Australian researchers using sheep waste in cosmetics

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

Australian researchers using sheep waste in cosmetics

Related tags Cosmetics

In just the latest in a long line of weird and wonderful beauty ingredients to come out of the APAC region, Australian researchers have found a way to turn sheep waste into a cosmetics ingredient.

According to research published in the Royal Society of Chemistry's journal RSC Advances​, the team was able to break down wool fibre into a resuable keratin material, using a process of dialysis, and then freeze-drying the product as a protein powder.

"We have found a safe and environmentally responsible way to chemically process any type of wool which is contaminated or of low grade – and hence unsuitable for the garment industry,"​  lead researcher, Professor Colin Raston of Flinders University in Adelaide, confirmed to The Sydney Morning Herald​.

Safe and sustainable

The researcher explained that along with personal care, the resulting protein powder could also have applications across the health care and food industries.

"The high-value protein obtained in this way can be used in a wide range of applications, including for skin and hair conditioning, sunscreens, wound healing in bandages and animal feedstocks,​” Professor Raston confirmed.

According to the research report, the process is non-toxic and uses biodegradable materials, and is “simple, efficient, and environmentally friendly.​”

With the findings so recent, it remains to be seen whether formulators will leap at the chance to use the potential new beauty ingredient.

Weird and wacky

Although waste wool may sound unusual, it's by no means the first time cosmetics ingredients have emerged from unexpected sources: copper, sea anemone sting cells and snail slime are just some of the beauty ingredients​ that have come out of the APAC region in recent years.

Snail slime has proven particularly popular, with one brand in particular; 'It’s Skin', seeing success for its its snail-based skin care cream, containing 12,600mg of a filtrate of snail slime​.

The product has taken off in China and southeast Asia, and according to the brand, is gaining momentum globally.

"One of the products sells every six seconds all over the world, and its sales are expected to exceed 5 million soon, if the trend continues​," a company rep told Business Korea.

Related news

Related products

show more

Exosomes: Passing Trend or Transformative Reality?

Exosomes: Passing Trend or Transformative Reality?

Content provided by Naolys | 23-Feb-2024 | Sponsored Link

Exosomes, microscopic vesicles naturally present in abundance within Plant Cells, have garnered significant attention within the scientific and cosmetic...

Give collagen and your products a boost

Give collagen and your products a boost

Content provided by Lycored SARL | 14-Feb-2024 | White Paper

Lumenato, Lycored’s scientifically supported proprietary wellness extract, gets to work quickly complementing and protecting the structural benefits of...

Follow us


View more



Beauty 4.0 Podcast