Upcycled: Already a 4000 Years Old Habit

Over the years, Upcycled materials such as Lanolin, Collagen and Keratin were widely formulated. Sadly for most formulators, the marketing needs of ever charter driven black lists of INCI names brings launches, overlooking these super skin performers. And with no scientific reason or value.


UpCycled : what is bad and what is difficult? 

Personally, my first inroad to Upcycled starts in 1988 with Flower Waxes coating pigments.

Flower waxes come from the process of taking a “Concrete” distillate to a purer oil called an “Absolute Oil”. These are used in the perfumery compound industry. The flower extracts are, amongst others, Rose, Jasmin, Lavender or Mimosa and distilled and purified in this manner and give us the pure oils and the waste products of the floral wax materials.

Floral waxes are low DSC melting values and were used to coat the pigments/colours, for foundations and coloured powders.

This floral wax coating brings high softness, silicone free, with low friction to combat the drying effect of applied methicone or not coated powder colours to our skin.

These Micapoly® FLW  were the basis of the foundations and powders of what became  “Le Soin Couleurs” back in 1988. A concept still very alive today, and still not understood by many. Soin Couleurs is not to use skin care ingredients for the pigments coating, but simply to have a diffusing substrate of high surface area, and long lasting presence.

From there, the fashion moved over to the USA and went on with the long lasting function to create ColourStay in 1991, starting with lips (waxes on pigments did mix well and gave a 3D colour impact).

Floral waxes are, what we call today, the unsaponifiable fraction of the oils, and are widely used as pharmacy actives, as in anti-inflammatory treatments.

Indeed, the Pharmaceutical industry can be very wasteful, and offers the reverse in this case. Here they need the 1-2% only of the unsaponifiable oil fraction and then have little ideas to use the expressed and exhausted lipids left over, with often 97-98% left of the oil.

Currently vegetable oils such as Sunflower or Avocado are widely used in cosmetics, but here they are very low function upcycled Molecular Distilled exhausted oils, as the very and main essence has been extracted by MD process. They are available for Upcycled usage and found in Shampoos and many other cheap formulas. Upcycled does mean you are using the end parts of a money spinning  process. It can be minute as with Floral waxes or huge as with stripped vegetable oils.

Those original materials are the most economic. Upcycled materials do come with one issue: being dependent on the need of the economy reason. Most Upcycled materials, if not animal related, are not available in sufficient quantities. So we had to refrain ourselves from using those wonderful materials.

Our second foray was our Nordic Beauty Finlandia® Berries, which are a leftover from pressing the juice out, for drink and jams, in Finland. The cakes are frozen  to improve the extract potential, as with Peat from Nordic countries, a much needed process to enhance extraction content, and have a higher chemical material presence.

We choose from only very good Vintage years, our base Berries materials. They are checked every season in our own extraction HPTLC facility tested In Situ and In Vivo for dermal effective performance. If we find nature and that year has produced higher quality, we store the upcycled materials in extreme cold warehouse conditions at our plants in France, Dreux, and in Finland, Karvia.

Upon receiving customer orders, we process our fresh dried berries with many version of extraction from tincture, oil maceration, organic certified Birch Sap juice, Nature Index solvents, and offer what we loosely describe as “Quintessence process“. This method allows to increase the actives percentage present, and more important, as needed to keep dermal cells at elevated response levels, more complex bio-chemicals which drive skin Biomodulation response.

This has led to a needed new departure of “Nature does all current fashion” in our industry, which consumers have noticed often is the reverse effect due to low science in simple facts of Photoreactivity and extremely poor Oxygen Stability Index values.

We actually like to call these high performance ACI (Active Cosmetic Ingredient): “Vintage Naturality” ISO 16128.

The art here, and we are happy to help, is to first select highly effective ACI, proven only in In Situ and In Vivo testings. We help with explaining the best pathways in active diffusion capacity, of the ACI contained in the Upcycled pressed berries.

This allows to have an elegant extract to look at, no added surfactants, no low value OSI or photoreactive additives, which deteriorate nature best product, allowing optimal performance for dermal cells. The reason why they are best, is simply due to that with 60 or more days of full photons activity by sunlight, the plants have harnessed a maximum of phytodefense bio-chemistry to survive the long full light summer.