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Beauty and Biotechnology: The Move Toward Ethical Skincare

The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar market, and it’s only getting bigger.

In fact, the global clean beauty market is expected to reach $22 billion by 2024 (Forbes, 2021). As both brands and consumers across the world become more aware of the ingredients in their skincare and cosmetics, clean beauty has been on the rise. But what does “clean” mean, exactly? Clean beauty is a term used to describe cosmetics made without toxic chemicals or harsh irritants. And while there are many definitions of clean beauty, all of them share one common goal: to provide safer, healthier alternatives to conventional beauty products. Between cosmetics, perfumes, hair products, skin care products and feminine hygiene products, women in the US apply an average of 168 chemicals to their faces and bodies every day, according to The Guardian.  Some of these ingredients have been linked to hormone disruption, cancers, reproductive toxicity and other human health concerns. So, it’s no wonder conscious consumers are looking for ways to reduce their exposure. And, it’s not just consumers driving the clean beauty movement; beauty brands are making the switch to clean ingredients as well. At its core, clean beauty is about sustainable and cruelty-free products, free from harmful ingredients. From skincare ingredients to avoid to clean beauty brands to watch to the role of biotechnology, here’s everything you need to know about clean beauty and its future.

The Beauty Brands

The beauty industry is notorious for using chemicals and synthetic ingredients in its products. From phthalates and parabens to sulphates and silicones, these ingredients are cheap to source and easy to include in skincare, makeup and hair products. While the jury is still out on whether these actually are harmful or not, there are definitely alternatives. In contrast, clean beauty brands use naturally derived, sustainable ingredients that are safe for people and the planet. From cruelty-free skincare to sustainable packaging and ethical sourcing, below we outline some of the guiding principles of clean skin care. Aesthetics Rx is founded on science, developed by skincare experts, using ingredients developed with biotechnology to guarantee consistent quality and efficacy whilst ensuring skin safety and sustainability. We are working towards further environmental consciousness with initiatives planned over the next phase of our development. 

Cruelty-Free Skin Care

Animal testing has long been a controversial practice in the beauty industry. In fact, it’s estimated that 100 million animals are used for experimentation every year (PETA, 2020). Fortunately, clean beauty brands are leading the charge when it comes to vegan, cruelty-free cosmetics. These brands do not test their products on animals at any stage of development. Many clean beauty brands are also vegan, meaning their products do not contain any animal-derived ingredients.

Biotechnology in Beauty

One of the most exciting developments in clean beauty is biotechnology. Biotech ingredients are made in a lab by scientists using living, naturally derived substances to recreate or produce similar raw ingredients. This way, the land, water and resources typically required in farming are significantly reduced to almost zero. 

Sustainable Packaging

As consumers become more conscious of the impact their purchases have on the natural environment, they’re looking for brands that use sustainable packaging. This means packaging made from recycled materials can be recycled or composted.  Some clean beauty brands have taken this a step further by using refillable packaging. This allows customers to reuse the same bottle, jar or container, reducing the brand’s waste and packaging costs.

Synthetic Fragrance-Free Formulas

Scented products and makeup often contain synthetic fragrances, combining hundreds of chemicals. These ingredients are not required to be listed on product labels, so it’s impossible to know what’s in them. Many of these ingredients can be the trigger to various unwanted skin responses including allergies and sensitivity.  Some brands, including Aesthetics Rx are using essential oils as an alternative to synthetic fragrances. However the concentration is important to consider, since some essential oils can also trigger undesirable side affects. At Aesthetics Rx, the essential oil concentrations we work with are specifically for olfactory benefit and do not have specific skin benefits. In this way, we can adjust the scent of our products to make them sensorially pleasant to use, but without the risk of causing sensitising skin responses.   


In addition to sustainable packaging, clean beauty brands also focus on ethical sourcing. This means ensuring that all ingredients used in personal care products are ethically and sustainably sourced. With advances in skincare science and the development of biotechnology, skincare ingredients can now be sustainably sourced from plant cells, which reduces the impact on the environment. Another factor we place significant effort on at Aesthetics Rx, is seeking to work with companies that share our same values around people within the supply chain. We fully support the Australian and International government’s modern slavery acts because we believe that every human, everywhere in the world, has a right to live a life free from any kind of slavery. Common Cosmetic Ingredients & Chemicals While clean beauty is about more than just the ingredients, it’s essential to know which ingredients and chemicals some beauty brands, including Aesthetics Rx, try to avoid. 
  • Parabens: Used as a preservative in cosmetics such as eye shadow. 
  • Phthalates: Found in fragrances, hair care products, and nail polish, phthalates have been linked to cancer, reproductive toxicity, and hormone disruption.
  • Sulphates: Found in shampoo, sulphates are a harsh detergent that can strip the hair and skin of natural oils.
  • Silicones: Commonly used in skincare and hair care products, silicones can clog pores and cause irritation.
  • Artificial Fragrances: As mentioned above, artificial fragrances can combine hundreds of chemicals, many of which are linked to unwanted skin responses and concerns.


Common Beauty Products & potentially unwanted  Ingredients

The sad news is that some of your favourite products might contain ingredients you’d rather avoid.. Here are some examples:
  • Lip Balm: Many lip balms on the market contain l chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances.
  • Lip Color: Lipstick and other lip colour products often contain lead.
  • Foundation: Foundations often contain parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, and other unwanted ingredients. 
  • Hair Dye: Hair dyes typically contain ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and PPDs (phenylenediamines).
  • Nail Polish: Some nail polishes contain potentially toxic ingredients like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene.
  • Moisturiser: Moisturisers can often contain synthetic fragrances, which can be irritating to the skin. At Aesthetics Rx, our preference is to use low-dose essential oils known for skin tolerability as an alternative.
  • Mascara: Mascara can often contain artificial fragrances and preservatives, which can irritate the eyes.
  • Skincare: Skincare products often contain synthetic fragrances, parabens, and phthalates.

