Editor's Spotlight

The big business of natural beauty ingredients

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

The big business of natural beauty ingredients
Acquisitions and launches in the natural cosmetics and personal care ingredients space have been coming along pretty steadily for the past year or so now—evidence that the natural beauty is no longer restricted to the fringes of the industry. Here, Cosmetics Design looks at some of the deals and launches shaping the natural ingredient business.

True: for some consumers, influencers, and marketers, 'natural' has been conflated with safety and sustainability.

True: wildcrafted ingredients will never be available at an industrial scale.

Nonetheless, naturals are in demand; and beauty makers, suppliers, and distributors are getting involved in the increasingly lucrative business of natural ingredients.


The natural beauty movement has been gaining momentum for years. “With more consumers seeking out natural beauty products, demand for new or novel natural inputs is on the rise,” ​reported Cosmetics Design, following the 2017 Sustainable Cosmetics Summit​ in New York City.

It was at that same event when Ecovia Intelligence president Amarjit Sahota declared that going forward, “green isn’t a trend, it’s mandatory.” ​And indeed, this environmental industrial mandate informs how natural ingredients are being sourced, produced, and circulated globally.


New natural companies are showing up in the beauty industry with some frequency. Ingredient makers and brand owners like Amyris are using biotech to develop ingredients and supply the growing demand for naturals. The company, launched in 2003, makes ingredients using modified yeast for personal care, for vitamins, and for industrial applications.

The company’s consumer-facing skin care brand Biossance landed in Sephora​ stores early last year; and more recently, the brand launched in Canada​.

Another new industrial-scale ingredient maker is Sustainable Botanicals International. Conrad Plimpton is behind this new company and he explained SBI’s origin this way: “Our vision grew out of the realization that the availability and access to numerous specialty botanicals is significantly fragmented and compromised, from how they are both grown and harvested, to how they are processed and delivered to market.” ​Read more about SBI’s business growth strategy here on Cosmetics Design​.

In the natural fragrance supply space, Palette Naturals​ (led by Miriam Vareldzis) has been making its mark on the industry for nearly a year now. Vareldzis’ business supplies accords and neat oils to cosmetics brands, contract fillers, and indie perfumers.


Established ingredient makers are buying up naturals. Sensient, for instance, recently acquired Mazza​. “This acquisition is extremely significant for Sensient and our customers,” ​Sensient Technologies CEO Paul Manning remarked in July. “…Mazza’s revolutionary technology will allow us to conduct extraction from natural plant sources using environmentally friendly extraction methods – including water only extraction – instead of traditional chemical solvents.”

And this summer’s deal between Firmenich and Nelixia​ is another good example of how legacy suppliers and manufacturers are buying and partnering with smaller natural ingredient producers. Nelixia’s essential oil business now augments the fragrance maker’s portfolio of Natural Together partners, helping Firmenich source over 150 natural species from over 40 countries.



Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.

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