Banishing Microplastics in Cosmetics Industry

With alternative, environmentally friendly formulations

Cosmetics Industry Challenge

Microplastics are small, solid, polymer-based particles measuring less than 5mm. Sometimes the term also refers to fibres of less than 15mm. Microplastics are highly resistant to environmental biodegradation and fragment into “nanoplastics” – even tinier particles. They do not dissolve in water, so even though wastewater treatment plants are able to filter out 90% of microplastics, they enter the oceans where they accumulate inside animals including fish, thereby entering the human food chain. And a part of intentionally added (so-called primary) microplastics is said to come from the cosmetics industry.

In March 2019, the European Chemical Agency proposed controls to the primary microplastics added to leave-on and rinse-off cosmetic products. Alongside this, consumers have become more aware of our collective impact on and responsibility to the world around us. Consumers want companies to become more responsible manufacturers. 

Our Solution: RonaFlair® Functional Fillers

This challenge has prompted us to investigate our cosmetic functional filler portfolio to offer safe and comparable alternatives to microplastics, that can be used in all cosmetic formulations. Microplastics are small particles that deliver specific functionalities in cosmetic applications such as improved and rich skin feel or soft-focus effects for immediate wrinkle reduction.

To ensure consumers do not have to compromise on good products, we identified high-performing alternatives from our functional filler portfolio. Our formulation know-how enables new approaches to all cosmetic applications without microplastics, so RonaFlair® Functional Fillers can be a viable, environmentally friendly alternative to critically considered microplastics.

Breakthrough: alternative formulations

We investigated the most important critical microplastics used in cosmetics (known as Nylon-12 and PMMA) and conducted a variety of lab tests to find the best solutions. Application tests with volunteers revealed that formulations with specific combinations of RonaFlair® Functional Fillers are very good alternatives to Nylon-12 and PMMA. The results revealed a 95% confidence level – and in some applications, certain combinations of RonaFlair® Functional Fillers scored higher than Nylon-12 and PMMA.

Global Impact

Based on these investigation results, we are able to advise cosmetic companies to use RonaFlair® Functional Fillers to their best advantage. Thus, product performance offerings like immediate wrinkle reduction, soft-focus effects and improved skin feel can all be fulfilled without microplastics.

We can offer the cosmetic industry the scientific evidence, data, and research they need to meet their claims while using our environmentally friendly RonaFlair® Functional Fillers. Through this, we can help brands to remain competitive and relevant in today’s eco-conscious market.