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Food waste enters cosmetics formulations part I: Innovation opportunities

Food waste enters cosmetics formulations

As organisations develop their sustainability plans, David Tyrrell, Global Skincare Analyst for beauty and personal care at Mintel looks at how food waste is attracting both large-scale and niche companies.

Healthy ethical messages

Throughout APAC, beauty names are improving their sustainability drives and engaging younger consumers in their brand by searching for, and incorporating green materials obtained from food waste into their formulations.

“The pursuit of an ethical and environmental commitment by companies resonates strongly with younger generations who are aware of the challenges to the planet and human communities,” said David Tyrrell, Global Skincare Analyst for beauty and personal care at Mintel.

Antioxidant usage

The market researchers report how brands are now starting to process plant and fruit waste that create new sources of antioxidants, antimicrobials and anti-ageing compounds, which can then be added as ingredients in cosmetic products.

Natural polyphenol-rich antioxidants are known for their photoaging-protective properties, with spent coffee grounds used as exfoliators in at-home skin and haircare items. Active ingredients including sugars and polyphenols contribute to a company’s sustainability efforts.

Ecoethical Millennial audiences

Of those asked, 25% of US iGeneration consumers are keen to trial fermented ingredients in skin care items, as brands build health messages relating to the benefits that probiotic microorganisms have on the internal body and digestion to skin, Mintel’s Facial Skincare and Anti-Ageing US 2016 report stated.

The cosmetics industry can expect to see marketing campaigns that connect probiotics and fermentation to draw younger consumers towards choosing cosmetics formulated from food waste and derivatives by promoting healthy ingredients including amino acids, peptides and antioxidants.

Olive, cellulose and coffee

Production of coffee waste, such as spent coffee grounds, silver skin/husks and unused beans, are a keen example of how food waste is being used in the beauty industry.

When olive oil enters commercial production, it efficiently provides biowaste through mill wastewater and olive pomace that are rich in phenols/polyphenols. Olive mill wastewater provides ideal antimicrobial activity for producers seeking longevity in skin care formulations.

These phenols/polyphenols from olive mill waste provide an alternative to actives that can help to strengthen green messaging.    

Cellulose is also building its presence internationally with the microbead ban throughout the globe leading to the development of Jojoba beads and cellulose as a biodegradable alternative in exfoliating facial and body care developments.

Mintel Global New Product Database (GNPD) revealed that releases of facial exfoliating products with cellulose have risen from 1.7% in 2014 to 4.3% in 2016.

Citrus peel, which contains cellulose, enables beauty brands to utilise natural sugar polymers that act as skin exfoliators, supporting consumers and the wider environment to target younger consumers.

In addition, natural active ingredients such as vitamin C or antioxidants may be sourced from cold-pressed fruit pulp or skin waste collected from local juice bars. With new ideas and applications, ‘ugly fruit’ may also appeal to ingredient suppliers and will grow as a new natural source of antioxidants.

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