Sustainable brand seeks action on ingredient upcycling

Skin brand Ringana is urging the beauty industry to go further when it comes to sustainability by upcycling ingredients from waste products in their formulations and seeking legislation to force companies to use plant-derived alternatives to microplastics.

Ringana's sustainability expert Patrick Sonnleitner explains:

"Plastic compounds remain standard in the skincare industry and are usually hidden in the full declaration of ingredients. It is incomprehensible that these ingredients still find their way into skincare products because they can be easily replaced by plant-derived alternatives with no loss of quality. We would welcome legislation in the near future that would regulate what has been obvious to us from the outset."

The brand's Fresh Scrub Face & Body features exfoliating grains obtained from the leftovers of juiced fruit such as raspberry, blueberry, apricot and pomegranate.

Ringana Fresh Scrub Face & Body"The idea behind any upcycling process is to transform waste products into other, new products. This means that less waste is created and less CO2 is produced, so we can be kinder to the planet,” explains Sabine Kitting-Muhr, an engineer from the Ringana Development Team. “For the skincare industry, upcycled functional raw materials can be produced that generate added value for both skin and the environment.”

In the production of Ringana's Fresh Scrub, “waste” seeds and kernels produced when fruit is crushed into juice are processed to extract valuable oils and create oil cake, which is dried and ground to produce the natural exfoliant grains. According to Ringana, around 5kg of exfoliating grains can be obtained from 100,000 raspberries and around 14 kg from 800,000 blueberries.

Sabine Kitting-Muhr adds:

"Furthermore, fruit juice or oil production can also give rise to fruit-infused water that shouldn't end up in the bin, but can be used in the skincare industry. Extracts from grape skin, for instance, can even be used to colour hair.” Used coffee grounds can also have a powerful exfoliating effect when repurposed into skin products.