Increasing bio ingredients has never been easier

Published: 22-Mar-2023

As consumer demand for sustainable products continues to increase, cosmetic companies are looking for solutions, without compromising quality. Shell Performance Surfactants can include bio-based ingredients that can be added to existing formulations easily and provide a lower carbon option

“Shell Chemicals conducted some consumer research recently and learned performance is the primary consideration when consumers buy personal care products – and that sentiment exists around the world,” said Derek Ballek, Shell Chemicals Global Marketing Manager LAO, Detergents, EO. “When you breakdown the bio-based products, they perform identically to their conventional counterparts,” Ballek said.

Cosmetic manufacturers can choose to include all or a portion of a biomass feedstock with their conventional blends to add or increase bio-based solutions into their product lines.

“Since every company is different, has different business goals, and may have climate targets they are trying to reach, the option of adding a little or a majority of bio-based feedstocks is quickly gaining traction in the personal care industry,” he added.

Using the broadly accepted mass balance accounting approach allows manufacturers to replace conventional feedstocks with bio feedstocks within the existing infrastructure and procedures. Cosmetic manufacturers can use natural resources such as soybean, ethanol and other bio-based sources to replace conventional feedstocks without compromising quality or performance.

The mass balance approach should be used with an independent third-party certified facility, to provide traceability of sustainable elements throughout the supply chain.

It allows manufacturers to partially replace conventional materials and products with more sustainable alternatives. Simply put, mass balance is an approach which supports responsible co-processing of conventional and sustainable materials in common facilities. It has a long legacy in sustainability and has been used in agriculture, such as cotton, coffee and cocoa for some time.

“Adding a bio-based feedstock, using a certified mass balance approach, to cosmetic formulations provides the quality, efficiency and transparency many companies want because it’s an easy step to take without sacrificing quality and performance,” Zoe Baldwin, said Shell Chemicals General Manager Americas; Global Lead for Shell Performance Surfactants

“They also provide an added benefit--bio-based feedstocks are a lower carbon alternative feedstock. Many companies today are publicly stating targets to reduce their carbon footprint and bio feedstocks can help in that journey,” Baldwin added.

With more than 80 years’ experience in the performance alpha olefins and surfactants business, Shell Chemicals developed proprietary processes creating the molecular flexibility needed in these primary chemicals used in personal care products, such as facial cleansers and moisturisers. Shell Chemicals’ products deliver optimised performance in terms of cleaning, solubility, biodegradability, and ease of formulation.

According to Ballek, globally consumers noted that personal care products that smell nice and/or can be tailored to the individual’s needs ranked higher than other product characteristics.

“The research also indicates science-certified ingredients or formulas are a favorite characteristic for consumers,” Ballek added. Similar to other consumer brands and product loyalty, the purchase is often linked to trust and brand loyalty. We understand that and deliver for our customers every day.”

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