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In The News: Upcycled Ingredients, Collaborating on Sustainability, Cosmetics Regulations Update

The Upcycled Beauty Company launches new hair care active, Biotech ingredient maker Geno signs onto United Nations Global Compact, US President Joe Biden advances beauty regulations

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

🚫💋Nothing New

Can every raw material—for products and packaging—be upcycled?

Just south of London, an ingredient start up called The Upcycled Beauty Company believes that it’s not only possible but also astonishingly practical.

The Upcycled Beauty Company offers a portfolio of cosmetic actives with applications across skincare, hair care, and color cosmetics. Collectively the portfolio is branded Full Circle. And within that, the ingredient maker offers three lines: Necta, Crush, and Toniq, all made from the botanical byproducts of food and beverage production.

For example, “approximately 12 million tonnes of chickpeas are produced every year, and the ever-growing popularity of hummus is prompting more and more manufacturers to yield the crop,” notes Harry McIlwraith, General Manager of The Upcycled Beauty Company.

“With mass production, comes waste,” he acknowledges. From there, he explains that, “by identifying an industry that creates unused waste products, we work to help beauty and personal care brands transition towards a circular economy.”

According to press materials the ingredient maker shared with me, “Faba TONIQ is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, polypeptides and amino acids which help to style and condition the hair, delivering better hair manageability, easier detangling, and sleeker, longer-lasting curls.”

🌎🌍🌏Collaboration for Change

As 2022 came to a close, biotech beauty ingredient maker Geno announced having joined the United Nations Global Compact initiative. The UNGC is a non-binding pact meant to inspire and incentivize businesses around the world to develop and report on social responsibility and environmental sustainability practices.

“We know that we can't do this work alone,” Geno CEO Christophe Schilling tells the press. “We are inspired and energized by UNGC members who use their business decisions to create a safer, more sustainable world for us all.”

Geno is perhaps best known in the beauty industry for its butylene glycol (launched in 2018), made using biotech processes rather than fossil fuel. And more recently, the company—formerly known as Genomatica—made headlines thanks to partnerships with Unilever and Kao. The beauty makers have teamed up with Geno to develop and scale palm oil alternatives. A venture made possible by Geno’s acquisition of select tech assets from REG Life Sciences.

That deal closed in June 2019 and added long-chain chemical production capabilities to Geno’s portfolio. The acquired oleochemical biotech enables Geno and its partners to synthesize “[chemicals that] range from 8 to 18 carbon atoms in length…functional groups, resulting in long-chain alcohols, esters, acids, ketones, aldehydes, alkanes, amines, amides and branched products,” according to a media release issued at the time of the acquisition. Oleochemicals are conventionally sourced not from fossil fuels but from animal and vegetable fats and oils.

Now, a UNGC member, “Geno is proud to be part of this initiative alongside other businesses working to be better for the people and planet they serve,” says Schilling.

⚖💋Beauty Regulations Updated

On December 29, 2022 US President Joe Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 into law. The act includes updates to the country’s cosmetics and personal care regulations that some are calling, “the most meaningful changes to the beauty industry since 1938.”

That quote, about meaningful changes, comes from Beautycounter’s social media. The brand, founded in 2013 by Gregg Renfrew and acquired in early 2021 by The Carlyle Group, is intent on ensuring that consumers have access to safe cosmetics and personal care products, and on government advocacy efforts to realize that goal.

In a blog post about the act’s passage on the Beautycounter site, the brand notes that over the years, “the Beautycounter community has sent over 236,000 emails, made over 16,000 calls, and held over 2,200 meetings with Members of Congress.”

That post also highlights the following details of the new law: (quoted here verbatim from the blog)

  • Mandatory recall authority which will enable the FDA to act when products harm consumers.

  • Fragrance allergen disclosures which will require allergens to be disclosed to consumers.

  • Registration of new Good Manufacturing Practices which will increase oversight and inspections.

  • Requirements for safety substantiation to be on file which will force many brands to articulate what ingredients are safe.

The Personal Care Products Council (PCPC) and its member companies applaud Congress for including legislation that modernizes federal regulatory oversight of cosmetics and personal care products and creates a comprehensive and uniform national framework for cosmetics regulation. The long-awaited legislation advances product safety and innovation for the science-driven beauty and personal care industry and reinforces consumer confidence.

“We greatly appreciate Chairwoman Patty Murray, Ranking Member Richard Burr, Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers for their leadership. This truly historic moment took over a decade, bringing together a diverse group of stakeholders to support a contemporary approach to cosmetics oversight and further strengthen consumer trust in the products they use every day,” said PCPC President and CEO Lezlee Westine. “This landmark legislation would not have been possible without their leadership and commitment.”

PCPC Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Karin Ross added: “We entered this process advocating for well-crafted, science-based federal reforms to enhance our industry’s ability to innovate and to modernize regulation that has largely been unchanged for 80 years. These members of Congress guided that process. Thanks to their leadership, the Food and Drug Administration will have the necessary tools to ensure consistent regulation of cosmetics and personal care products.”

Consumer and product safety are top priorities for the beauty and personal care industry. PCPC looks forward to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and key stakeholders to implement this important legislation.

🔗💋⚖here is the full text of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 is in the comments. The Modernization of Cosmetics Regulation Act of 2022 begins on page 3,498:


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