Chia seed oil coming to market in skin care formulations from MayaChia

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

the chia plant, salvia hispanica (detail of a photo by Dick Culbert)
the chia plant, salvia hispanica (detail of a photo by Dick Culbert)

Related tags Omega-3 fatty acid

Newly obtainable natural plant oils are fairly commonplace as personal care product ingredients. This small naturals brand is fanatical about the dermatological potential of chia.

Lately tomato seed oil, grape seed oil (and grape extracts), algae oil, and argan oil have been in the news.

Another botanical oil
Now it’s an entire brand devoted to the oil of chia seeds. And that’s not all; the seeds have market value as a novelty food and in other industries too.

“There has been renewed interest in chia as an excellent source of ω3 fatty acids and dietary fiber for healthy diets. Such highly unsaturated oils also are useful starting materials for many renewable chemicals,” ​explain the authors of an article​ on extending the growing season for chia plants published in the journal of Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution.

As a skin care product ingredient, chia seed oil is “packed with the highest concentration of omega fatty acids of any plant source, with 30% more cell-protecting antioxidants than blueberries, and rich in essential minerals, the chia seed is a true super food,” ​the MayaChia media release states. 

Supplier side
This time last year Naturex augmented its ingredient portfolio to include chia oil and other such plant-derived oils like argan oil, buriti oil, and baobab oil. When there’s activity and investment on the supply side, it’s a good bet that the market is ready for products formulated with the newly sourced ingredients. 

MayaChia’s oil is produced via supercritical extraction, which the company explains: “The gentle oxygen-free, solvent-free process results in oil with a total absence of chemical residues and impurities, and one that most closely mirrors the chemical profile of the plant,”​ according to the media release about the product line. ­­

Smart, small innovation in naturals
The naturals market lends itself to local-scale businesses and start-up style tactics. And, the current cultural moment has everyone poised to be an entrepreneur. So it’s no surprise that MayaChia founder Susanne Norwitz has taken time away from her successful communications career to launch this skin care brand steeped in the nutrition of chia and concomitant Mayan history and culture.

MayaChia has launched with two products: a hydrating cream for dry spots (body love balm) and an all-over nourishing oil for skin and hair care (super critical omega-3 chia oil).

Consumers care
Consumer purchasing trends show that not only are natural ingredients in demand, mindful ethical sourcing and relevant certifications are too.

“The personal care space is a marketplace in transition. Consumers are…asking more questions about the truth of claims on packaging. We see enormous potential opportunity for manufacturers who get ahead of the curve by making clear, relevant third-party substantiated claims that resonate with consumers’ health concerns,” ​UL explained in its recent study Claiming Green, which explores the extent that green product claims have on consumers’ intent to purchase and a brands’ reputation.

MayaChia has incorporated a bit of this wisdom into their launch. The company website promises that products are not tested on animals, don’t contain select worrisome ingredients, and are manufactured in-country at facilities in Charleston, South Carolina.

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