peptides from organic sources. Hydroavena HpO and Hydroexcelsa HpO are moisturising agents derived by gentle enzymatic hydrolysis of certified organic crops.

Symrise has broadened its organic portfolio, adding new products to its Extrapone Organic range, which is based on controlled harvesting. New products include Neo Actipone Soap Nutshell, a 100% natural surfactant suitable for use in personal care applications such as shampoos and body washes.

“Botanicals are proven in screening methods to have relevant effects such as anti-irritant and antioxidant for cosmetic applications,” Michael Schuricht, regional business manager, Symrise, told SPC.

The company has also renamed its cosmetics business unit, which will now be known as Life Essentials, but is still a part of Symrise’s Scent & Care division.

Silab has also entered the organic arena, launching a new Ecocert certified organic range, which will initially comprise three active products - Osilift Bio, Structurine Bio and Vitanol Bio.

And Lipo has launched a new line of natural emollients, derived from 100% natural plant sources. The Lipobutter range comprises 11 varieties, eight of which are validated by Ecocert, while the refined organic shea variant is certified organic by Ecocert. Varieties include apricot, refined cocoa, olive, jojoba, refined mango and peach and application suggestions include skin, sun and hair care products, fine soaps and body butters.

Zenitech’s new Meadowfoam and Orange butters also give a nod to natural, with Ecocert validation. The products are said to be suitable for a variety of applications including skin care, hair care, colour cosmetics and nail care.

“There is a lot of nonsense going on with natural and organics at the moment,” said Carter La Vay, president, Zenitech. “The industry needs to change - it’s time we woke up and realised the world is changing. I am putting Ecocert on everything I can because I believe in it so strongly - it’s the way forward.”

The once familiar name of Finetex has now been fully absorbed into Innospec. The familiar Finsolv emollients are still available, although production was recently expanded from the US to Europe (Ellesmere Port, UK), but at this year’s in-cosmetics the company was promoting Natrlquest E30 in particular, a readily biodegradable chelating agent that responds to current requirements. “People are really starting to pay attention to green and green ingredients,” said Phil Matena, Innospec vp and general manager. “We’re reinventing ourselves as a speciality chemicals company and we’ve got a great new product line. Our strategy is growth - organic and through acquisition, where it fits our strategy.”

Preservatives were another area where the green theme produced some interesting new products. Dr Straetmans introduced a new Ecocert-listed antimicrobial ingredient that is claimed to provide a natural alternative to the conventional preservatives that have been given a hard time by some parts of the media recently.

Dermasoft 688 Eco is a plant-based fungicidal ingredient, derived from basil and is said to possess superior antimicrobial characteristics than other plant derived alternatives currently available.“There has definitely been more demand for green products this year and our new product has been met with very good response,” said Dr. Straetmans’ Susanne Jänichen. “We have Ecocert listing and are awaiting Soil Association certification.”

With ever greater segmentation in the skin care sector, the competition to develop ingredients that offer advanced skin care benefits is at an all time high. Being a ‘green’ brand is one thing but the ingredients have to deliver sophisticated results.

Gattefossé unveiled its latest launch, Cytobiol Lumin-Eye, an active ingredient with strong vasculo-protective properties that is claimed to reduce dark circles and puffy skin around the eye area. The active contains ash bark extract, organic silicon and vitamin B3, which act on the skin’s cutaneous microcirculation. Visible results are claimed after 28 days and suggested applications include eye contour treatments, pre- and post-surgery treatments, anti-ageing care and flash radiance treatments.

Mibelle meanwhile launched two new anti-ageing skin care ingredients based on plant science. PhytoCellTec Malus Domestica is an active based on apple stem cells that uses patent pending plant cell culture technology and is said to protect skin stem cells against ageing as well as delaying the senescence of hair follicles, helping to preserve the vitality and youthfulness of the skin.

Also making its debut from Mibelle was AstraForce, an anti-ageing product developed for blemished skin. Demand for anti-blemish products for more mature, non-teenage skin is growing rapidly but according to Mibelle, there are very few products available to treat this condition. The ingredient contains Astragalus membranaceus, a plant used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is claimed to firm and smooth skin, reduce imperfections, balance sebum production, prevent breakouts and leave the skin’s complexion clear and refined.

Dow Amerchol presented a new, patent-pending encapsulation and delivery system, SatinFX, which enables both hydrophobic and hydrophilic actives to be encapsulated in a variety of skin care products. It is said to be very easy to mix by simple shear to create encapsulation and to significantly improve the stabilisation of sensitive actives as well as greater efficacy over time. Vitamins A and C and DHA were studied and improved stability was achieved. “It certainly enables the delivery of natural actives so can be used in support of natural claims,” commented Jennifer Sigsworth, business communications specialist with Dow Amerchol. “And with the ongoing demand for multifunctionality, potentially incompatible ingredients like DHA and amino acids for sunless tanning and anti-ageing can be encapsulated together.” By encapsulating potentially irritating actives, the potential for irritation is reduced. SatinFX is also said to improve the aesthetic properties of face creams, eye gel, serum and body lotion formulations.

Lighter and brighter

Rahn focused on skin lightening launching CellActive White, a new ingredient developed for gentle skin lightening, and containing a combination of vitamin B3, sulphurous extract of watercress, bio-available zinc and an Essential Cell Boost Factor. In vitro tests on 3D skin models showed up to 50% reduction in melanin production and an 11% skin lightening of Asian skin. “The target was to develop an active for whitening that was safe to skin,” explained Daniela Guildmann, head of marketing, Rahn.

Lipotec launched Chromabright, a new brightening active that is claimed to induce a significant lightening efficacy on the skin and helps to unify skin tone. Chromobright does not show any cytotoxic effects, or any irritation or sensitisation reaction according to the company.

Elemental protection

‘Elements of beauty’ was the new slogan for Ciba at the show. “It describes different elements of technology under one umbrella - we’re taking a more holistic approach and combining concepts of beauty, well-being and health,” said Michael Wilkop, business head UV protection & active business line home & personal care, Ciba. The company was promoting “better ageing” as a more positive way of looking at ageing, ie healthier ageing through an anti-ageing approach as unfortunately age reversal is not possible. The idea is that this can be achieved through use of Ciba’s Tinosorb UV filters, Tinoderm moisturisers and Tinoderm encapsulated actives; Ciba said it expects Tinosorb S and Tinosorb M to gain acceptance in the US this year so plans to be ready for the materials to be included in finished products next year. “We want to extend the scope of our activities - it’s not only a beauty topic, it’s a health issue.” Uli Osterwalder, global marketing manager UV protection and active effects added: “Ciba was an early player in UVA so we’re a market leader. We now want to work with customers to convey the message to the ultimate consumer.” The company also wants to work with dermatologists to improve the understanding of sun protection there. “They don’t all understand SPF and it’s very important that they do,” said Osterwalder. “It’s important to work on the image of sunscreens but we’re counting on the fact that people will always want to expose themselves to sun. And vitamin D deficiency is now being seen as being responsible for a lot of cancers, while vitamin D requires UVB. But protection comes first.”

Next month SPC will report on many more launches and events from the show, including this year’s inspirational in-focus feature, Utopia, and the ever popular trends presentations.