The ingredients, Puricare for hair care and Purisoft for skin care, are based on botanical peptides extracted from the seeds of the Moringa tree, and have been awarded with the company's own Innovation Award 2005.
The trends towards anti-pollution ingredients has led to a significant growth in the number of offerings based on their ability to protect, evinced by ingredients that form a surface film, or that have antioxidant qualities.
However, Cognis points out that both of these approaches have their drawbacks, due mainly to formulation complexities and high costs.
These drawbacks have been tackled by using two-in-one active ingredients from the seeds of the African plant Moringa oleifera to form the bases of the two ingredients.
Moringa oleifera is native to India and cultivated in sub-tropical regions throughout the world. Its pharmalogical and neutraceutical qualities are derived from all parts of the tree, including the wood, leaves and seeds.
The tree is known for its ability to purify water, a fact that encouraged Laboratories Serobioligiques (LS), Cognis' France-based cosmetics division, to carry out further tests on its application for cosmetic ingredients.
The company's research team concentrated on proteins isolated from the tree's seeds that are known to have a low molecular weight and significant cationic behaviour.
The development led to Purisoft, which during in vivo and in vitro tests proved to have purifying and protective properties by working on both the surface of the skin and at a cell level.
Likewise, Puricare has been developed to prevent damage from pollution build up and to keep hair clean by inhibiting the adhesion of particulate pollution to the hair shaft.
Cognis said that one of the main reasons behind the award for the two ingredients is because they are innovation inspired by nature, a theme that is consistently recurring in the world of cosmetic and toiletry products, where natural is often deemed to be best.
The use of Moringa seeds is also in line with the company's general philosophy of sourcing sustainable ingredients, as it buys its seeds from farming co-operatives in Africa that cultivate the trees according to sustainable principals.
Isabelle Stussi, LS Product Manager said: "Natural care ingredients are gaining market share because their health and protective benefits meet consumer demand for products that make a positive contribution to wellness.
"In Puricare and Purisoft we are offering cosmetic manufacturers two natural active ingredients which adds genuine value, proven in extensive testing. This enables our customers to differentiate themselves from their competitors with innovative marketing claims that respond to the needs of consumers."