January 19, 2021Editorials
When we talk about green beauty, sustainability and ethical consumption, it is crucial that we also include beauty biotechnology into the conversation. It is not a topic we see debated often, but we expect to see that change as we move more firmly into a more technologically driven era. If you are curious about beauty biotech and what it all means, then keep reading!
First things first, what is beauty biotechnology? Well before we get to that, let’s talk about the movement towards greener beauty options. The modern consumer cares tremendously about the quality of ingredients used in their products—these days it’s not enough to just say ‘natural’ or ‘organic’, you have to identify how and where your products have been sourced, whether they are made from renewable resources, how much energy it takes to produce them etc. And while this is all great news, the truth is, it takes a whole bunch of natural resources to ethically manufacture or harvest many of the ingredients we love in our skincare products because they are literally coming from the earth.
This is where beauty biotech comes into play. Beauty biotechnology broadly refers to DNA editing using organisms like bacteria or algae to produce ingredients. Often it basically means that the ingredients are being made in the lab using some combination of natural ingredients and synthetic chemicals to produce more sustainable solutions for the ingredients we know and love.
Why is this important? Well basically, we need to rethink what we consider ‘green beauty’. Because while the ingredients might be natural, organic or otherwise plant-based and high quality, ‘going green’ doesn’t stop there. We have to think of the way these ingredients make it into our favorite products—is there a lengthy global supply chain? Does the harvesting or farming process involve extensive extraction and how would this affect the ingredient’s carbon footprint? Does the extraction process require significant energy inputs? Phew! A lot to consider!
Beauty biotechnology helps with all of these factors, making it a more sustainable option. It also results in greater consistency; since the ingredient is developed in a lab, you don’t have the same level of concern about impurities or potency. You also know exactly how and where your ingredient is produced, which removes any ethical concerns about the way many of these ingredients are farmed, as well as questions about the global supply chain.
Of course, for many, ingredients grown in a lab sounds like the opposite of natural, however this is not necessarily the case. Consider beauty biotech as the way to create natural, sustainable solutions for certain ingredients utilizing organisms. Though an emerging industry, one can expect it to play an important role in both the beauty and environmental industries alike!
Whether you’ve recently Marie Kondo-ed your life or checked the expiry dates on your makeup products, you likely have some beauty products sitting around that you need to get rid of. We’re all more aware than ever about our carbon footprint and the need to recycle products instead of sending them to landfills. While you know to throw your diet coke bottle into the recycling, you might not know what beauty products we can recycle.
Refreshing your wardrobe every season can be expensive. More of us than ever are choosing to build capsule wardrobes and take a vow of minimalism. Unless you’ve got the budget of a Hadid or a Kardashian, it’s unlikely you can buy into every fashion trend. Thankfully, trends are like boomerangs that eventually come back around.
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