Beyond natural - New frontiers in green formulation

Beyond natural - New frontiers in green formulation

17 April 2018, 09:00 - 12:15

Workshop Room G104 - G105

“Green” has traditionally been seen as a rather basic segment of the cosmetic industry, but in recent years it has shown that this label is no longer suitable.

This Workshop will address ways to deliver innovation beyond the mere concept of natural & organic. We will learn that:

  • Forensic techniques such as DNA coding, can be used to ensure transparency and sustainability of the supply chain.
  • Big data can help scientists choose the most efficacious natural ingredients.
  • High-tech and effective actives can be extracted from waste materials such as fruit residues through environmentally-friendly and sustainable processes.
  • Innovative enzymatic biocatalysis can be used to maximise the extraction of actives from natural sources thus enhancing the bioavailability and efficacy of such ingredients on the skin.
  • Sustainably cultivated microalgae can be used to produce an innovative form of blue-petroleum and how this can be used in cosmetics.


Moderated by Andrea Mitarotonda, Chief Research & Innovation Officer, Neal's Yard Remedies

09:00 - 09:15     WELCOME

Andrea Mitarotonda, Chief Research & Innovation Officer, Neal's Yard Remedies

09:15 - 09:45     How CSI-type forensic science is enabling brands to satisfy consumers' desire for radical transparency
Barbara Brockway, Director of Personal Care, AppliedDNA Sciences

Forensic science techniques offer the Cosmetic World, life-lines, to make it possible for the ''Transparency'' trend to become the ''Radical Transparency'', which is now being demanded by consumers and pressure groups. (Radical Transparency is where brands give ''total transparency and accountancy'' about their products, processes and ingredients.) 

In this workshop session, the scale of the problem and potential for operation savings etc. are considered, along with the practicalities of implementing natural forensic solutions in cosmetics.

We discuss the latest DNA technologies, including using The Bar Code of life, a technique popular with authorities checking for claimed botanical ingredients in products. Because of human error and criminal fraud, certification for organic, natural, Fair Trade, Halal etc., benefit greatly when accompanied by Authentication certification. Consumers are being bombarded with information and drowning in fake-news. This has made them question everything they are being told and where they remain uncertain, they are increasingly basing their trust and choice on scientific proof.

09:45 - 10:15     Use of big data to unveil the power of nature: the network-pharmacognosy™ approach
Michele Leonardi, Senior Research Scientist - Skin Research Institute, Oriflame Cosmetics

The complexity of the interaction and roles between the different cells involved in the skin processes and, the exact definition of biomarkers remains some of the major research challenges in cosmetic science. In the last decade, the use of big data combined with network science have transformed the traditional approaches to biological systems. Oriflame´s NETWORK PHARMACOGNOSY™ comprises unbiased large-scale network-based analyses of diverse data describing interactions between genes, proteins, phenotypes, small molecules and more. This method exploits our understanding of the network connectivity and signalling system dynamics to help identify optimal, sometimes novel, targets using natural compounds within Cosmetic R&D.

10:15 - 10:45     Coffee and networking break

10:45 - 11:15     Beyond natural: new frontiers in green formulation for hair
Richard S. Blackburn, Director and Co-Founder - Keracol Limited, University of Leeds

Naturally-derived ingredients are increasingly appearing in cosmetic products, but with little understanding of their activity or composition. Actives from plant material were isolated using green chemistry principles and applications developed for sustainable and functional cosmetics. Anthocyanin colorants from blackcurrant (Ribes nigrum L.) skin waste were extracted and purified whilst preserving glycosylation enabling advantageous formulation, stability, and application; these colorants were effectively employed as hair colorants showing excellent colour properties and good wash fastness. A novel formulation was developed to allow biopolymers extracted from seaweed to be effectively employed in high ethanol-containing solvent systems for hair styling; performance was shown to be superior to PVP/PVP-VA products.

11:15 - 11:45     Enzyme biocatalysis to boost bioavailability and efficacy of natural active ingredients
Dario Zanichelli, R&D Manager, Phenbiox

Plant extracts are a must have in natural cosmetics but there are relevant limitations due to the effectiveness of the extraction processes and the product/process safety and sustainability due to the use of organic solvents. Green technologies based on enzymatic bio-catalysers allow hydrolyse the target plant with “bespoke molecular cuts” to recover, in a highly bio-available form and using green slovents like water and glycerine, all the active molecules of plant phytocomplex, including those covalently linked to or constituting the solid structure of the plant that are generally lost with the traditional approach. 

12:15 - 12:30     CONCLUSIONS


  • Andrea Mitarotonda


    Chief Research & Innovation Officer

    Neal's Yard Remedies

    Dr. Andrea Mitarotonda is a Chartered Chemist and holds a PhD in Polymer & Colloid Chemistry, an MSc in Industrial & Applied Chemistry and a Diploma...

  • Dr. Barbara Brockway


    Director of Personal Care

    AppliedDNA Sciences

    Barbara's background is in Applied Biochemistry. After completing an OND/HNC in Microbiology she studied at Kent University for both BSc Hons and PhD...

  • Michele Leonardi


    Senior Research Scientist - Skin Research Institute

    Oriflame Cosmetics

    Michele Leonardi has a Master and PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Post-Doc in Phytochemistry from University of Pisa, Italy. He has further 8 years...

  • Richard S. Blackburn


    Director and Co-Founder

    Keracol Limited, University of Leeds

    Dr Blackburn’s key areas of research focus around the principles of sustainability and how these principles can be applied in the fields of materials...

  • Dario Zanichelli


    R&D Manager


    Dario Zanichelli holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Research from Surrey University and PhD in Industrial Biochemistry from the University of...

  • Eloy Chapuli



    BASM Group

    Eloy Chápuli Fernandez, born in Spain, has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alicante. He began his career at BFS in 2006...

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