In a changed world, the post-pandemic state of mind has evolved, and along with it, the needs and wants of society. Paul Ramires discusses with us the roles that both the personal care industry – and specifically Quimivita – play in this new landscape.
1. The pandemic seems to have shifted the collective mindset towards the ‘new natural’ – an eagerness to return to more holistic, natural, and sustainable ingredients (and finished products). Why do you think that is, and what opportunities does that present to the personal care industry?
If lockdowns have done anything, it has been to break the confirmation bias that blinds us for much of our lives. Although we only believe what we want to believe, when we can witness the opposite with our eyes, at that precise moment, our brain starts to agree with reality.
And the reality has been that the cessation of all human activity has revealed images such as cities with uncovered skies, animals walking through the streets and much, much time to think.
Sustainability is not a fact, but an awareness, and the combination of both factors has resulted in a drastic increase in the concern for consuming products that care for the environment.
I think that given the high level of stress generated by the fear instilled by COVID, a great opportunity from the cosmetics industry is to contribute to solving that need: wellness.
The good thing about wellness is that it can be approached from many fronts, but without a doubt, the one that is causing the most complaints today (and where many remains to be innovated) is clean beauty.
2. The launch of your latest ingredient, Vita Naturgel®, is a remarkable achievement in terms of bypassing a big environmental concern right now, which is microplastic. How important was it for Quimivita to create a plant-based thicker to replace its synthetic counterparts?
One of the difficulties that cosmetic formulators often encounter is that natural ingredients allow them to put “clean beauty” claims on their products, but they do not have to be as effective as their synthetic alternative.
Vita Naturgel® is one more product from our line of speciality functional ingredients that fit into the clean beauty category and that have also been designed thinking not only of what the final consumer wants, but also of the formulators.
Our R&D department is constantly looking for new ideas to ensure that the new ingredients we develop can present a story linked to nature, while their effectiveness can be demonstrated in formulas.
This latest release combines a storytelling that has its origins in the ocean (more specifically in a very select variety of carrageenan and alginate).
In addition to being 100% biodegradable, this product also contributes to the community spirit, being cultivated in an artisanal way.
3. Vita Naturgel® is a water-soluble, natural hydrocolloid extracted from certain species of red seaweed, Rhodophyceae, and brown algae. How did Quimivita discover this unique raw material?
I cannot talk about the origin of this ingredient without first mentioning our CSO, Manuela Bermudez.
Manuela is a person who not only has a long career in the cosmetics industry, which allows her to have a global vision of the sector, but also always seeks that innovation and efficiency go hand in hand.
In the case of Vita Naturgel®, the challenge was to find a thickener that was not only of natural and sustainable origin, but also retained its properties when produced.
By turning our attention to the sea, we found what we were looking for.
4. Aside from the sustainability factors, what are the other major benefits of replacing thickening agents that contain synthetic ingredients and microplastics with Vita Naturgel®?
If, in addition to putting natural claims on your cosmetics, you want the consumer to notice an extra touch of naturalness in its application, Vita Naturgel® is made for you.
Vita Naturgel® is gelling, thickening, stabilising and has bioactive attributes.
This plant-based thickener allows you to improve the organoleptic characteristics of your products while providing smooth and creamy textures in emulsions and surfactants systems.
5. In the name of innovation and remaining future-focused, what’s next for Quimivita
We have several projects underway and although we prefer not to reveal much information about them, what we can say is that we are more aware than ever of the imperative need for the industry to turn towards more sustainable solutions and of the challenges these represent for cosmetic brands.