L’Oréal, during its 2021 Transparency Summit, committed to transforming its research and innovation practices by adopting a “green science” approach, proclaiming that by 2030, 95% of the ingredients its uses will be derived from renewable plant sources, abundant minerals or circular processes; and 100% of the company’s formulas will respect the aquatic environment.1 According to the company, this move comes at a time when protecting the planet is an absolute necessity, and the COVID-19 pandemic is driving heightened demand for products that are both good for health and safe for the environment.
This is the future direction for beauty. Natural/organic advanced to clean/sustainable, which is transitioning to circular/responsible. Enabling this progression are innovations that embrace such tenets as upcycling and sustainability, zero waste, low (or positive) carbon footprint, refilling/reusability, eco or recycled packaging (or package-free), water-consciousness, veganism/cruelty-free, social responsibility, etc.—all, at the same time, being safe for humans and the environment.
The industry has its marching orders, and L’Oréal is certainly not alone in this circular trajectory. The good news is, cosmetics R&D has been on this path for some time, which the current issue illustrates. For example, natural, sustainable phytochemicals for eco-friendly sun protection are explored on Page 32, while waterless and water-conscious formulating are described on Page 52. Artichoke extract upcycled from food waste is examined for anti-glycative effects on Page 44, and botanical, vegan pigment extracts are tested in hair dyes on Page 60.
Sustainable ingredients from start-up companies are reviewed on Page 22, and experts weigh in on reducing, re-using and recycling in beauty on Page 18. The Eco, Clean and Sustainable Formulary on Page 62 highlights prototypes to build your next product success, and Part II in our series on hair oiling, on Page 42, considers natural oils to benefit hair health. Finally, as a bonus, the effects of biology on perceived beauty are assessed on Page 14.
Considering the progression of this macrotrend, one may wonder where it will go next. I have a hunch it could relate to health;2 we’ll circle back to you on this. In the meantime, enjoy this responsibly sourced edition of C&T.
Rachel L. Grabenhofer, Managing Editor