So there you have it! These are just a few of the things to keep in mind when looking for clean beauty products. 

The Beauty Industry Alternative: Biotechnology Ingredients in Skincare


Clean beauty isn’t just about sourcing the purest skincare ingredients; it’s also about reducing the environmental impact of using natural ingredients in skincare.  Hundreds of crops, plant oils and natural extracts are used in skincare and praised for their clean green formulas. But on the other hand, procuring these ingredients can have a disastrous impact on natural ecosystems. 

Introducing Biotechnology

What is Biotechnology?

As consumers demand safer, more natural ingredients, some brands are turning to biotechnology to create clean products that are effective and environmentally friendly. The use of biotech-derived ingredients is part of the Aesthetics Rx product ingredient and product development charter. It is something we are very passionate about.  Biotechnology is the use of living organisms or their products to modify or make products for human use. In skin care, this can include using enzymes to break down dead skin cells, bacteria to create probiotic skincare products and plant stem cells to create anti-aging serums. Biotech ingredients are made in a lab by scientists using living, naturally derived substances to recreate or produce similar raw ingredients. This way, the land, water and resources typically required in farming are significantly reduced to almost zero. Through a complex fermentation process, chemists can reproduce cells from plants, microbes or yeasts to create clean ingredients with the same or better efficacy as their natural counterparts. Another significant benefit of biotechnology is its ability to consistently produce high-quality ingredients. This is because the conditions in which these ingredients are created can be carefully monitored and controlled, ensuring that each batch is identical and that quality and consistency are maintained.

The Difference Between Biotech Ingredients and Synthetic Ingredients

There is a core difference between biotech ingredients and synthetic ingredients. Biotech ingredients are based on naturally derived substances, while synthetic ingredients are derived from chemicals and manufactured in a lab from scratch. Biotechnology is a clean and green way to create ingredients with all the benefits of natural ingredients without any negative environmental impact. Whereas synthetic ingredients are created with chemicals to produce synthetic versions of natural skincare ingredients. Biotechnologists don’t attempt to modify nature and reproduce it with chemicals. Instead, they use living natural extracts, including plant cells, bacteria, and yeast, to grow and produce bioidentical ingredients. The clean beauty movement is about so much more than just using natural ingredients; it’s about being conscious of the impact our choices have on the environment and taking steps to reduce that impact. Biotechnology is one way we can do that.

Safe Synthetics 

What are safe synthetics?


Safe synthetics are man-made ingredients designed for safe use in skincare products. While they are not naturally derived, they undergo extensive safety and efficacy testing to ensure they are non-toxic and gentle enough for use on the skin. One of the benefits of safe synthetics is that they can be formulated to be more stable and effective than natural ingredients. For example, retinol is a popular anti-aging ingredient derived from vitamin A. However, in its natural form, retinol is unstable and breaks down quickly when exposed to light or air. To overcome this issue, scientists have created synthetic forms of retinol that are much more stable and can be used in skin care products without fear of becoming ineffective.

The Future of Cosmetic Science


As the clean beauty movement continues to grow, we expect to see more skincare science and sustainable packaging innovation. We’ll also see more brands making a move to clean ingredients and ethical sourcing. The clean beauty movement has renewed interest in natural ingredients and biotechnology. As consumers demand safer, more environmentally friendly products, brands like Aesthetics Rx provide clean beauty solutions that meet these needs. So, if you’re looking for cleaner, safer alternatives to conventional beauty products, keep an eye on the clean beauty brands leading the way. Aesthetics Rx is a clean beauty brand that uses biotechnology to create safe and effective skincare products. The products are free from harmful chemicals and prefer using natural, scientifically proven, gentle ingredients on the skin.


Do clean beauty products strengthen the skin barrier? 

The skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin that protects against environmental stressors, like pollution and UV rays. Many clean beauty brands focus on creating products that help to strengthen and repair the skin barrier. This is important because a healthy skin barrier helps to keep the skin hydrated, plump, and smooth. Aesthetics Rx is a leading clean beauty brand that offers products that help to strengthen and repair the skin barrier. Their products are free from harmful chemicals and use natural ingredients that are gentle on the skin. If you’re looking for clean skincare solutions that can help to improve your skin barrier, Aesthetics Rx is a great option.

Are Vitamin C products environmentally friendly and safe for use?

Vitamin C is a popular skincare ingredient with many skin benefits. However, some forms of vitamin C can cause irritation or dry skin, so choosing a product formulated for your skin type is essential. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that can help to protect the skin from damage caused by environmental stressors, like pollution and UV rays. It is also known for its brightening properties and can help to improve the appearance of dark circles and uneven skin tone. Many clean beauty brands offer vitamin C products, like serums, creams, and masks. Aesthetics Rx is an award-winning, clean beauty brand that offers a Vitamin C Serum that can help to brighten the skin, reduce dark circles and leave it with a distinct glow.

What ingredients should I avoid in makeup?

There are a few ingredients that you could choose to avoid in makeup, like parabens, sulphates, and phthalates. 

What ingredients should I look out for in a moisturiser?

There are a few ingredients that you should look for in moisturiser, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin. These ingredients can help to hydrate and plump the skin. Aesthetics Rx is a clean beauty brand that offers a variety of products free from harmful chemicals and natural ingredients. With advanced biotech ingredients and clean formulas, Aesthetics Rx products are safe and gentle on the face and body.

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