Dermatologist-backed skin care brand Fig.1 has partnered with sustainable Australian skin care brand Conserving Beauty to develop and release Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipes to the US market for the first time. The cleansing wipes are a completely zero waste product that dissolves or biodegrades after use, and the product packaging is completely home compostable or recyclable.
In addition to being backed by a Bluebird Sustainability Report, extensive testing has been performed on the dissolving wipes’ patented fabric technology, including “a comprehensive biological evaluation report and toxicology with a third-party accredited regulatory group on the fabric that resulted in confirmation that the fabric has no adverse impact on marine life, our waterways, and the environment,” as well as “a biodegradability, composting, and material analysis of the fabric with a third-party accredited lab (Impact Solutions) [which] found that the fabric disintegrates in a compost bin within seven days,” shared a company press release.
To learn more about the research, development, formulation, and launch processes behind the Micellar Oil Cleaning Wipes, as well as the ways in which the product launch is a disruptor in the US market that differs from other types of currently available cleansing wipes, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Natassia Nicolao, CEO and Founder of Conserving Beauty and Kimmy Scotti, CEO & Founder of Fig.1 for their insights.
CDU: Can you explain the conceptualization, formulation and development process for the Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipes?
Natassia Nicolao (NN): Uniting innovation and sustainability has always been the inspiration at Conserving Beauty. After working in the beauty industry and formulating products for years, I wanted to unite innovation and sustainability with beauty products.
When I met a UK-based med-tech start-up developing a fabric that dissolves without leaving microplastics for burn victims, I instantly wanted to develop that technology in the beauty industry. We partnered with this lab exclusively to create InstaMelt to redefine single-use skincare products.
Our proprietary InstaMelt fabric is made from a water-soluble polymer that dissolves in water, leaving no waste, and we have met the UK Fine to Flush standards making them safe for our waterways.
I always wanted to share our IP with fellow industry disruptors so after meeting Kimmy and the Fig.1 team, I knew we had to create something together. We wanted to merge Fig.1’s efficacious formulations and accessibility with our sustainable materials.
The collaboration idea was the perfect opportunity to bring together Fig1’s best-selling Micellar Oil Cleanser with our InstaMelt technology, to provide customers with a planet-friendly solution to cleansing on-the-go.
Kimmy Scotti (KS): I first met Natassia through mutual friends. She introduced me to her Australia-based brand, Conserving Beauty, and their focus on sustainable beauty. Fig.1 has valued sustainability in the beauty space from the beginning with efforts like reusable glass tubes and recyclable packaging. Naturally, I was blown away and was eager to collaborate.
We infused Natassia’s wipe technology with Fig.1’s Micellar Oil Cleanser. Our cult-favorite Micellar Oil Cleanser feels, works, and nourishes like an oil, but rinses off like it’s water-based. We thought it was a great opportunity to combine the water-based and sustainable benefits of both products, including:
- The original Conserving Beauty wipes have met the UK Fine to Flush standards, making them safe for waterways.
- The Fig.1 x Conserving Beauty Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipes are also credited as UK Fine to Flush and placed “above average” on the BlueBird Climate report.
- The packaging sachet is both biodegradable and home-compostable. If placed in the trash it will biodegrade in 3-6 months, depending on the environmental conditions.
CDU: In what ways does this product launch disrupt the current US market for sustainable skincare products?
KS: It’s very difficult to develop a product that is truly zero-waste. The Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipe is the first water-dissolvable wipe on the U.S. market. Conserving Beauty launched the technology to the Australian market in 2022, and the UK in 2023.
All other wipes on the U.S. market today are your traditional face or cleaning wipe - generally not flushable and known to clog waterways. Some are compostable.
CDU: How are the Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipes different than other types of skin cleansing wipes currently available today in the US?
KS: Wet wipes flushed down toilets cause 93% of sewer blockages including so-called fatbergs according to Water UK which represents the water industry. Around 90% of wipes contained plastic in 2021, although there have been some improvements across the industry.
Plastics do not break down and over time wipes become snagged and stick together, causing sewage to stop moving through pipes. Conventional wet wipes which include face wipes, typically take almost 100 years to biodegrade and contribute up to 75% of sewer blockages in Australia and 93% in the United Kingdom.
The Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipes are designed to instantly dissolve in water after use. Even if our wipes are not dissolved in water after use and placed in the trash, they will take 14 days to biodegrade in a landfill, unlike other wipes which can take 100 years to biodegrade.
CDU: Were there any challenges during the product formulation and development process that needed to be overcome prior to launch? If so, what were those challenges, and what solutions were implemented?
KS: In this collaboration, our main challenge was ensuring that our award-winning Micellar Oil Cleanser and the innovative InstaMelt fabric could work well together while meeting our high standards for efficacious skincare. We conducted extensive testing to determine compatibility, and to reach confirmation that the collaboration would meet quality expectations.
CDU: Are there any plans for further innovation and development in this space?
KS: Our mission at Fig.1 Beauty has always been to marry effective skincare with responsible practices. With the Micellar Oil Cleansing Wipes, we are taking a significant step forward in sustainable skincare, offering users a product that aligns with their values without compromising on quality.
Great skincare should be an expression of both clinical results and responsibility. With sustainability and refillable packaging at the core of the Fig.1 ethos, we seamlessly blend beauty with accountability, ensuring our environmental impact is deeply considered.
As with all technology, possibilities are evolving constantly, meaning we are always updating our view on sustainability and aligning our products, packaging and procedures to what is possible today.
CDU: Anything else to add?
KS: The cleansing wipe is infused with the potent antioxidant properties of Grapeseed Oil and the profoundly hydrating Squalane caters to all skin types. Users can expect a gentle yet effective cleanse and a radiant complexion, with the added peace of mind that their product does not negatively impact the environment. Recommended use is dissolving where you already have a water footprint, like a shower, sink, or toilet.