Skip to main content

Biocosmetics - A Trend


Clinical courses


Clinical research courses

Biocosmetics - A Trend

Vinay KumarVinay Kumar Singh.  
Kumar Organic Products Research Centre Pvt. Ltd.,
Email :

Biocosmetics are cosmetic products made from 100% natural ingredients derived from plants, animals, microbes, enzymes, insects, and organic crops that are free of pesticides and chemical fertilizers and used for topical skin, hair, face, and oral care. Most of the conventional skin-care cosmetic formulations use petroleum or mineral oil-derived ingredients, which are harmful and non-biodegradable. To achieve a circular economy while satisfying customer demand for green cosmetics and addressing environmental concerns, many cosmetic giants have diverted their attention from fossil-based ingredients to bio-based ingredients. The current market for sustainable, natural, and greener cosmetics is massive because such products garner trust and respect by fairly treating nature.

For a cosmetic product to be considered Biocosmetics, it has to fulfil a series of following characteristics:
– 99% of its ingredients have to be of plant origin and organic.
– When using organic crops, they do not contain pesticides or chemicals.
– All its ingredients are natural, so preservatives, dyes, silicones and other artificial and synthetic substances are not part of biocosmetics.
– It is not tested on animals.
– The containers are recycled or recyclable.
– The impact of biocosmetics production on the environment is minimal, as well as other processes such as transport and storage.
– Biocosmetics must have Ecocert, Cosmébio, USDA or BDIH certifications. 

The use of cosmetics by man dates back to the remotest times. Older cultures derived their cosmetic products from natural compounds, such as fruits, milks, vegetables, flowers, and seeds, also including mineral compounds, such as ashes and clays.

The history of use and growth of commercial cosmetics was initially connected to religious and ornamental aspects, gaining connotation of well-being and confidence over time. This quest for beauty unleashed initially the search for active ingredients and materials that could be removed from nature and reality surrounding the human being. Thus, numerous formulae have been developed to smoothen, invigorate, and beautify skin, hair, and others. However, products and techniques are being improved and have become increasingly sophisticated. The advent of fine chemicals and the synthesis of molecules in the twentieth century and current bio and nanotechnologies have led to the acquisition of key assets, such as hyaluronic acid, citric acid, xanthan gum, growth factors, and nano-particulate systems.

Nowadays, a new approach in obtaining cosmetic products or raw materials for its production is the use of industrial wastes from innumerous industrial processes: physical, chemical, biological, biotechnological, and/or nano-technological processes. This makes it possible to give a better destination to some wastes, giving them a new function as a cosmetic product.

Taking into consideration all these aspects, the biocosmetic industry can take advantage of the large amounts of wastes generated by innumerous industries that can provide them with large amounts of rich and low-value materials, which can be processed by innumerous techniques with the objective of obtaining high-valued products with great biological potential and safety.

Potential cosmetic compounds derived from industrial wastes were described as a sustainable alternative for the cosmetic industry. Interesting compounds for the cosmetic industry such as antioxidants, ferulic acid, lycopene, sericin, and others are described to be obtained through physical and/or chemical processing of wastes originated from human activity encompassing soil exploitation.

According to the Segen's Medical Dictionary (2012), biocosmetic is a cosmetic product containing biotechnology-based product(s) or a cosmetic that has a mechanism of action based on biologic principles. In this context, biocosmetic can be defined as a product that uses, in at least one step of it production (or production of one of its raw materials), some industrial residue or waste from food, feed, or other kind of industry. When used as a substrate for cosmetic preparations, industrial residues and wastes can undergo various kinds of processing, such as chemical, physical, biological, or biotechnological, focusing on their concentration, purification, or bioactivation of molecules of interest. In order to be considered as an interesting material for the production of biocosmetics, the waste must have at least one important and desired property, such as high-antioxidant potential, high amounts of phenolic compounds, capacity to improve sensorial properties, act in the product smoothness or lightness, and being skin softener or hair shiner. Furthermore, as a common cosmetic, it must pass through tests to guarantee its physical, chemical, and microbiological safety, according to international rules and regulations.

Concerns about safety of synthetic molecules and the search for cheaper and eco-friendly molecules resulted in an increase interest in the substitution of synthetic antioxidants by natural ones, especially in cosmetics. It has promoted research on vegetable, animal, marine, and biotechnological sources and the search for new antioxidants in new raw materials.

The Medical Dictionary defines the Bio Cosmetic products as: “Cosmetics containing biotechnology-based products or that have a mechanism of action based on biologic principles”. Having the action of the product based on biological mechanisms and body response increases the effectiveness of Bio Cosmetic products. The use of biotechnology-based products reduces considerably the need of chemicals hence eliminates the presence of impurities increasing the safety of the Bio Cosmetic products. The use of rich natural ingredients increases the longevity of the product and maintains its efficiency. It is important however to have a balanced formulation with clinical and stability studies when using organic ingredients and Bio Cosmetics, since an ingredient source still does not guarantee it's safety, as supported by the FDA.Hence, as with any other cosmetic products, make sure to verify that the product is well resourced and has been tested when looking for organic or Bio Cosmetic claims. That is why anti-aging products have been tested as hypoallergenic and anti-irritancy by certified Canadian dermatologists.

Biotech section of Kumar Organic has launched Bioferments like Kopcarotol, Kopraditol,Kopsoyatol, Kopryza and Kopalleum which are very useful for Cosmetics and Personal care products. Mild emollients like KopesterIDO  & DO has been synthesized used Biotransformation process. Research is further going on to develop molecules using fermentation and biotransformation.
The beauty market is highly competitive and brands often rely on ingredients to stand out from the crowd. Women, particularly younger women, now expect brands to use natural ingredients. This is what makes biocosmetics such a compelling proposition: with close to 100% naturally-derived ingredients, these products create a key differentiator in a saturated market. Moreover, there is incredible potential to also meet the demand for superior efficacy, as the biocosmetics ethos aims to combine nature and science.

Many more Biocosmetics labels that foreground innovating with nature can be expected to be witnessed in future.