Bio-inspiration: Embracing biomimetics can meet rising consumer demand for high-performing natural ingredients

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

[Getty Images]
[Getty Images]

Related tags biotech Nature Skin care

The cosmetics sector is responding to escalating consumer demand for effective natural ingredients by taking a nature-inspired approach to developing innovative cosmetic solutions.

Natural ingredients have evolved in terms of their effectiveness. Advances in technology and research have led to the development of natural ingredients that can deliver results comparable to their synthetic counterparts such as hyaluronic acid or retinol.

With even more consumer demand for high-efficacy natural ingredients, the cosmetics industry is seeing a growing interest in biomimetics – using concepts and principles from nature to develop new materials.

“It’s really important to observe and understand nature to develop innovative ingredients and offer something new to the consumers. I think biomimetics is a big trend,”​ said Cyrielle Houdin, marketing manager cosmetic ingredient, Mircrophyt.

Mircrophyt is a French firm that specialises in the development of microalgae-based bioactives.

The firm has adopted a biomimetic approach to develop Renouvellance, which claims to protect skin from urban photo-stressors.

The ingredient was inspired by Porphyridium cruentum, ​a resilient and adaptogenic red microalgae that is capable of protecting itself to survive in extreme environments for millions of years.

“It is microalgae that is able to live in very extreme conditions. We thought it had specific molecules to protect itself from the outside,” ​said Houdin.

According to the firm, contains high content two important compounds.

The first is phycoerythrin, a pink antioxidant pigment able to absorb light energy and boost natural defences. The second was exopolysaccharides, a marine polymer able to chelate heavy metal and maintain cell’s structure.

It has been found that Renouvellance can reduce the formation of sunburn cells by 88%.

The firm has also demonstrated through a clinical study conducted in China that the ingredient can reinforce the barrier function and equalise skin tone by reducing redness and improving luminosity.

Potential in microalgae

Houdin told us that researching microalgae could potentially inspire more novel cosmetic ingredients and potentially reshape the beauty sector.

Mircrophyt envisions further innovative cosmetic ingredients inspired by microalgae research to cover all the beauty needs of the consumer.

It is particularly keen on addressing skin pigmentation concerns, a significant focus in the Asian beauty market.

By doing so, it hopes to cater to the discerning Asian beauty market, known for its inclination toward innovation and novel solutions.

“The Asian market is very important, huge market. I think Korea and Japan are also very important markets for us because they love innovation, and we know we are we are very innovative and can offer something new to brands,” ​said Houdin.

She emphasised the company’s interest in Korea and its forward-thinking beauty brands.

“As a small company, we would like to target new markets. Korea is a market with a lot of brands and very innovative ones. We would like to work with such brands. We believe our ingredients can fit in very well in this innovative market.”

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