Rachel Kim, assistant manager, Daebong Life Science, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the clean beauty trend was gaining momentum in South Korea.
“Our company is focusing on natural ingredients development. The reason why we developed natural oil is because of clean beauty, it is the big trend at the moment. We hope to develop replacements for silicones and chemical oils for clean beauty products.”
Cashing in on citron
Among other ingredients showcased at the trade show in Seoul was Korean Citron Oil, which is derived from the Yuja fruit grown on Jeju Island.
“Citron is cultivated in Japan, China and Korea. Korean citron is very famous. This is because it has thicker peels and higher sugar content. The Korean citron we use is cultivated in Jeju Island, in the Southern part of the country. It’s near the sea, which influences the harvest positively,” said Kim.
Through in-vitro tests, the company found that the oil boosts the production of hyaluronic acid better than other natural oils such as jojoba and argan.
Results of the test also demonstrated that citron oil can decrease the melanin content in the skin, confirming its whitening features.
Additional sensory tests found that the oil performed better than argan oil.
Kim said: “We found that Korean citron oil is better than argan oil in terms of factors like distribution and absorption. It’s really a very good natural solution.”
Kim said the company planned to conduct more tests on the ingredients as it believed it has other useful features, such as anti-inflammatory properties.
Aside from Korean citron oil, the company has also developed a fermented Korean citron seed oil.
Kim explained that the fermented version was created using a bioconversion process which enhances the oil.
“Normally, vegetable oils have a very heavy sensory but this has a very light sensory. It’s a good natural alternative to silicon,” she said.
However, it is not permitted for use in the Chinese market. “The Chinese market is very important for the cosmetics industry, that’s why we had to develop two. We are preparing to register the fermented version with the Chinese authorities,” she said.
Kim highlighted that it was important for the company to be involved in sustainable developments as customers and consumers alike demanding eco- and socially-responsible products.
“Citron is used for its peel and fruit while the seeds are disposed. Instead of wasting the seeds, we upcycle it. We take them and make new value.”
Daebong Life Science sources many of its raw materials from Jeju Island by working with local farmers. The company produces materials and operates facilities on the island itself, allowing it to offer “the real value of Jeju”.
Under development: Plant water
Following its aim to develop products with a focus on sustainability, Kim revealed that Daebong Life Science currently has an “exciting” development in progress.
The company is currently working on extracting water from fruits and plants without solvents or any additional water.
“Replacing water with a more sustainable source is the next step in clean beauty,” said Kim.
This “new generation of water” is 100% natural and can replace purified water in cosmetics formulation.
The firm utilises a vacuum dry technology which dries out fruits and decreases its boiling point.
“With a low temperature, we can get the water from the fruits directly. A lot of other technology uses steam distillation techniques, but we don’t because you don’t want to use additional water.”
The new plant waters is currently still under development and will be launched by the end of this year. Kim added that if all goes well, the company will be at in-cosmetics Asia in November to showcase the plant waters.