In-Cosmetics 2022: how to develop sustainable cosmetic products?

Published on 29 August 2022 Read 25 min

In-Cosmetics global is THE world’s largest trade show dedicated to cosmetic ingredients. After a long absence, it was back in Paris at the beginning of April 2022 and gathered more than 400 ingredient suppliers, from big names to start-ups such as BASF Personal Care and Nutrition, Evonik or BYBI. The show was an opportunity for industry professionals to meet and discuss the latest innovations. This year, the focus was on the integration of CSR within innovation and product development. Alcimed takes stock of these advances in sustainable cosmetics, from clean labels to upcycling and fermentation!

Sustainable cosmetics: labels to meet societal expectations

According to a study conducted by Euromonitor International* and presented during the show, consumers’ expectations in terms of cosmetics are changing. They want products that respond to a holistic strategy that considers naturalness, traceability, biodiversity, and social impact.

In response to this growing demand, cosmetics companies continue to invest in clean labels and especially clean labels. During this 2022 edition, we have seen the dynamics of the COSMOS label highlighted by many companies including Ashland which received the Bronze Award for functional ingredients with its ingredient Natrathix Bio-cellulose, certified COSMOS. Laboratoires Expanscience also highlighted other labels and certifications; the “Fair For Life” label, which allows the development and protection of supply chains. But also, the ERI 360° certification, developed in collaboration with thirteen other French cosmetic companies, which allows to define the level of Eco responsibility of cosmetic ingredients based on 100 “Smart indicators”. Finally, new labels, such as the UpCycled label, were created. This label issued by the UpCycled Food Association allows, since 2021, to certify upcycled cosmetic actives designed from food co-products.

Upcycling for the development of ever more natural and virtuous cosmetic actives

Upcycling consists in using organic waste or co-products from the manufacturing of ingredients to make new active ingredients or natural ingredients. 

It has been a real must during this 2022 edition. Many companies are investing in “circular beauty” by integrating upcycled actives into their product portfolio. These include Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, which won the “Innovation Zone Active” award with its ingredient Wastar Pink Berry, an upcycled pink berry extract from fragrance manufacturing. Also, Nafigate Corporation, which won the Green Ingredient Award with it upcycled biopolymer. Or Givaudan, which presented its new circular economy approach based on the development of upcycled ingredients from agricultural or botanical co-products, allowing to highlight the possible interconnectivity between different industrial sectors such as food and cosmetics.

Learn more about our experience in Circular Economy >

Fermentation, a biotechnological innovation for the development of sustainable active ingredients

Following the example of Upcycling, fermentation also occupied a major place during this 2022 edition. Indeed, many fermented cosmetic actives and ingredients were presented in the “innovative zone” including Lubrizol’s Telophi™ biotech active, which was among the finalists in the “Innovative active ingredient” category. This active is a biotechnological extract obtained from a Bacillus sp. isolated from the Florida Keys, which protects telocytes and proliferating epidermal stem cells from psychological stress to help preserve skin organization. Finally, we discovered hyper fermentation, a two-step process proposed by the Phenbiox company that allows the development of more efficient actives. Indeed, hyper fermentation consists of an additional bio liquidation step before the fermentation step. This bio liquidation step allows to recover all the molecules of a plant phycomplex, obtaining highly bioavailable final products and thus boosting their efficiency.

Beyond the major trends mentioned, we could detect more emerging initiatives, among which, we can mention the BYBI company which launches the first carbon-negative product in the world thanks to a biodegradable packaging and regenerative materials, or the Carbonwave company which developed SeaBalance, the first cosmetic emulsifier based on Sargasso, toxic brown seaweed.

Thus, this 2022 edition of the In-Cosmetics global has highlighted the desire of cosmetic companies to contribute to climate and societal issues and shows once again that innovation in sustainable cosmetic products is possible.

About the author, 

Charlotte, Senior Consultant in Alcimed’s Cosmetics & Luxury team in France

You have a project?

    Tell us about your uncharted territory

    You have a project and want to discuss it with our explorers, write us!

    One of our explorers will contact you shortly.

    To go further