Green innovations – pushing the boundaries!

Frost & Sullivan’s new study Analysis of Organic and Natural Ingredients Market in Western Europe for Home and Personal Care, estimates revenues of 659.2 million US Dollars in 2012 with projections to exceed 800 million in 2017. Bio-degradable home and personal care end products, which have a lesser environmental impact than synthetic solutions, are in demand among environmentally conscious European consumers. Thus, the organic and natural ingredients market in Western Europe will turn into a fast-growing market fuelling the need for sustainable ingredients, such as enzymes and plant-derived actives. Exploring novel sources, including oleochemicals, to develop specialty ingredients will enable product manufacturers to keep up with consumer requirements and achieve an edge over the competition. “The cost associated with the procurement and processing of organic and natural raw materials into specialty ingredients is higher than that for synthetic chemical based ingredients,” said Frost & Sullivan Chemicals, Materials and Food Research Analyst Aparna Balasubramanian.

A lot of production processes are continually updated, in order to be able to produce more innovative ingredients and alternatives for conventional cosmetics ingredients. New research findings also point the way to interesting new ingredients.

Sederma’s new bioactive molecule from the Centella Asiatica plant has been discovered by researchers at Sederma’s Instituto di Ricerche Biotecnologiche (IRB). The molecule, 4-malonil-3.5-dicaffeoylquinic acid (known as irbic acid), has always existed in Centella but at levels so low that its presence was indiscernible amongst many other low level compounds existing in the plant. Through their proprietary biotech method, which stimulates plant cells to produce high levels of phytoactives (up to 1,000 times greater than traditional means), IRB has uncovered irbic acid, a plant compound with very high collagen-protective activity and greater antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits than other well-known plant molecules.

The company’s NG Shea unsaponifiable is a new and more efficient grade of shea butter due to its high concentration of unsaponifiables, the active part of shea butter. The 100% natural butter is obtained by an innovative sustainable process which allows the unsaponifiable content to be about three times higher than standard shea butter.

Multiceras have developed a process to extract Candelilla wax using a very mild form of citric acid, changing the system which employs the harsh sulphuric acid that has traditionally been in use for the last 105 years.

Elevance Renewable Sciences has created novel specialty chemicals from natural oils using a proprietary technology called olefin metathesis. These include Elevance Smooth, a line of plant-based, multi-functional polymers, and also Elevance Soft, a line of plant-based emollients. Elevance Smooth CS-110 and Elevance Soft CG-100 are the first ingredients to be introduced in those lines, and are 100 percent renewable, plant-based materials. The compatibility and performance of the Elevance personal care ingredients allow formulations to be free from PEG, paraben, petrolatum and silicone. The company’s technology of the Nobel Prize-winning olefin metathesis offers ingredients and difunctional building blocks that provide physical and performance characteristics, enabling drop-in renewable alternatives to existing petroleum-based materials in the market today (e.g., alkanes and PAO).

Already an expert in cranberry and apricot oils, Naturex now offers Nat oleis, a range of 13 botanical oils with special sensorial profiles. They have all undergone a strict and rigorous cold-pressing process for extracting the oil from the kernel or the fruit. This eco-friendly method does not involve the use of organic solvents and preserves the actives. In order to preserve the properties of these oils, and improve the shelf life of the most sensitive ones, a set of natural antioxidant solutions which provide at least twice as much protection from oxidation has been developed. This proprietary process shows interesting results for Tsubaki oil, whose resistance to oxidation is multiplied by 29. The richness in oleic acid of Ungurahui oil makes it suitable for repairing dry skin and hair. The cold-pressed cranberry oil, extracted with a proprietary process, maintains its high content in tocotrienols, which are antioxidants beneficial to mature skin.

Beraca’s Patauá Oil is a 100% natural, moisturizing ingredient with high fatty acid and protein levels, helping to protect and nourish the scalp. Obtained through a vacuum refining method, the Patauá Oil has a high oleic acid content (75%) and a light, non-greasy feel. The ingredient can be used as a substitute for olive oil in skin care and hair care formulations thanks to similarities in their fatty acid chain.

Findings of new research

SymBronze 1659 is the outcome of a years-long research project carried out together with Cutech, a Symrise partner. The natural self-tanner, that gives a natural-looking complexion, is obtained from replenishable micro-algae. Their active ingredients strengthen the pigmentation of the skin, significantly speed up the natural tanning process and produce a natural-looking bronze skin tone without exposure to UV radiation.
In addition the effect lasts clearly longer and looks more natural than other current market products.

