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Opportunities and Advantages in Green

By: Sara Mason
Posted: January 19, 2011, from the January 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

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The first in this line, Regenistem Rice is an extract from a particular red rice species that is more than 1,000 years old and comes from a high elevation in Nepal.

Brand owners interested in a unique label claim—or simply in the actives and what they can do for the skin—can take advantage of such biotechnological processes. “Brands are driven by unique ideas,” explains Gruber. “Plants that are unique or that grow in unique environments and offer benefits to the skin allow brands to build stories around them.” Driven by innovative companies looking to carve out a niche for all-natural products, the process is renewable, not based on petroleum.

Similarly, Sederma has invested €1 million to create a plant cell culture lab and library, allowing the company a neverending source for molecules of interest by controlling the cultures. After five years of research, Sederma will launch its first product based on plant cell culture that claims substantiated innovative positioning in 2011. The development of products based on plant cell culture doesn’t exploit wild or crop plants, allowing the company to meet evolving consumer needs in a new way. The company has also improved plant extraction with new processes such as supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, which needs limited energy, recycles the gaseous solvent and doesn’t discharge any solvent to the environment.

Sederma is also helping its customers to formulate certified organic products by conforming to Ecocert certifications for several of its natural ingredients, constituting the natural grade range.“Sederma products have strongly demonstrated of their efficacy,” says Olga Gracioso, director of marketing. “Consumers expect the natural products they buy will be effective, [and] this is why we work to develop green but efficient products.” Sederma recently launched Kelisoft in water- and oil-soluble versions to expand options for deodorant formulation. This product is based on a vegetal molecule that exerts an anti-inflammatory action to shaved or waxed areas, and helps reduce hair growth.

Finding Alternatives in the Face of Growing Regulations

Gruber’s primary concern with possible tougher regulations is the potential that they will stifle innovation. While more options promote green product development, limiting options will make the industry less exciting and be a disadvantage for consumers. “With tough regulations, smaller companies, which are [often] quick to market, find it hard to meet them,” he explains. “But getting better control of ingredients that are used is important from a safety perspective.”