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Clean Beauty: Creating Sustainable Solutions with Functional Ingredients

AUTHOR: Carolina DiazQuijano, Director Technical Services Consumer Goods, Omya International

In 2023, Omya is revolutionizing the beauty industry with waterless solutions fors kincare, oral care, and makeup. Their anhydrous formulations, enriched with advanced minerals like Omyaskin® and Omyadent®, ensure efficiency and sustainability. Omya also introduces Cosmospheres® for colorful claim visualization and integrates Omyacare® with natural colorants for eco-friendly makeup.

This reflects Omya’s dedication to innovation, environmental consciousness, and effective beauty solutions.

Interest in natural beauty and personal care ingredients shows no sign of waning in 2023. But just being “natural” is no longer enough, as awareness of potentially harmful components such as microplastics, harsh preservatives or nanoparticles becomes more widespread. In addition, issues such as sustainability throughout the global value chain are gaining traction. Therefore, the current approach to finished products is that they should be real all-rounders in terms of efficiency, sensory appeal and “clean-green labelling”.

For future-proof formulas, Omya, an expert in natural minerals and complementary ingredients, is creating waterless and eco-friendly solutions. Today, 2.3 billion people live in water-stressed countries, which is a major consideration in the sustainability profile of finished products. Hard solid applications for skin, oral and hair care, as well as make-up, not only reduce water use during production but also packaging and transportation costs. Furthermore, they promise a longer shelf life allowing the use of less and more environmentally friendly preservatives.

However, water is an effective and inexpensive solvent, and can account for up to 90% of a formulation. Therefore, creating water-reduced or even water-free personal and oral care products can be technically challenging, particularly in formulas that are both natural and effective. The Omya R&D team has developed innovative anhydrous formulations with advanced minerals such as Omyaskin® and Omyadent ® particles. The prototypes are easy to apply and offer multisensory experiences for consumers, while also being highly efficacious. In the oral care segment, for example, the company offers tooth tab and tooth powder concepts that  are designed to remineralize and desensitize. Charcoal-containing whitening formulations are also possible. For facial applications, meanwhile, detox waterless masks and solid make-up removers are recent innovations.

To create holistic solutions, Omya complements its mineral portfolio with a broad range of natural and vegan ingredients such as plant-based colors for decorative formulations. Another such example is Cosmospheres®, a visually appealing, natural ingredient solution that concentrates actives and ensures their release during application. Suitable for all kinds of water-based personal care formulations, the cellulosic beads are offered in a broad range of colours and sizes and may contain liquid or powder actives. Cosmospheres® swell once in contact with water in the formulation and maintain their spherical shape throughout the shelf life of the product. Gentle friction during application then allows the spheres to break, while leaving no residue.

For make-up and color cosmetics, Omya combines proprietary and COSMOS certified Omyacare® grades with natural colorants from the distribution portfolio. The high-purity minerals are brilliantly white, color-enhancing and an ideal match for vegetable colorants such as the trendy color dispersible reds from radish, sweet potato or elderberry. From BB cream to lipstick and lip balm, all applications contain natural ingredients and have moisturising and protective properties, spread evenly and promise optimal skin feel.

Stefan Lander, Vice President Consumer Goods, Group Sales & Marketing at Omya, emphazises: “Formore than 130 years, Omya has been closely associated with natural, high-quality raw materials. Therefore, we are committed to treating the environment sustainably to ensure innovations that promise to protect the needs of current and future generations. We feel proud to contribute to natural, renewable and pioneering solutions that respect nature, biodiversity and the importance of human health.”


Omya Group

Omya International AG is a leading global producer of industrial minerals – mainly derived from calcium carbonate, dolomite and perlite – and a worldwide distributor of speciality ingredients.In the Consumer Goods segment, Omya offers innovative solutions based on high purity natural minerals and complementary ingredients that comply with the most stringent regulatory and quality standards targeting the food, personal care, pharma, nutraceutical, pet care, home care and filtration markets.Founded in 1884 in Switzerland, Omya has a global presence extending to more than 160 locations in over 50 countries with 9,000 employees. Committed to implementing the principles of sustainability at all company levels, Omya provides added value products and services from responsibly sourced materials to meet the essential needs of current and future generations.

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