The process of manufacturing cosmetics is pretty simple with mainly just mixing,
heating, and filling procedures to follow. Take a look at one of the example of
cosmetics manufacturing below
The problem lies in its material, which is usually obtained from animal, vegetable, or
mineral sources, as well as synthetic hydrocarbons, normally derived from petroleum sources, and its packaging. All of that participates in making climate change worse.
Thus, came what we call sustainability making an entrance into the industry. Awareness of environmental and social issues has grown, so has the need for
companies to adopt sustainable practices and reduce their environmental impact. This has led to the development of new technologies, processes, and business models that prioritize sustainability.
The manufacturing process for cosmetics typically involves several steps, including ingredient sourcing, formulation, mixing, filling, packaging, and distribution.
Sustainable manufacturing in the cosmetics industry means reducing waste and
environmental impact throughout the product lifecycle. This may include using renewable energy sources, reducing water consumption, reducing waste, and
implementing more efficient production processes.
One example of sustainable manufacturing in the cosmetics industry is using green chemistry. Green chemistry involves the design of products and processes that minimize or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. Cosmetics
companies also encouraged to increase their manufacturing effectiveness to reduce water and energy consumption and minimize emission, pollution, and waste.
Distribution process also need to be upgraded, like using renewable energy, to reduce the emission.
Despite being an essential part of the cosmetics shopping experience, single-use sampling and disposable packaging for beauty products contribute to massive waste production. One sustainable packaging model that will help consumers to stop using disposable plastics is to reuse and refill. Thus, the cosmetics industry can significantly
reduce the global problem of plastic pollution by moving away from single-use packaging.
Sustainable sourcing of ingredients in the cosmetics industry means sourcing raw materials in a way that ensures the long-term viability of natural resources and the
communities that produce them. This includes purchasing from certified organic farms, fair trade suppliers, and other sustainable sources. It can also include reducing the environmental impact of sourcing by minimizing transport distances and using sustainable harvesting methods.
An example of an ingredient that may be sourced in an unsustainable manner is palm oil. Palm oil is a vegetable oil derived from the seeds of the oil palm tree. Palm oil is seen as a natural and ‘sustainable’ alternative to synthetic ingredients and has therefore been in high demand in recent decades. Unethical sourcing of palm oil has
led to the deforestation of tropical rainforests, threatening endangered species such as orangutans, and contributing to climate change by increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable palm oil certification, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable
Palm Oil (RSPO), ensure that palm oil is produced in a way that protects forests,
wildlife, and human rights.
By adopting sustainable sourcing practices, companies can minimize negative environmental and social impacts while promoting positive outcomes such as
biodiversity conservation, fair labor practices, and economic development
3D Printing is a method to build up 3D objects layers by layers by computer design.
There is currently development to make not just things like toys or utensils, but also
tissues with 3D printers. For the cosmetics industry, intelligent and smart materials
contribute to the development of smart skin masks and intelligent microencapsulation
Biofabrication is currently on hype as current development enables the printing of
constructs with excellent resolution, visibly refined details, and a consistent thread of
gel with no gaps within layers. Although lacking in the complexity of the structure that
can be printed. Tissues, such as thermogel and hydrogel, can be printed by a 3D printer and made its way as smart materials.
Packaging made from 3D printers is also possible. As of now, plenty of sustainable
materials have been developed, made from waste/recycled materials or biodegradable materials, to substitute classic plastic filament. One of the most common biodegradable materials mainly used to replace Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS),
a common material for 3D Printing, is Polylactic acid (PLA) or paper. PLA is cornstarch based. There are also other potential biodegradable options, such as miscanthus particles, wood flour, seashell powder, fruit stone flour, and rice husk.
Animal welfare is a critical issue in the cosmetics industry. Animal testing in the field
of cosmetics typically involves the use of animals to test new cosmetic products and
ingredients. Cosmetics are considered luxury goods. They are not part of the basic
necessities of life. The use of animal testing in the field of cosmetic research and
production is unethical because the results do not benefit human health and lead to
the torture and murder of animals. The use of animal life for the simple reason of
making people look better is outrageous and cruel.
It is necessary to integrate alternative testing methods instead of animals. Several
methods have been developed, namely computer modeling and in vitro. Computer
models can simulate interactions between chemicals and biological systems to predict
the effects of cosmetics on humans. In vitro testing methods can be used to study the
effects of cosmetic products on human skin and other tissues. In vitro test methods
are often considered more accurate and relevant than animal tests because they can
use human cells and tissues and better simulate the human body.
Sustainability certification, more widely known as eco-labels related to natural and
organic cosmetics mainly based on green formulation. The International Organization
for Standardization (ISO) have published their sustainability related standards, which
are ISO 14000 and ISO 26000.
Nature, based in Belgium, is one of the certifications used in Europe for natural and
organic cosmetics. Natrue has three levels of certification of cosmetics, which are:
1. Natural Cosmetics – No organic content is required. Minimum levels of natural
and maximum levels of ‘derived natural’ content (or chemically modified
materials allowed under the standard) are specified by product type.
2. Natural cosmetics with organic portion. The product must contain (based on the whole formulation) at least 15% of chemically unmodified natural substances and maximum 15% of ‘derived natural’ substances. Again, these levels increase for certain product types. Additionally, a minimum 70% of the natural substances of plant and animal origin must come from controlled organic farming and/or from controlled wild collection.
3. Organic cosmetics. Depending on product type, these must also contain a minimum 20% of chemically unmodified natural substances and maximum 15% of ‘derived natural’ substances. In this case, a minimum 95% of the natural substances of plant and animal origin must come from controlled organic 2farming and/or from controlled wild collection.
There is more certification on eco-label, especially in Europe, such as COSMOS, Soil Association, and ICEA (Instituto per la Certificazione Etica ed Ambientale). As of Asian, including Indonesia, do not have any standardization regarding eco-label. There is a possibility that eco-friendly certification will be formed as consumer demand for sustainability and organic products increases.
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de León, E.H.-P. et al. (2023) “Intelligent and smart biomaterials for sustainable 3D printing applications,” Current Opinion in Biomedical Engineering, 26, p. 100450. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobme.2023.100450.
Jiao, Y. et al. (2022) “Current and prospective applications of 3D printing in cosmetics: A
literature review,” Cosmetics, 9(6), p. 115. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/cosmetics9060115.
Rocca, R. et al. (2022) “Sustainability paradigm in the cosmetics industry: State of the art,” Cleaner Waste Systems, 3, p. 100057. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clwas.2022.100057.
Vijay, V. et al. (2016) “The impacts of oil palm on recent deforestation and Biodiversity
loss,” PLOS ONE, 11(7). Available at: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159668.