Not just another rose extract: Ashland’s targets luxury market with high-performing Rosaliss

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Ashland is looking to target the luxury cosmetics market with Rosaliss. ©GettyImages
Ashland is looking to target the luxury cosmetics market with Rosaliss. ©GettyImages
Ashland is looking to target the luxury cosmetics market with Rosaliss, a new ingredient inspired by the precious rosa centifolia flower.

“What is exceptional about this rose is that the flower can maintain its colour and beauty regardless of environmental conditions like drought, wind, sun… It contains within itself the ability to resist and maintain its exceptional beauty beyond the different environmental elements,” ​said Neil Astles, global marketing manager of Ashland.

While there are many rose extracts on the market, Astles explained that creating Rosaliss required Ashland’s proprietary technology called PSR (Plant small RNA) technology, which he described as ‘green chemistry’.

PSR technology

PSR is designed to selectively extract small RNA and active phytocompounds from plants.

“We're talking about an extraction technology that will give you extracts with superior efficacy​,” said Astles.

He added: “What’s interesting is as we move step by step forward in the extraction, the extract itself will become its own extraction solvent as well... creating a richer and richer extract.”

Through clinical studies, Rosaliss was found to have a 1.5% strong antioxidant effect compared to green tea.

It is also able to improve collagen production by 26%, claims the company. Astles also highlighted that rose extract without small RNAs showed no significant effect.

In two months, Astles said Rosaliss was able to smooth our skin texture and make skin brighter and more luminous.

Additionally, it can protect the skin microbiome from with a prebiotic and postbiotic effect.

In one experiment, Astles said, Rosaliss was able to restore barrier functions broken due to UV.

“Similarly, when there is an imbalance, a dysbiosis of bacteria on the skin, there will be the same thing – broken barrier function, sensitivity to the skin, which Rosaliss was able to help recover.”

Astles said Rosaliss was  a new way to frame anti-ageing product to consumers.

“When you look at the words and terms that come up often in cosmetics, I would say that anti-wrinkle is less visible now,” he said.

“Today, people want perfect, selfie-ready skin. They are looking for luminous, bright skin with smoothed out pores… all the elements that participate in the way it will look on your selfie. This is going to be more and more important.”

Positioned for luxury

Aside from its efficacy, rosa centifolia provides a story that Astles believes resonates with Asian consumers.

“Obviously, there is all this science behind it but there is also history and culture behind it,” ​said Astles.

“There’s a really nice story behind this rose. It’s very specific to the south of France and it only grows once a year in May. And you have to get it at the right moment. It’s only handpicked in the morning before the sun rises and there’s still droplets of dew on the petals. That’s part of the luxury of this ingredient.”

Astles added that the rose is harvested  only an hour away from Ashland’s facilities in Sophia Antipolis, which he said was  important to the firm’s approach toward sustainability. This allowed the company to reduce its carbon footprint and nuture its local community and economy, he said.

“Ashland created an initiative towards monitoring and introducing sustainability in every action we take. In particular in the field of innovation... It is to really take into consideration the impact that new developments and innovation can have on the environment, people and economy,” ​said Astles.

Astles added that it was important to ensure sustainability because the newer generation of consumers were increasingly aware of it and would continue to demand it from companies and brands.

“The newer generation is very active, very interested and their focus is very different. Sustainability is very important to this newer generation. They want simple messages and they want efficacy. We have to combine all these elements together in order to satisfy the population which is spending the most right now in cosmetics. I think Rosaliss does tick all the boxes for this.”

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