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Forests' Impact on the Future of Beauty

In recent months, I've learned about several ingredient & brand innovations that highlight both the beauty benefits & biodiversity hidden in woodlands & tropical forests around the world.

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The Captivating Underwater Forests of Argentina

NovaChemicals, a cosmetic and personal care ingredient supplier based in Argentina, works to restore native forests and preserve biodiversity. Just this summer the company launched Oleobiota, an ingredient made using Ñangapiri fruit sourced from the Misiones rainforest.

And even more enchanting is work that NovaChem is doing now to finalize development of an ingredient made possible by the unique biodiversity of Lago Traful’s underwater forest. Dermoboost is an ingredient that not only has a beautiful forest story to tell but that also leverages the power microalgae and promises to be a very in-demand input as beauty makers shift to an ever-more-circular supply chain. (photo of Lago Traful, shown in video, via @natymancu on IG)

World's Oldest Tree Holds the Secret to Blue Light Repair

Another new and compelling skincare ingredient comes from Rubisco Biotech. The company’s anti-aging skincare active AustralCell Alerce is made from the stem cells of the Chilean Alerce tree.

In vitro data shows that AusralCell Alerce accelerates skin’s cell renewal capacity, a capacity which is notably diminished when skin is exposed to blue light.

So as formulators seek out preventative and, in this case, restorative alternatives to conventional anti-aging ingredients, this new launch from Rubisco Biotech will be in demand.

And I am just now getting acquainted with a couple of more ingredient suppliers that fit into our conversation about forests and the future of beauty.

Upcycled Lignin Ingredient for use in Sun Care

Lignovations is a company based in Austria that was founded on a process developed by three chemical engineers at The Vienna University of Technology. The team is proud to have created a viable commercial market for lignin, one of the three largest components—by volume—of biomass.

The company’s Colloidal Lignin Particles can be made from a variety of feedstock, including hemp, straw, nutshells, agricultural waste, and wood residues from FSC certified forests. The ingredient can be used to provide antioxidative benefits and as an emulsifier.

Lignovations’ Colloidal Lignin Particles can also be used in physical sun care product formulations to reduce the amount of conventional ingredients like Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, while still delivering the desired level of UV protection.

Enchanting Skincare Benefits from the Forest Floor

And Uute Scientific, a company based in Helsinki, Finland, has introduced an ingredient called Re-Connecting Nature® to the cosmetic and personal care industry.

Re-Connecting Nature® is a powder made from soil-based extracts; and that soil comes from the forests of Finland.

The research and data leading up to the development of this fantastically novel beauty ingredient shows that soil microbes from the forest floor can be used to bring the immunity and health benefits of nature’s microbial biodiversity to people living in contemporary built environments, in towns and cities, homes and buildings, places where much of the land is paved, foods are processed, and the soil that remains has been altered by urban living.

I recall having conversations about the beneficial potential of ‘undeveloped’ soil at an international conference on microbiomics that I spoke at several years back. At the time, I was thinking we could call such a product Good Clean Dirt, because that’s how my mother would describe it, when I tracked soil into the house as a child or when we found bits of grit on the produce we bought at our neighbor’s farm stand. It was just good clean dirt.

Having grown up in Montana, I like to think that I had a healthy sort of exposure to soil microbes. But, the forests or Finland are infinitely more mesmerizing! So I will be very excited to see how beauty makers innovate with the Re-Connecting Nature® ingredient from Uute Scientific.

Beauty Brands are Innovating with Forest Ingredients

There are a couple of beauty brands that I’d like to include in this discussion of forests.

The first is a brand called mājen and is based in Chilean Patagonia. The brand’s product portfolio spans skincare, body care, personal care, fragrance, mom and baby care, and soon, hair care as well.

mājen is a term that translates to ‘natural water of the rain’. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the brand formulates and manufactures all of its products with ingredients sourced from the Valdivian Rainforest of Chilean Patagonia.

The second brand that I’ll mention here is Ruvi Beauty, a skincare brand built around Bataua Oil Bataua, an ingredient with high levels of Oleic, Palmitic, and Stearic Acids. But as much as this brand is about the benefits of the Bataua superfruit, the regenerative, wild harvesting technique used to source the ingredient is absolutely foundational to the brand.

Bataua is the fruit of oenocarpus bataua, a palm tree native to the Amazon rainforest in Peru and across Northern South America.

And so it is with this evidence, gleaned from suppliers and brands, that I can say with certainty: Forests are making a real impact on the future of beauty.


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