The latest research findings confirm that in the extract which Wilms produces from the kernel wood of pine trees there are more than 80 individual substances, such as flavonoids, tanning agents, amino acids and various trace elements which are released from the wood into the extract. These substances are carefully extracted from the wood in a series of processes, and not only does the use of the extract have a significant positive effect on the skin and on skin moisturisation. In a study at the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University in Greifswald the condition of the skin was significantly improved with regard to cracks or wrinkles, the firmness of the skin and itching.

Seppic’s Sepiclear G7, a 100% natural and sustainable solubilizer, has already won the Pierre Potier Prize, awarded in recognition of innovation in sustainable chemistry. The solubilizer is a concentrated non-ionic surfactant that is readily biodegradable, obtained in compliance with the 12 green-chemistry principles. As a natural solubilizer, it meets the growing need for substances to replace artificially synthesised ingredients. It solubilises lipophilic compounds, notably essential oils, perfumes and vitamin E, in aqueous media. Unlike other natural solubilizers, it does not produce foam, which is a fundamental point in formulating cosmetic products such as toners, toiletries and aqueous gels.

Alternatives to silicones

SiClone SR-5 and SiClone TD 150 from Presperse are non-silicone based compositions developed as a response to the growing reluctance to use silicones in cosmetics. SiClone SR-5, composed entirely of hydrocarbons, maintains silicone-like aesthetics and volatility properties while eliminating the need for cyclopentasiloxanes. This product can be used for full or partial replacement of volatile silicones. The easily applicable SiClone TD-150 utilising SiClone SR-5 in its composition is a non-silicone dispersion based on hydrocarbons. It eliminates the need for a wetting agent which can often cause instability within the formulation. A high concentration of titanium dioxide is achieved in this product (35–40%), previously unreachable without the use of a wetting agent.

In the lipophilic field Greentechs soft butters impart a soft feel and replace silicones in the formulation. The latest onward development is called Green Technology Butter (GTB), and is globally the first cosmetic self-emulsifying butter with this composition and tactile character.

In addition the Greentech subsidiary Biovitis has developed a special fermentation technology which gives much higher concentration of actives than normal processes. This has resulted in a new range of high performance extracts such as Goji Spezial.

Substitutes for plastic exfoliant granules Trend setting products at the moment are exfoliant agents of natural origin. In this sector Floratech, for example, offer biodegradable, inexpensive polyethylene-free and micro-plastic-free exfoliant agents. These Ecobeads, made from a combination of plant based wax and esters are approved for use in all significant markets and available in numerous colours, and even in some cases with natural cosmetics certification.
Celluloscrubis, with worldwide approval, is a 100% renewable and biodegradable exfoliating ingredient from Lessonia. There is a choice of many eco-friendly exfoliating agents manufactured from shells, kernels, minerals, bamboo, rice, natural waxes, polylactic acid or microcrystaline cellulose.
Worlées natural alternatives in terms of peeling agents are the HCO Beads based on castor oil, which are biodegradable. They are free of odour and colour, have no problematic additives and are made 100% from naturally reproducing raw materials. Their smooth, even sized surface enable a gentle exfoliant action with no damage to the outer layer of the skin, as is so often the case with other products.

Alternatives to traditional ingredients

With 30 years of experience in preservation and multifunctional antimicrobials, Dr. Straetmans is expanding the Verstatil range, which offers economic solutions for antimicrobial protection of cosmetics products without using parabens, MIT, formaldehyde and phenoxyethanol. Symbio Solv Clear, the second generation for PEG-free solubilisation, is designed for clear and alcohol-free water-based products. Being 100% derived from natural and GMO free vegetable sources, it allows solubilizing of perfumes and essential oils without using alcohol. It is perfectly suitable for tonic and water-based gel products as it can be processed under room temperature. This powerful and low odour product is a perfect substitute for well-known PEG solubilizers on the market.

AGC Chemicals, a producer of fine silica has released studies demonstrating good performance results of its Solesphere H-121 showing comparable, or better, results compared to formulations using the most common petrochemical-based microspheres.

Exploring novel sources for the development of natural speciality ingredients
Angelika Meiss, Senior Editor, COSSMA, Karlsruhe, Germany

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