In 2019, Hong Kong – based Asquan Group teamed up with Pylote, a mineral and ceramic chemistry company located just outside of Toulouse, France. Pylote manufactures antimicrobial microshperes and Asquan has licensed the technology for use in the cosmetics and personal care sector.
At last year’s MakeUp In New York event, executives from the two companies—Henri Tinchant, Founder and President of Asquan Group, and Stephane Thiollier, then Managing Director at Pylote—showcased mascara applicators infused with Pylote microspheres as a new and uniquely hygienic beauty innovation.
Tinchant and Thoilier also sat down with Beauty is Your Business host Abby Wallach and CosmeticsDesign.com Editor Deanna Utroske to record an episode of the popular podcast on location at MakeUp In New York 2019.
Asqaun positions makeup brushes with Pylote Added as safe in a COVID-19 world
Last week, a media release circulated by Pylote announced news that the company’s antimicrobial microsphere technology had been successfully tested and demonstrated “nearly 99.99% destruction of coronavirus strain 229E.”
A virus is a parasite; and a virus is a coronavirus when, under a microscope, the parasite’s structure appears to have corona (a circular crown or halo) around it. Coronavirus strain 229E is a coronavirus. And it’s one cause of the common cold.
COVID-19 (the new deadly disease responsible for the first pandemic human health crisis in over 100 years) is another virus altogether.
Yet, that same Pylote media release announces the company’s new industrial innovation marketing plan linking its antimicrobial microsphere technology to the demand for hygienic coatings and products expected to occur as the COVID-19 recovery gets underway.
"In the current health situation related to COVID-19, our technology is particularly well suited to living spaces, such as transportation, work environments, school zones, hospitals or retirement homes,” Loïc Marchin, CEO of Pylote, tells the press.
And he continues, “We plan to rapidly bring our technology to market, notably through a specific COVID-19 offer on adhesive films, paints and masks.”
And Asquan Group is doing something similar. The company recently issued a mailchimp announcement touting its makeup brush collection (launched in September 2019) as “A new ready-to-market solution adapted to COVID-19 as yet unseen in the market.”
Asquan Group posted the announcement to social media with this comment: “Asquan Innovation with Pylote Technology successfully tested against coronavirus COVID-19.” And Tinchant reshared it with his LinkedIn network.
As Jean-Christophe Huertas, communications manager at Pylote explains, the company’s technology is being marketed this way because, “Pylote technology activates surfaces to allow the destruction of viruses including the coronavirus family.”
And while it “has not been tested on a strain of CoV-2-CoV-SARS (which causes COVID-19 disease),” to the company’s knowledge, “these tests are not available at this time.” The lab tests that Pylote performed met “the requirements of [quantitative ISO test] JIS Z 2801 adapted for human coronavirus strain 229E.” And these tests “showed a logarithmic reduction of the viral load on the surfaces of 3.9 lg after 24 hours (standard test duration), corresponding to a disappearance of almost 99.99% of the infectious virions.”
Huertas goes on to emphasize that “the 229E is a representative, in the sense of these tests, of the coronavirus species, including SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19 disease.”
This article was updated on 26-May-2020 to include information on why 229E is used as a “representative” strain in testing at this time, and to clarify that Asquan Group’s license to use Pylote’s technology is not “exclusive” as was first reported.
Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well as with indie brand founders.