Innovation is not simply about inventing something new – it’s about making it new – and better. This is particularly true when it comes to beauty, and an attitude we bring to our cosmetic creations. Whether it’s a creative process or discovery, novel technologies or a different way of showcasing our ingredients, we constantly think of new ideas that deliver more beauty to consumers around the world.
Changing the face of beauty
Our five technology pillars blend expertise in natural molecules with breakthroughs in skin understanding. This is how we’re changing the face of the beauty business.
Blue technology Green technology White technology Metagenomics Visual carriers
The ocean reveals its riches
Givaudan’s expertise in ‘blue’ technologies draws on molecules and active ingredients found in the ocean. The advantage of marine technology is that not only does it offer powerful beauty properties, it is a highly sustainable resource.
Throughout the ages, societies have looked to the oceans and the minerals contained in our seas to heal and soothe skin, benefitting from the rich source of anti-ageing or hydrating benefits found in the briny waters or the sea bed.
Fabrice, Marketing and Innovation Director at Givaudan Active Beauty is excited about modernising these age-old beauty rituals: “For eons we have looked to the sea to heal us. This is because all life comes from the sea and oceans abound in rich minerals and life-giving properties. However, in the domain of cosmetics, marine technology still remains largely unchartered waters.
At Givaudan, we are mapping these marine possibilities at our dedicated marine centre in Brittany, France, where we develop technology to cultivate microalgae and identify new molecules that have skin care benefits.”
The powerful potential of plants
Just like Givaudan’s expertise in blue technology our developments in active cosmetics developed from green technology – i.e. plant and vegetable sources – are characterised by their highly sustainable nature.
When exploring the potential cosmetic benefits of plant-based molecules, Givaudan teams are inspired by ancient savoir-faire, such as traditional Chinese medicine, or the age-old tradition of phytotherapy, to guide us in our modern-day research. The beneficial properties of plants are well documented, but remain little known and under-used in contemporary skin care science.
Givaudan active beauty experts are rendering these techniques even more environmentally friendly by exploring ways to unlock the skin care benefits of plants in our portfolio of sustainably sourced natural ingredients, which have historically provided raw materials for our fragrance creations. Creative, sustainable innovation such as this ensures we can do more with less, by finding two applications from just one source.
This concept aims at using all parts of the plant to optimise the usage and reduce waste, further emphasising the synergies between fragrance and the cosmetics world.
Bright ideas to naturally create new molecules
White biotechnology shows Givaudan’s innovation in action by developing manufacturing processes that do not rely on traditional chemistry, and which carries an added benefit of enabling cosmetic scientists to manufacture hard-to-make molecules.
The science of white biotechnology lies in creating active cosmetic ingredients through the use of micro-organisms (fermentation and bioconversion) or enzymes (biocatalysis). These are natural processes that result in the use of eco-friendly solvents. Fermentation and bioconversion processes are based on the sugar transformation – using the local feedstock – wheat and sugar beet mainly – to allow the microorganisms to generate primary or secondary metabolites having cosmetic properties.
The unique platform of biorefinery located in Pomacle is a remarkable example of optimising the use of the renewable biomass available locally. With the same concern of sustainability and protection of the environment, biocatalysis adheres to the 12 ‘golden rules’ of green chemistry, a set of principles designed to prevent waste, be more economical, use less hazardous, safer chemicals and solvents, represent efficient designs, rely on renewable feedstocks, and be more biodegradable in the environment.
An example of this efficacy is that enzymes, which lie at the core of biocatalysis, can transform leftover residues and are a prime source of renewable raw materials. The result is a suite of authentically ‘green’ active cosmetic ingredients that can be used by customers committed to sustainably developing their products.
Skin’s giant magnifying glass
Metagenomics takes its name from ‘meta’, meaning ‘beyond’ and ‘genomics’, which is the science of gene analysis. This is a breakthrough domain for cosmetics and an extremely exciting field.
We now know that on the surface of our skin, we all have native microbes that are essential for skin health – similar to the essential flora and microbes in our gut. Experts at Givaudan are rapidly gaining new insights about the microbes on the skin surface, understanding this healthy population of bacteria, or ‘microflora’ and how it functions. Metagenomics essentially provides us with an ‘ID card’ of our skin: it is like a giant magnifying glass as to the true nature of our skin health. By mapping this microflora, we are achieving groundbreaking work that is leading us to brand-new insights into conditions such as acne, and its causes, and also to how and why our skin is dry or irritated. As we build on the fundamental knowledge about our skin health, we can develop truly tailor-made cosmetics that really work.
Our scientific teams are using this information to develop new molecules that can correct a variety of skin problems; these molecules are inactive when in a cream, gel, serum or whatever carrier is used, but are instantly activated when they come into contact with the skin’s microflora, working to normalise and soothe the problem condition.
Macroscopic beads put the fun into functional
Macro-entrapment is a way of capturing active beauty benefits in fun-looking, yet functional tiny beads. These coloured, often loaded with active ingredients or essential oils beads (Unispheres™), found in shower gels, creams or serums, are crushed when a customer applies them in their beauty product or in hair care.
Givaudan is a market driver in this technology, and we can now even produce beads in different shapes, such as stars, flowers, hearts and leaves, adding an attractive visual, 3D-dimension to cosmetic products. With over 25 years’ experience in this technology, Givaudan is one of the world leaders in this fun, functional domain.
Encapsulation: vectorisation of actives for targeted activity
Microscopic encapsulation takes the technology one step further, whereby the encapsulated active ingredient is not visible to the eye – it is smaller than a micron. These multilamellar liposome-like beads’ (Spherulites™) work by delivering active molecules at the right place for an enhanced cosmetic activity or decreased side effects such as the irritating effect of some molecules. Spherulites™ can deeply penetrate the skin or cling to the skin or hair, creating a long-lasting release effect, continually emitting beneficial moisturising or hydrating properties hour after hour.