beauty green

Beauty green, the eco-sustainable choices of cosmetic companies for creams, shampoos and shower gels – iO Donna

Il world of cosmetics is becoming more and more eco-sustainablewith ethical choices and formulations that are committed to the environment, to expand the so-called world of beauty green.

From food waste to fruit and vegetable peels, skin care ingredients come directly from the food industry, limiting CO2 production and creating a sustainable production process. Thus the cosmetics industry takes another step forward for the well-being of the planet.

Beauty green, increasingly alongside the environment

It was 2015 when the brand appeared for the first time at Expo Milano Orange Fiber. Born from the idea of ​​two women from Catania, today it is among the most internationally recognized companies for its commitment to sustainable textile production.

Credits: Getty Images

Among the fashion brands that have used the “orange fiber” also Salvatore Ferragamo with a collection then exhibited at Victoria and Albert Museum in London as part of the exhibition Fashioned from Nature. And if the fashion system has managed to consolidate the idea that waste is a resource, the world of beauty is no exception.

Food leftovers become beauty ingredients

“Almost all food leftovers lend themselves very well to being used as a source of raw materials in the cosmetic field” points out Michela SignorettoProfessor of Industrial Chemistry at the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice and founding partner of VeNice, an innovative start-up and Spin Off of the Venetian University, whose mission is to innovate the cosmetics sector, proposing sustainable formulation protocols in the name of the circular economy .

«However, it is necessary to make a careful preliminary assessment, to establish which agri-food by-products can be reinserted into the cosmetic supply chain with effective process efficiencymaking it sustainable at 360 degrees “.

The use of waste, in fact, is a fundamental step towards a system in which the planet’s resources are not depleted, something that women and men of all ages increasingly require from companies that are inclined to innovation.

Creams, shampoos and shower gels are the greenest products ever

Even if some still “turn up their noses” at the thought that waste can be used in the formulas of creams, shampoos and shower gels.

So much so that last June, to reassure consumers, the US Upcycled Food Association has created a certification for food by-products aimed above all at the growing phenomenon of upcycled food (snacks enriched with hop grains discarded during the processing of beer, tea and cereal bars based on avocado leaves and kernels), but also world to beauty.

A way to legitimize once and for all those active ingredients extracted from the food industry leftovers and to guarantee safety standards. Complex, but necessary the sustainable and circular production process must deal with various elements and complexities.

“One aspect to consider is the amount of waste available and its seasonality” continues Professor Signoretto. “Usually, plant sources with a high residue and available on the territory all year round are preferred.”

Beauty green: artichoke and hazelnut shells, good for the skin

Il artichoke, for example, it meets these requirements very well: about the 60 percent is discarded and must be disposed of by retailers“. It also guarantees the reduction of CO2 emissions, thanks also to the fact that zero kilometer vegetables are often used. “Our research group has worked on a wide range of waste products, favoring local ones,” says Signoretto.

«In addition to the artichoke by-products rich in antioxidants, vitamins, sugars and polysaccharides, we have focused our attention on hazelnut shells. Italy is the second largest producer of this fruit in Europe, the processing of which generates a huge amount of waste that can find new life in the formulation of high added value products such as cosmetics ».

In fact the beneficial properties for the skin of hazelnut extracts there are many: «The shells, for example, can be used for the extraction of antioxidant molecules such as gallic acid. Even the oil obtained by cold pressing is widely used in cosmetics: rich in unsaturated fatty acids, it has a repairing action on the skin barrier »adds Marta Montoli, cosmetologist at Rigano Laboratories.

But also rice and wine

“The extracts from rice contain biofunctional peptides and amino acids, polysaccharides, phytic acid and vitamins, with antioxidant and soothing properties for the skinto protect the hair fibers from oxidative damage.

Furthermore, rice starch contains complex polysaccharides capable of binding large quantities of water, thus carrying out a powerful moisturizing function »says Marta Montoli.

Wine therapy: the benefits of grapes for the skin

Wine therapy: the benefits of grapes for the skin

And what about the vineyards? «A new project we are working on foresees the use of waste from the wine industry and in particular of red grape leaves. The latter, unlike the skins and seeds of the berries which can always be reused in the food sector, constitute a leftover that can be 100% transformed into active ingredients for anti-aging creams »explains Michela Signoretto.

And it has been in fact for some time that among then cosmetic ingredients with many virtues we speak of polyphenols: «They are molecules with a strong antioxidant action: they favor the inhibition of pro-free radical and proteolytic enzymes (collagenase, elastase, hyaluronidase) and the consequent maintenance of support structures, ie skin elasticity and tone.

They also have action of protection against the microcirculation, reducing capillary fragilityThe cosmetologist resumes.

Beauty green: skin well-being from the peels

«Le citrus peels, including oranges, are a source of polyphenols, essential oil, pectin and vitamin. In addition to the antioxidant activity, these extracts are used for the exfoliating and depigmenting effect and against the imperfections of cellulite, and in anti-dandruff products ».

Some might think that these assets may not have the same organoleptic characteristics of those extracted from the vegetable or fruit intactinstead, they have the same potential.

«We start from the premise that different parts of the same fruit already have a different composition, qualitative and quantitative, of metabolites (vitamins, carbohydrates, polysaccharides, polyphenols), explains Professor Signoretto.

“For example, the citrus or pumpkin peels have a higher content of both vitamins and fiber than the pulp. In hazelnuts, most of the antioxidant substances are concentrated in the external cuticle of the fruit and in the skins ».

So it can be said that in some cases the discarded part is more valuable than the whole fruit or vegetable.

Smart crops, for all-round green production

«Le Meristematic cultures involve the in vitro growth of plant stem cells (meristematic, ndr), capable of giving rise to different different tissues of the plant »continues Montoli.

«They are grown in sterile and controlled conditions in order to favor the synthesis of particular active molecules, generally present in low percentages. With this method of culture, other identical cells derive from meristematic cells, allowing the concentration of the active ingredients to be extracted ».

But there are other benefits as well. «Since the cultivation takes place in sterile conditions, it prevents the presence of pathogenic organisms as well as other environmental contaminants (pesticides, heavy metals). Furthermore, for the creation of this cell line it is it uses a small amount of tissue derived from the plant and consequently the impact on the flora is decidedly reduced»Concludes Montoli.

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