New advancements have extended the ocean’s benefits into the beauty sphere, with the category of blue biotech coming to the surface. This category connects ocean preservation with scientific innovation, resulting in a sustainable concept whose potential is still being explored.

What is blue biotech?

Blue biotechnology is the application of science and technology to living organisms for the production of knowledge, goods and services. With the UN’s recent declaration of 2021-2030 being the ‘Ocean Decade’, there is promise for blue biotech to thrive in beauty.

Unraveling blue biotech’s connection to sustainability

Amid consumer interest in purchasing from companies with eco-friendly practices, innovations in blue biotech could be the answer to increasing efforts in making the beauty industry more sustainable. At this year’s Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, a panel hosted by Melissa Hago examined how blue biotech combines science, technology, and nature to produce sustainable, renewable, and ethical solutions.

According to panelist and Professor Giovanni Scapagnini, a change in perspective from viewing the ocean as a “victim of pollution” but instead acknowledging it as “part of the puzzle” could be key in changing the story of sustainability on this planet.

This would apply across many industries, including cosmetics, and can already be seen in action as many beauty brands are currently using blue biotech in the development of innovative formulations and ingredients. L’Oreal’s luxury skincare brand Biotherm is just one example, with the main ingredient in the brand’s skincare range being plankton – developed using bio-fermentation through a sustainable process.

The future of blue biotech in beauty

Based off findings from a 2021 Mintel/Lightspeed survey, 75% of U.S. consumers who use beauty and personal care products believe keeping the planet safe is equally as important as keeping people safe. When it comes to the development of sustainable cosmetics, there is huge potential in using blue biotechnology to extract marine biomass such as microalgae, macroalgae and bacterium to deliver skin and haircare solutions.

There is still a long way to go in terms of simplifying the concept of biotech and making it meaningful to consumers. However, establishing it as a part of a brand’s sustainability journey and being clear about its benefits can help get more individuals on board to try new innovative products.

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