Investment into biotechnology has been growing faster than ever, with the White House even announcing its own biotechnology initiative in September 2022. Biotechnology has the ability to affect change across all industries – from healthcare to food and agriculture to energy. Lately, biotechnology has been shaking up the beauty industry in a major way. With advances in synthetic biology, beauty brands are now able to create innovative products not only more effective but also sustainable.
According to Globe Newswire, the global synthetic biology market is expected to reach $35.7 billion by 2027. This growth is driven by the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, as well as the need for more effective and innovative solutions across various industries. One company that has received significant investment in the synthetic biotechnology sector is Ginkgo Bioworks. The company uses biotechnology to engineer microorganisms for various applications, including skincare and cosmetics. In 2020, Ginkgo Bioworks raised $70 million in funding, which will be used to expand its platform and develop new products for the beauty industry.
One example of a brand using biotechnology to create products for the beauty industry is Biossance. The brand uses biotechnology to create its signature ingredient, Squalane, which is derived from sugarcane. Squalane is a natural moisturizer that is similar in structure to the oils that our skin naturally produces, making it an ideal ingredient for skincare products. According to Biossance, they “use first-of-its kind proprietary fermentation technology to biodesign new, high-performing ingredients.” By using biotechnology to create Squalane, Biossance is able to create a sustainable and eco-friendly ingredient that is also a highly effective moisturizing oil.
Another brand that’s embracing biotechnology to create new beauty ingredients and products is Arcaea. According to their CEO Jasmina Aganovic, “The truth is Earth could not grow enough plants to sustain [the beauty] industry.” Arcaea aims “to accelerate the beauty industry’s transition from industrial chemistry to a more regenerative era driven by biology.” Arcaea is not only looking to create ingredients to replace the ones that are being harmfully extracted from the planet, but also discover and create brand new ingredients. The company recently launched their first ingredient, ScentARC, an odor preventative technology. ScentARC technology is a precise nutrient blend that impacts underarm microbes, shifting odor profile by selectively preventing the body’s production of odorous compounds.
When speaking about the beauty industry Aganovic said, “Biology will transform every single product category.” The potential impact of biotechnology on the beauty industry has only just begun and will certainly continue to grow, allowing brands to create more effective, sustainable, and innovative products. From Biossance’s Squalane to Arcaea’s ScentARC, biotechnology has enabled brands to create ingredients that are highly effective and cater to the specific needs of consumers. With the growing investment in the synthetic biotechnology sector, we can expect to see even more innovative products in the beauty industry in the coming years.