The bio-sourced product can displace petroleum-based paraffins and silicone in cosmetics and haircare formulations. Squalene, a moisturizing ingredient, is a lipid that occurs naturally in plants and animals. It’s conventionally been derived from animal sources, particularly shark liver oil, or plant sources like olive oil that fluctuate in price and availability seasonally and in connection to the edible oil market.
A viable product line
Neossance Squalane, the first Amyris product in the company’s Neossance line, is created from farnesene at industrial fermentation facilities in accordance with biotech processes that the company developed. “Amyris’s ability to design yeast to produce renewable squalane offers a new opportunity for bio-sourced cosmetic ingredients with two distinct value propositions for our customers: sourcing from sustainable material and providing steady supply,” said Frederique Lafosse, general manager of Soliance, a materials manufacturer that partnered with Amyris to produce the ingredient in 2010.
"Building on the success of our Neossance Squalane product, and after positive reaction from more than fifty customers who sampled our new hemisqualane product, we are expanding our Neossance portfolio of ingredients with another high performance solution for the cosmetics industry," said Zanna McFerson, chief business officer at the company.
Spreadable color cosmetics and hair care
The new Neossance Hemisqualane ingredient is intended for use in skin care, hair care, sun care, make-up, and cleansing product lines.
Amyris attributes a “high spreadability” to hemisqualine, which means that lipsticks and foundations formulated with the ingredient should apply evenly. The company notes that, “It also demonstrates excellent cleansing properties for makeup removal applications including for waterproof formulations like mascara.”
The same spreadable quality make the ingredient useful as a hair care component. Plus, “it protects hair from color degradation and thermal damage, and reduces frizz,” reports Amyris.
The Natural Products Association, under its Standard for Personal Care Products initiative, has recognized hemisqualane with The Natural Seal. This seal indicates that a product is made from renewable materials found in nature, contains no petroleum or heavy metal residue, and meets other similar benchmarks of safety and responsible manufacturing. Hemisqualane is also an ECOCERT-approved natural ingredient.
"Cosmetic formulators are increasingly finding demand for products that are derived from sustainable sources with equal or improved performance to products currently in use and with a competitive price,” said McFerson. “We are very encouraged by the early response and demand we are experiencing from some of the leading brands in Japan, the Americas and Europe."