Bio-identicals, the next step in sustainability

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Bio-identicals, the next step in sustainability

Related tags Personal care Cosmetics Jillian wright

Ingredient labs are producing high tech biomimetic materials, and one personal care industry expert predicts these next-generation naturals will trump organics before long. 

“Using natural ingredients isn’t enough anymore,” ​Jillian Wright, founder of Jillian Wright Skincare, tells Cosmetics Design.

Here we explore the biotech option further, taking the long view on environmental sustainability, exploring how science can help, registering the role indie beauty brands are playing, and more.

A fresh look at sustainability 
Natural and organic ingredients come from the land and rely on conventional cultivation, harvest, and extraction processes.  “Bio-identical ingredients are simply better for the environment,” ​Wright asserts.

“They use fewer resources like water, soil and electricity plus the ingredients have not been exposed to pesticides.” ​To illustrate, she notes that “1KG of a botanical material produced for the skincare industry requires hundreds of KG of solvent, tons of water, and the monopolization of many square meters of land for many years to produce.”

Industry analysts confirm that sustainable ingredient sourcing is the way forward. “Companies looking to source ingredients for the long haul need to focus on what [Claire] Hobson [of the Future Laboratory] calls ‘pre-vival rather than survival’,” ​reported Cosmetics Design in a recent article series on this and other global mega trends affecting the personal care business​.

Virtual reality
With the aid of science, the availability of botanical ingredients is no longer predetermined by the lifecycle of plants and can be freely adjusted to meet market demand.

“When it comes to personal care, bioidentical ingredients or Meristems are a perfect example of how we can minimize our impact on the environment, offer high purity ingredients and formulations with no pesticides, fertilizers, less water, and no land,” ​explains Wright.

Spending power
Consumer demand for natural personal care products continues to rise globally. And sustainability matters: fickle digital consumers become brand loyalists when they know they are supporting a company that cares about the environment.

“They shop for what they put IN their body with an eye towards sustainable and natural products, and now they are looking for the same when it comes to what they put ON their body,” ​Wright tells Cosmetics Design.

Listening to her clients and her conscious, Wright formulates her eponymous skincare line with ingredients that deliver “plant-based efficacy powered by green chemistry.  Jillian Wright Skincare includes encapsulated vitamin A, lactic acid, probiotics​ and plant stem cells.”

“Consumers are being taught to hold their personal care providers accountable for their actions.  If personal care providers do not listen, they will fail,” ​she tells Cosmetics Design. 

Indie beauty leads the way
Wright calls this ingredient innovation space a huge opportunity for indie personal care brands. By searching out and swiftly adopting the smartest, newest tech, these outlier brands “challenge the mass market,”​ she says.

As a pioneer in the indie beauty business, Wright figures, “I can lead by example and hope to produce a positive ripple effect on the beauty industry.”​         

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