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Exclusive interview

How the bar is being constantly raised on natural ingredients

By Simon Pitman+

23-Jul-2014
Last updated on 23-Jul-2014 at 16:09 GMT

New technologies and applications, greater sustainability, and more traceability are some of the key areas helping to raise the profile of natural cosmetic ingredients, according to one industry expert.

Hal Rose is a consultant charged with business development at leading natural ingredients player Active Organics, and with over 20 years of business development experience to his name, he has made it his job to identify the key trends and growth opportunities in this field during his six years with the company.

Rose will be taking part in the Sustainable Cosmetics Summit , in Sao Paulo Brazil in September, where he will be giving a presentation about the latest innovations in natural ingredients.

A sustainable story and an effective mechanism

“The biggest innovations in natural actives currently include the development of ingredients that both have a great natural sustainability/traceability story and effective mechanism. This might include anthocyanins, flavonoids, tannins and antioxidants associated with ingredients such as ancient grains, as well as plant derived materials with natural plant chemistry defensive mechanisms or biomimetics,” said Rose.

“Nevertheless, we may say that Plant Stem Cells can be considered as one of the most recent innovations in the natural field, penetrating not only into the cosmetics brands as main ingredients of the formulas but also in consumers’ minds, where this concept starts to resonate.“

There are a number of technologies that are serving to drive this trend, which Rose points out as being the latest means of farming marine ingredients, plant stem cell technologies and biomimetics, together with a number of cross-over technologies from the food and beverage industry.

“All of these technologies can be used for obtaining natural molecules in a sustainable way, addressed to bring specific benefits to the skin,” said Rose.

Is science improving natural actives?

With the increasing use of sophisticated science to produce natural and natural-inspired ingredients, the question on many people’s mind is whether or not this serves to make these ingredients any more effective. Rose believes the answer to this question is a definite ‘yes’.

“These technologies allow for the ability to use plant/subspecies characterization and isolation of beneficial materials within plant extracts and identify with more certainty the efficacious elements within the extracts and quantify them.”

“Also the application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of these materials help to achieve the optimal performance and the maximal productivity, leading to well-defined molecules with a greater reproducibility. An example would be Actigym.”

What's in store for the future?

Looking ahead to the future of natural actives, Rose believes that both efficacy and sustainability are likely to play a crucial part in the development of new solutions.

“There will be a “harmonic convergence” of the sustainability/traceability story with the efficacy of the specific elements of the natural plant ingredients or as we like to say “where science meets story” that directly appeal to consumer purchasing desires,” Rose said.

 “The consumer trend of wanting to know where ingredients come from/helping the communities that they are harvested from/natural purity with the desire to have an efficacious product drives this.”

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