There is a recurring theme that I’d like to start a conversation about; that of biotechnology-derived ingredients. In the ever-evolving landscape of skincare products, you could be forgiven for thinking that biotech beauty is just a passing trend. However, it has proven to be anything but temporary. In fact, this technique encourages us to reshape the way we perceive and embrace beauty products. Thanks to biotechnology, we now have access to an almost limitless array of new ingredients, significantly expanding the possibilities in the beauty world.
The idea for this post came to me last Wednesday morning, as I found myself caught up in a beauty shopping spree after talking to other brand founders. Yes, you read that right – I love supporting other businesses and experimenting with their formulas. From best sellers in big department stores to artisan handcrafted products from independent shops, my bag was brimming with exciting new discoveries, each containing a unique blend of ingredients.
Don’t get me wrong – my intention wasn’t to mimic or copy their ideas. I have a clear vision for my brand and know exactly in which direction I want to take my formulations. Furthermore, what’s the point of creating a dupe of something that already works wonders? But here’s what struck me during my shopping adventure – the definition of “clean” varies significantly from brand to brand. It’s a testament to the booming beauty industry, with new ingredients making their debut almost daily.
The Changing Landscape of Skincare Formulation
Whether it’s one of my own formulas or another brand’s, my interest always lies in the celebration of good ingredients and their potential benefits for the skin. I admit I’m less concerned about chemically modified additives that find their way into the final product. The way we formulate has evolved, and along with it, the language we use to describe all things beauty and skincare. Back when I first started formulating, being “green” was a challenge. 100% natural ingredients were not readily available, and even most plant oils were preserved with synthetic antioxidants like BHT, rather than natural tocopherol (vitamin E). That was the landscape in the early 2000s when I first ventured into natural formulation.
Biotechnology: Unlocking Benefits
Luckily, things have changed dramatically since then. So much so that sometimes I need to pinch myself to confirm it’s not a dream. One advancement that has me excited is the development of natural glycols using biotechnology (lab-made ingredients using living, naturally derived substances). Traditionally, glycols were derived from petroleum. What’s remarkable about these new natural versions is their ability to act as solvents for extracting active molecules, delivering powerful benefits to the skin, just like their synthetic counterparts. So, when you see a product labeled “contains glycolic extracts,” it should no longer be a cause for concern. It’s time to shift our focus from “free from” to “contains” and embrace the positive changes happening in the skincare industry.
The beauty industry is in a state of constant transformation, and it’s up to us as consumers and formulators to stay informed, embrace innovation, and celebrate the incredible potential biotechnology can offer the natural skincare sector. Biotech beauty is reshaping the industry, and I’m excited to see where it leads us next.