Why Biotech Is the Future of Conscious Beauty

January 13, 2023

Conscious consumers have pushed the beauty industry in a more ethical direction. More products are marketed as organic, natural, cruelty free, or clean, and recyclable and refillable packaging has become popular. The global “clean” beauty market will soon reach $22 billion and growth in demand for clean and sustainable products outpaces the general beauty category.

But as more seemingly earth-friendly beauty products hit the market, there’s an ugly truth: many nature-derived ingredients are sourced in ways that contribute to environmental devastation.

“If consumers knew that sourcing of natural ingredients in the products they buy actually harmed the environment, we think they would care,” says Rob Evans, founder of Purissima. “This isn’t talked about, nor are the inefficiencies of sourcing ingredients from the far reaches of the earth,” explains the biotech pioneer.
Evans and the team at Purissima have a solution that will power a more holistically ethical beauty industry. By localizing the production of effective plant-based ingredients and keeping natural sources intact, Purissima can leverage biotechnology to protect biodiversity. This will also increase the access to pure and effective beauty products.

The Benefits of Biotech Beauty

With algae alone, Purissima can harvest powerful compounds typically found in other plants. Through its patented microalgae fermentation process, Purissima’s platform can create an ingredient supply chain from a single cell, building a more sustainable and effective future for natural health and beauty. 

Considering natural ingredients are often sourced in ways that devastate the environment, consumers and companies who seek more ethically sourced products should look beyond whether ingredients come from nature. In our labs, Purissima can service the demand for efficacious ingredients by creating pure compounds that were previously sourced from rare or over-harvested plants. And we can sustainably scale to meet this demand, since our patented algae fermentation process enables us to replicate unlimited quantities of an ingredient.

In the beauty space, Purissima’s biotech-powered process has three main advantages for conscious consumers looking for holistically ethical products. These benefits include: 

  • Wider access to effective ingredients
  • Decreased destruction of natural environments
  • Purer and safer formulations 

These benefits come from the consistency of our process and are not at the whim of nature’s harvests. Ultimately, our biotechnology — which happens in a lab and not in the wild — will take nature-friendly beauty to the next level.

Leveraging Nature’s Beauty Secrets

Plant-derived ingredients continue to gain popularity in the beauty industry. Leading retailer Sephora recently doubled down on products containing CBD, signaling the retailer’s confidence in the cannabinoid’s efficacy and consumer demand. More broadly, a growing “clean” and “natural” beauty market makes it clear that plant-based cosmetics enjoy durable popularity. 

Purissima’s biotech can make these products even more effective. In a lab, we can control quality much better than nature can. When Purissima “harvests” naturally occurring compounds through our algae fermentation process, we create the purest possible ingredients. 

Our process also allows us to access promising plant-based ingredients that are nearly impossible to access from plants themselves, clearing a path for more powerful products. “We can produce compounds that occur naturally in the environment but are hard to source, as well as variations of these not yet seen in nature,” Evans explains. These naturally occurring starting points are inspired by the plants that produce them as natural defense mechanisms, making them inherently bioactive.

Promising Skincare Ingredients

To get started, we've decided to leverage our biotech to create the hard to extract,  minor cannabinoid, CBC. CBC won’t get you high, but it does have demonstrated abilities to improve wellness inside and out. CBC has been reported to have anti-pain and anti-cancer potential, and the beauty industry could most benefit from its anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties. 

As Purissima begins to apply our groundbreaking technology, we put a CBC skin serum to the test with 30 participants in a discovery trial to see if it could improve their skin. After six weeks, participants noticed a smoother skin texture, increased moisture, and a more even skin tone.

These observations and previous research suggest CBC has the potential to stand up next to clinically-proven skincare ingredients like retinol and vitamin C. And we’re just getting started. With our technology, we can also fast forward the evolution of these ingredients and discover compounds plants don't yet produce. This will meet the rising demand for “cleanical” products — or products that are both safe (“clean”) and proven (“clinical”). Our platform’s potential to create sustainable and effective plant-derived skincare ingredients is practically endless.

The Next Frontier in Ethical Beauty

Powered by Purissima’s technology and ingredients, ethical beauty can boom. This expanded concept of holistically natural beauty will bring together factors like product formulation and environmental protection. Consumers who already care about plastic packaging, animal testing, or the chemicals used in formulations now can also choose inherently sustainable natural ingredients that protect biodiversity. 

Cosmetics made from Purissima’s algae-sourced compounds will be better for the planet and better for the people who use them. “Our process does not use harmful inputs,” Evan explains. Purissima grows its highly-productive algae cells in a sterile environment, which is a cleaner habitat than that provided by nature. “This allows us to make very highly pure compounds that are free from harmful contaminants,” he says. 

The patented technology allows people to benefit from what the planet has naturally evolved to produce, without threatening the future of these plants. Often when locals discover a rare plant with medicinal properties, global industry disrupts the environment that made the plant possible in the first place. “Once discovered, large companies raid the forest not only threatening the survival of the species, but also destroying a valuable source of natural medicine for local populations,” Evans points out. We just have to look at bakuchiol, an ingredient considered nature’s retinol, as a recent example of irresponsible and sometimes illegal harvesting. 

Purissima is inspired by what Mother Nature already provides. And with our technology we can recreate and build on it without impacting the natural environment. How beautiful is that?

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