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Home Cosmetic Science Talk Cosmetic Industry IFSCC Debate 2 - It is better to formulate with natural ingredients?

  • IFSCC Debate 2 - It is better to formulate with natural ingredients?

    Posted by OldPerry on February 26, 2021 at 12:54 am

    You won’t want to miss this upcoming debate.  Sign up and put it on your calendars.  We’re having a “green beauty” PHD chemist debating a PHD cosmetic science professor.

    Should be fun!

    https://event.webinarjam.com/register/42/m210pu7o

    Let me know if you have any questions you’ll want me to ask.

    OldPerry replied 2 years, 2 months ago 5 Members · 12 Replies
  • 12 Replies
  • ozgirl

    Member
    March 2, 2021 at 4:51 am
    Will this be recorded like the previous debate?
    I would love to watch live but it will be 2am here in Australia.
  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 2, 2021 at 2:02 pm

    Hello @ozgirl - Yes, it will be recorded. As long as you sign up you’ll get an email with a link to the replay.

  • Pharma

    Member
    March 2, 2021 at 5:26 pm
    I hope I find the time for this one!
    BTW, just if not: What about ‘natural’ packaging? The amount of plastic used for cosmetics and toiletry is horrendous and less than 1/10 is recycled (in the US). How much does the packaging compared to the petrochemistry within a product contribute to the overall ‘synthetics’ of a cosmetic product?
    Did you know that, were we able to replace all plastic we produce every year with plant based materials such as hemp fibres, then we’d have to, at a full conversion ratio of fibre to ‘eco-plastic’, grow hemp on half the agricultural area of whole Europe.
    If we could for example use canola oil instead of crude oil at a 1:1 conversion ratio, we would have to grow canola on the whole terrestrial surface of earth and moon together to cover annual demands.
    Apart from this minor limitation (*cough-cough*), I’m all for sustainable ingredients and green chemistry.
  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 2, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    @Pharma - great points. I’ll try to work them into questions for the panelists.
    I’ve often thought it may not be a good idea to substitute farm land for cosmetic production.

  • ozgirl

    Member
    March 3, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    @Perry Thanks I have signed up.

  • RedCoast

    Member
    March 10, 2021 at 5:36 am

    Pharma said:

    I hope I find the time for this one!
    BTW, just if not: What about ‘natural’ packaging? The amount of plastic used for cosmetics and toiletry is horrendous and less than 1/10 is recycled (in the US). How much does the packaging compared to the petrochemistry within a product contribute to the overall ‘synthetics’ of a cosmetic product?
    Did you know that, were we able to replace all plastic we produce every year with plant based materials such as hemp fibres, then we’d have to, at a full conversion ratio of fibre to ‘eco-plastic’, grow hemp on half the agricultural area of whole Europe.
    If we could for example use canola oil instead of crude oil at a 1:1 conversion ratio, we would have to grow canola on the whole terrestrial surface of earth and moon together to cover annual demands.
    Apart from this minor limitation (*cough-cough*), I’m all for sustainable ingredients and green chemistry.

    Do you think algae oil-based plastic packaging is the best viable option? I know they can grow algae oil in huge pans, but I don’t know how high they can stack them, if they can at all. We’d likely need country-sized surface areas…
    I know that “biodegradable” plastics have problems, though. They can potentially release toxic chemicals, and the facilities don’t compost them long enough for them to totally break down.
  • Pharma

    Member
    March 10, 2021 at 5:49 am

    RedCoast said:

    …Do you think algae oil-based plastic packaging is the best viable option?…

    Difficult to say. Likely it’s better to focus on reuse and reduce until the recycle part has been sorted out. It might be necessary to rethink the whole strategy and start producing materials & consumer goods which are easier to recycle and better degradable. Chemical and/or microbial/enzymatic recycling strategies may become helpful too. As long as we don’t have a viable strategy how we want to get out that mess…
    Staying away from plastics would, in theory, be the best solution (and maybe the only one) but it’s simply not possible. Increasing the costs for virgin plastic would be another though the low crude oil price and heavy lobbying of the oil industry makes this impossible too. There is, as of now, not much reasonable we could do apart from everyone reusing, reducing, and rethinking his/her way of living in a throwaway society.
  • RedCoast

    Member
    March 10, 2021 at 6:02 am
    Eh, I thought so. Thank you for the response.
    I think genetically modified bacteria to break down the plastic has the most potential. Some scientist was saying that it would take 10-15 years to bring it to market, but I’m skeptical… just how many times have we heard some technological innovation was just around the corner? I shudder to think of the red tape and the startup costs for that.
    Do you know if partnering up with TerraCycle is a viable option for cosmetics? I could imagine some regulations preventing those plastics from being fully recycled.
  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 10, 2021 at 2:16 pm

    I think the main problem with recycling plastic is that each time you recycle it you get a lower quality product. This is due to impurities that can’t be separated from the product.

    I agree that bacterial breakdown might be our best hope but can you imagine if some of that got free into the wild? Plastic would start breaking down before we would want it to and that could be bad.

  • Pharma

    Member
    March 10, 2021 at 8:07 pm
    I don’t know about TerraCycle… maybe finding some sort of package which could be used in the consumers household as an upcycled or re-purposed product before, ultimately, ending in a landfill?
    @Perry’s note regarding progressive deterioration of the raw material after each cycle: True. Although, with a very few exceptions, only plain PET and HDPE packagings are recycled. Compound materials and other ‘mid and low value’ plastics such as LDPE, PP, PS, PU or PC are currently not recyclable for economical purposes. Regulations preventing recycling: There’s for example subsidies which are paid for recycling like in the UK: Say you’ve got a ton of mixed plastics and manage to recycle 50% of it so you get subsidies for 500 kg recycled material. If you export all of it (which was easily possible till 2018) to China, you get subsidies for 1 ton. In China, a bit over 50% was recycled, the rest was dumped, burnt, or lost and forgotten. On the other hand, you now have 500 kg of medium quality plastic pellets costing as much as 1 ton of pure virgin pellets ‘directly from the oil well’.
    Apart from that: PE, PP and PS are not esters or the like but pure hydrocarbons. So far, these can not efficiently be broken down into reusable monomers, not by enzymes, not chemically.
    Regarding bacteria digesting the modern world: No, they won’t because they will not be brought into nature. Purified enzymes like those commonly used in washing detergents will be used. Sure, you shouldn’t use those for synthetic clothes :smiley: . However, the enzymes I’ve heard of are far from usable and require serious remodelling… they need to be about 100 to 1’000 times faster to become useful.
  • DCSkincare

    Member
    March 22, 2021 at 4:25 pm

    So this is at 8am for us West Coasters! ;)  I formulate for my own company and work in retail skincare as well. This debate will be very beneficial for me, in both areas. So many clients want “clean beauty.” I feel differently about “clean beauty” than most. Bring on the synthetics!

  • OldPerry

    Professional Chemist / Formulator
    March 24, 2021 at 4:38 pm