Greenitio develops sustainable, cost-effective alternatives to petrochemical-derived skin and hair care ingredients

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Greenitio has developed two proprietary ingredients using its AI-powered molecular design and patented biogenic process. ©Getty Images
Greenitio has developed two proprietary ingredients using its AI-powered molecular design and patented biogenic process. ©Getty Images

Related tags Hair care applications Ingredients Singapore Sustainability

Singapore start-up Greenitio says that its next-gen cosmetic ingredients fill the gap in sustainable, high-performing and cost-effective alternatives to harmful petrochemical-based materials.

Petrochemical-derived ingredients that are non-biodegradable and non-recyclable often end up in water systems and cause pollution. According to Greenitio, 87% of cosmetics contain petrochemical ingredients, while 92% of micropollutants in water come from cosmetics, personal care and pharma products.

With the EU microplastics ban that will come into effect progressively, as well as the US’s MoCRA that restricts the use of “forever chemicals” (PFAS) in personal care products, the potential revenue loss for cosmetics companies is estimated at EUR12bn (USD13bn).

Despite a pressing need for alternatives, the industry is lacking “ready solutions” that meet the performance and cost of petrochemicals, said Amit Kumar Khan, co-founder and CEO of Greenitio.

“Engineering natural molecules is the way to go, but existing technologies — chemical process and bioprocess — are either unsustainable or expensive. Furthermore, existing bio-alternatives in the market have several limitations, such as inferior quality and incompatibility with other ingredients, which results in instability or insolubility.

“So, we deep dived into the problems behind these challenges and developed a technology that combines the best of both worlds. Our platform is able to produce next-gen bio-based alternatives that are cost-effective, eco-friendly, and highly scalable in existing industrial facilities. Our process reduces 87% carbon footprint compared to chemical process, which is important to achieve regulatory compliance,” ​he told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​.

Using its AI-powered molecular design and patented biogenic process, Greenitio has developed two proprietary market-ready ingredients, namely CHITOBE and CHITOBELA, which can “directly replace” existing microplastics and enhance bioactivity.

Functional and cost benefits

Both ingredients are said to be multifunctional, and can be applied in skin care and hair care.

Specifically, CHITOBE claims anti-microbial, antioxidant and anti-ageing properties, and CHITOBELA is touted as an effective moisturiser, emulsifier and thickener.

“In skin care and hair care, some of the key benefits are long-lasting moisturisation, improved hair conditioning, and extended sun protection. We have done studies that showed a 72.9% boost in SPF [from base] with 1% of our biopolymer in the formulation. Anti-ageing is another hot topic today. CHITOBELA is equivalent to hyaluronic acid, but comes at a fraction of the cost.

“Our ingredients can perform multiple roles in the same formulation. For example, if you formulate a dandruff shampoo or conditioner with our material, you will get additional benefits like antimicrobial or antifungal. This way, the company can replace petrochemicals and reduce the use of other ingredients. Overall, they will see huge cost savings,” ​Amit shared.

In addition, the firm has performed comparative experiments of conditioner formulations made with its ingredients and samples from other commercial brands.

A “significant increase” in the conditioning effect and glossiness was found in the formulation containing Greenitio’s materials, compared to the control.
Currently, more clinical trials are under way as the firm aims to officially launch the products by this July.

At the same time, it is looking at other potential applications of the same molecules, such as novel food ingredients, coating, food preservation, and packaging.

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