Biotechnology ingredients in skincare

Efficacious | Renewable Resources | Sustainable Skincare

Let’s talk about biotechnology ingredients in skincare. If you are someone like us, who is horrified by the harrowing images of starving orangutans struggling to survive in their ever-depleted natural habitat, then biotechnology is probably a word you are going to love in relation to your skincare products. It’s not only Palm oil; there are literally hundreds of thousands of crops, plant oils and natural extracts that are widely used in skincare, all touted for their clean green formulation philosophies – but what about the environment? What about the future of these species and the species that survive on them as part of their delicate ecosystem?

We’ve already seen what happened to the shark population not so long ago when Squalane was sourced from the livers of deep-sea sharks, and well before that, the whale population as a source of Ambergris previously used in fragrances. While vegan and cruelty free brands have become the most sought-after skincare by animal loving and more thoughtful, conscious consumers, have we stopped to think about the impact on the plant kingdom and the carbon footprints created in the use of natural ingredients in the beauty industry whilst we are busy bathing in our botanicals?

The raw ingredients industry is big business; all the beauty brands you see in your feed; adding to global environmental problems, not just threatening endangered flora and fauna, but also the impact of the land and resources taken up by farming. What if there was a solution where chemists could produce more sustainable options by safely recreating natural ingredients?

Biotechnology: safely recreating sustainable skincare ingredients

Enter biotechnology. At Aesthetics Rx it’s a type of skincare ingredient option we are obsessed by. We are committed to developing advanced scientific formulas and our mantra has always been vegan and cruelty free, but what you might not know about us, is that we’ve been choosing ingredients from biotechnology in our formulations since our inception, and we are continuing to expand down that same path for the future. It’s just one small contribution that we can make to sustainability when we make more conscious choices about where our raw ingredients come from. On our planet, there is always going to be a limit to the resources available to us for consumption in the food and the beauty industry, so when the clean green beauty movement took hold, did anyone stop to question renewable sources, or did marketers just leverage the sales opportunity and fuel the momentum?

So, what is biotechnology in skincare?

Biotech ingredients are made in a lab by scientists who use living, naturally derived substances to recreate them or produce very similar raw ingredients. In this way the land, water and resources that would normally be required in farming is significantly reduced to almost zero! Usually through a fermentation process, chemists cause cells from plants, microbes or yeasts to multiply and grow, creating ingredients bio-identical to those found in nature.  Bio-tech Palm oil alternatives are just one example, some others are Hyaluronic acid, peptides, Squalane, and fermented polysaccharides. Even some essential oils can be created with biotechnology where species of fungi have been used to produced oils with similar scents and functions to essential oils such as rose. To produce 1kg of rose essential oil around 4 tonnes of rose petals is required! Biotechnology is a valuable mechanism in preserving natural resources and reducing costs of farming them.

Biotechnology also produces consistently high-quality ingredients. In nature the quality, colour and scent of a plant is affected by climate, season, soil, and so many variables that it is difficult to maintain 100% consistency of the raw ingredient each time it is harvested. Have you ever noticed that sometimes your favourite cream looks a slightly different colour to the last time you purchased it? That can be attributed to the disadvantages of variations that occur in nature. This doesn’t happen with biotechnology. Using biotech ingredients means it looks, feels and smells consistent each and every time, and most importantly the quality and efficacy of the ingredient is maintained and incredibly, can even be improved on what nature originally intended. Don’t be put off by the science, remember, biotech ingredients are made from living, natural ingredients, they are different to synthetic, artificial ingredients.

Are biotechnology and synthetic ingredients the same thing?

There is a key difference between synthetic/artificial lab produced ingredients and ingredients made from biotechnology. A chemist makes synthetic ingredients from chemicals in a lab to produce an artificial version of a natural ingredient. Whereas an ingredient made from biotechnology is when the chemist isolates a natural living element and then replicates and grows it using techniques such as fermentation. The biotechnologist doesn’t attempt to modify nature and reproduce it with chemicals, rather, they use living natural extracts including plant cells, bacteria, and yeast to grow and produce bioidentical ingredients.

The growth of biotechnology in skincare

The global biotech ingredients market CAGR is expected to increase by 9.3% between 2020 – 2027 (BIOTECH INGREDIENTS MARKET 2020 – 2027, 2020), so you are going to be hearing a LOT more about the exciting merge of sustainability and science. A recent example of a completely innovative biotech ingredient is “IceAwake” produced by a company called Mibelle which Aesthetics Rx sources raw ingredients from. This is a trademarked ingredient produced with just a small sample of water from the Swiss Alps. Mibelle leveraged the high microbe and bacteria (only the good types of course) in the melted glacier water to produce a skincare ingredient that helps to reduce the accelerated skin ageing effects that can occur after periods of lack of sleep. Hello ‘glowy’ well rested looking skin!

Biotechnology ingredients and skincare at Aesthetics Rx

At Aesthetics Rx some of the ingredients we use from biotechnology include high and low molecular weight Hyaluronic Acid obtained from wheat and sugar beet bio fermentation, this can be found in every Aesthetics Rx  Serum and Moisturiser.

PhytoCellTec™ Malus Domestica is a patented liposome ingredient of apple stem cells derived from the ‘Uttwiler Spätlauber’, a rare variety of Swiss apple. Mibelle, the same company that recently developed IceAwake developed this revolutionary ingredient for anti-ageing formulations with biotechnology. Aesthetics Rx cosmetic chemists reserve this premium ingredient for our Anti-Ageing Regenerating Formula, the true hero of our range.

Gatuline Expression™ is another biotech ingredient used at the Aesthetics Rx lab. It is derived from Paracress extract obtained from the cells of a medicinal herbaceous plant that originates in Peru. Indigenous cultures in South America have used this medicinal plant for hundreds and hundreds of years because of its pain-relieving active agent Spilanthol. Spilanthol gently calms and soothes nerve receptors in the skin which helps to relax the appearance of the skins surface including fine lines and wrinkles. This age defying ingredient is found in our A Serum, A serum 1% and Anti-Ageing Regenerating Formula.

New advanced biotechnology skincare in-coming to Aesthetics Rx

Here’s a skin tip you’ll want to know about: we have a totally new product at Aesthetic Rx due for release in Spring 2021. This anti-ageing preventative and rejuvenating product utilises the Lipochroman molecule®, a bio-inspired ingredient engineered to recreate gamma-tocopherol (the major vitamin E component in plants and seeds). It is a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin against the accelerated skin ageing effects of oxidative stress caused by Radical Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbonyl Species. Don’t say we didn’t give you a heads up well ahead of this exciting launch!

Biotechnology sourced ingredients are good for your skin and nature

Some of the most effective ingredients in the Aesthetics Rx line up of anti-ageing formulations are sourced from biotechnology. Scientifically produced biotechnology ingredients in skincare using ingredients from natural, living compounds are the sustainable solutions for natural beauty and are amongst the safest, most well controlled raw ingredients used in skincare today. These products can transform your skincare regime and the results you are achieving, thanks to the quality assurances possible through biotech, plus they are good for the planet at the same time. Try our fusion of science and nature inspired skincare here, you can thank us later 😊


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