The challenges of working with natural raw materials



Element 44 Inc, Chicago, USA

In the cosmetic industry, creating products using natural raw materials is a growing trend. Consumer demand and marketer preferences have required cosmetic chemists to revamp formulas based on petroleum derived compounds for ones based on renewable plant materials. This task is much more difficult than most people realize due to the inherent problems of working with natural materials including both supply and performance issues. These challenges have led to the rise of a new trend called clean beauty.  


Before there was “natural” formulating, there was just formulating. For the most part, the main driver for a standard formulator is product performance. Chemists look to use whatever ingredients they can find to make products that perform the best. They also balance performance with ingredient safety, suitable formula aesthetics and a reasonable cost.  

On the other hand, natural formulators are much more focused on the ingredients used. They certainly want to make products that perform well, but this is not the ...