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A new generation of natural cosmetic ingredients emerges

Investment into natural ingredients to replace synthetic chemicals in cosmetics and personal care products is growing. Natural ingredients were first used as carrier oils or actives, but a new generation of natural-derived cosmetic ingredients is now emerging.

The cosmetics sector uses traditional natural ingredients, such as fats, oils and botanical actives. New, natural-based ingredients are now available that replace synthetic chemicals in product formulations. Such ingredients include preservatives, surfactants, emulsifiers and bio-based chemicals.

Green surfactants

In surfactants, Croda launched its ECO range of bio-based surfactants made from renewable feedstock in November last year. The company set up a dedicated manufacturing facility in Delaware, USA, to produce these green surfactants. Other companies, such as Seppic and Lubrizol, also have surfactants made from natural ingredients, while Clariant has its GlucoTain line of green surfactants made from plant sugars.

A wide range of natural preservatives are also available now. DuPont recently introduced its Neolone preservatives, which are designed for companies looking to use sustainable raw materials. And, in January, the EU approved the use of salicylic acid as a preservative.

Emerging green materials

Another recent development in natural ingredients are the new green materials emerging to replace traditional petrochemical-based ingredients. Genomatica recently launched its Brontide butylene glycol which is made from sugars for use in an extensive range of skincare and haircare products. Meanwhile, Covestro introduced bio-based polyurethanes as natural alternatives to conventional film formers and EFP Biotek has a range of green materials that replace silicones, petrolatums and lanolin in formulations.

This trend provides an opportunity for natural ingredient suppliers in developing countries. A wide range of natural ingredients are already sourced from countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, including shea butter, palm kernel oil, jojoba oil, essential oils and botanical ingredients.

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Large companies, such as L’Oréal, are setting up supply chains for natural raw materials, working directly with growers. However, producers in developing countries should be prepared to adopt ethical sourcing charters and sustainability standards. The use of natural ingredients in cosmetic products is increasing and so are the buyers’ requirements.  

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This news article has been written for CBI by Ecovia Intelligence