Gallery: Could a Nobel-Winning Tech Put an End to Synthetic Cosmetic Ingre...

Deryn Fogg, Eduardo dos Santos, eco-friendly beauty, eco-beauty, green beauty, natural beauty, eco-friendly cosmetics, sustainable cosmetics, eco-friendly skincare, sustainable skincare, American Chemical Society, essential oils

Photo by Shutterstock

A Nobel Prize-winning technology could soon spell the end of synthetic cosmetic ingredients. In a new twist on tapping biomass as a sustainable raw material, scientists from the University of Ottawa in Canada and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil have uncovered a way to transform plant “essential oils”—substances with the characteristic fragrance of the plant—into high-value components for sunscreens, perfumes, and other personal-care products. Described in the Nov. 5, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, the technique could even open up new economic opportunities for tropical countries where such plants grow.

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