Podcast 122: Lab-grown skincare: the new normal?

Lab-grown skincare

Would you buy lab-grown skincare? While this might seem futuristic, biotech cosmetic ingredients are here now, and going to become more commonplace on our beauty shelves – and sooner than you think.

In this Green Beauty Opinion, Formula Botanica CEO and podcast host Lorraine Dallmeier, follows up on key takeouts from her interview with Dr Barbara Paldus, founder and CEO of biotech company Codex Beauty Labs. In that interview, we heard how lab-grown ingredients derived efficiently and sustainably from single plant cells rather than from vast fields of crops are likely to become the new normal in cosmetics.

But, are we as consumers and natural formulators ready to embrace lab-grown ingredients?

Subscribe on iTunes Subscribe on Spotify Subscribe on YouTube Is biotech beauty the next naturals vs synethetics battleground the @FormulaBotanica podcast asks? For the planet's sake, biotech might become the new normal. #biotechbeauty #naturalcosmetics #beautytrends Click To Tweet

Given estimates of population growth explosion and the effects of climate change in the next decade, let alone by the end of the century, we will need to use precious land for growing food rather than cosmetic plants. The beauty industry is going to need innovative, radical solutions to remain sustainable and conserve the planet’s resources.

The planet’s sustainability is the overriding reason to embrace biotech. With plant species declining at higher rates than expected, we must rethink our behaviour and accept skincare ingredients grown in the lab.

However, for now, the scene seems set for biotech beauty to be the next naturals vs synthetics’ battleground. As always, the issues are nuanced. Natural formulation already accepts many functional ingredients such as emulsifiers, surfactants, solubilisers and preservatives that are chemically processed from natural sources. Is there much difference between these and biotech ingredients? Plus, biotech has innumerable benefits such as the ability to create potent ingredients in an unpolluted, efficient, sustainable way.

Lorraine proposes we approach biotech beauty with informed debate and open minds. There is likely to be a hybrid model in the cosmetics industry as plants have given us a sense of calm, grounding and well-being for millennia and are inherent in our cultures, rituals and rites. And for now, biotech cannot efficiently lab grow every ingredient.

Lorraine challenges us to be receptive to the radical solutions required to sustain the industry and the planet and to look into the research from suppliers of biotech ingredients. What if your personal favourite plants were threatened by climate change? The advent of biotech beauty brings with it searching questions, but ones we need to think of answers to now, not in decades.

Thank you for joining us for this episode of the Formula Botanica Green Beauty Conversations podcast. If you enjoyed listening, please share, subscribe and review this episode on iTunes, Spotify or Youtube so that more people can enjoy the show. Don’t forget to follow and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Lorraine Dallmeier

Lorraine Dallmeier is a Biologist, Chartered Environmentalist and the CEO of Formula Botanica, the award-winning online organic cosmetic science school. Read more about Lorraine and the Formula Botanica Team.

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