If you’re anything like me, you recycle every last granola box and compost every last scrap of leftover food with militant precision, but how would you feel about recycling your beauty products? No, I don’t mean trendy recycled packaging (although I’m all for that too), but according to a report by trend-forecasting agency The Future Laboratory, we might want to prepare for a new wave of environmental projects turning food waste into fresh new beauty products. And FYI, this is no DIY face mask, although we know some pretty good recipes for those too.
In fact, the report revealed that research facility Phytonext has developed a way to extract micronutrients from plant waste and recycle them into fresh essential oils (yes, the kinds you’ve been using to boost your mood).
And then there’s the BIORICE project. Recognising that starch has the power to mop up excess sebum like no other (which is why you’ll find it in most face powders), they’ve developed a way to extract it from waste rice sourced from across Europe for use in makeup products. Considering we amass 4.4 million tonnes of food waste in the UK alone each year, it makes total sense.
But the project that is arguably the weirdest comes from biochemistry lab APROPROS, which spent the last three years processing proteins and oils from leftover salmon (turns out 50% of each fish goes to waste in modern-day usage) to funnel into skincare.
According to trend forecaster Victoria Buchanan, it signals the start of a more sustainable beauty industry. “Consumers globally are curbing their consumption and looking to brands to help them reduce their impact on the planet and demanding that brands behave in a more ethical way,” she explains.
And while the thought of finding fish scales in my face cream is a little off-putting, Buchanan reckons we’ll start to see these ingredients on the shelves in the next two to three years, so we have time to get used to it. Plus, if we can achieve super-glowy skin and save the planet at the same time, I think we’re on to a good thing here.
From one skincare innovation to another, up next, find out everything you could ever want to know about cult skincare brand The Ordinary.