Green Chemistry: Foundations in Cosmetic Sciences

  • Beyond Benign
  • Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry
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The manufacturing industries have been experiencing increasing pressure from regulatory and government agencies and society in general on issues concerning human health and the environment. Green chemistry helps chemists and materials scientists to incorporate sustainable principles into their practices of creating products and developing processes. The field of green chemistry, since its beginnings in the early 1990s, has been growing in the scientific community at an ever-increasing rate. Green chemistry is a set of principles that speak to the design scientist at the earliest part of a product development program. It incorporates downstream implications at the fundamental molecular level. By anticipating potential problems around scale-up associated with regulatory and toxicological issues, it is possible to not only reduce costs from a variety of internalized and externalized sources but also streamline operations by increasing efficiency and time to market. This chapter discusses the twelve principles of green chemistry in the context of the cosmetics and personal care industries, and how the concerns can be addressed at a fundamental level. The cosmetics and personal care industry is taking initiatives to strive toward greener processes and products. However, as with all industrial sectors, much more work needs to be done. The need for more alternatives can be seen as a hurdle or as an opportunity.

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... This framework is meant to be applied to the entire lifecycle of the finished good -from raw material selection to chemical transformation, and ultimately the effect of the final product on human life and the environment [18]. The EPA calls for the fulfillment of these objectives whilst also producing profitable and functional products [19]. ...
... While this is helpful, it does not provide a full picture of what has occurred, as most chemical transformations are not as simple as "reagent A converted to product B". It is therefore Fig. 5 Pollution prevention hierarchy demonstrating disposal, recycling and reuse of waste are acceptable, but reduction and avoidance are preferred in the scope of green chemistry possible to calculate a high product yield and the process still be inefficient due to a formation of waste [19]. To account for this, green chemistry proposes the use of atom economy. ...
... In chemical manufacturing, the starting material is converted into a number of intermediate compounds before being transformed to the final product. The substances generated, and the reagents used to generate them, should have little to no physical hazards such as explosivity and flammability [19]. ...
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Objectives: With increasing awareness of the potential adverse impact of conventional surfactants on the environment and human health, there is mounting interest in the development of bio-based surfactants (which are deemed to be safer, more affordable, are in abundance, are biodegradable, biocompatible and possess scalability, mildness and performance in formulation) in personal care products. Method: A comprehensive literature review around alkyl polyglucosides (APGs) and sucrose esters (SEs) as bio-based sur-factants, through the lens of the 12 green chemistry principles was conducted. An overview of the use of bio-based surfactants in personal care products was also provided. Results: Bio-based surfactants are derived primarily from natural sources (i.e. both the head and tail molecular group). One of the more common types of bio-based surfactants are those with carbohydrate head groups, where alkyl polyglucosides (APGs) and sucrose esters (SEs) lead this sub-category. As global regulations and user mandate for sustainability and safety increase, evidence to further support these bio-based surfactants as alternatives to their petrochemical counterparts is advantageous. Use of the green chemistry framework is a suitable way to do this. While many of the discussed principles are enforced industrially, others have only yet been applied at a laboratory scale or are not apparent in literature. Conclusion: Many of the principles of green chemistry are currently used in the synthesis of APGs and SEs. These and other bio-based surfactants should, therefore, be considered suitable and sustainable alternatives to conventional surfactants. To further encourage the use of these novel surfactants, industry must make an effort to implement and improve the use of the remaining principles at a commercial level.
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This doctoral thesis was realized within the framework of a partnership between the Product Design and Innovation Laboratory of Arts et Métiers ParisTech and the Ecole de Biologie Industrielle. The research project behind our thesis aims to support the promotion of new clay particles having been patented by the EBInnov® laboratory. This new polyfunctional ingredient is designed to satisfy several applications in the bio-industries, including the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry, the phytosanitary sector or the environment. The aim of the thesis is to integrate the technical, sensory and regulatory specifications of bio-industrial companies in an innovation-oriented design process. Thus, the research hypotheses rely on the emerging paradigm of open innovation in these sectors. We support that the new innovation intermediaries are efficient in the bio-industries and allow the integration of the innovation potential in the early stages of the design process. The validity of these assumptions was studied by means of industry-related experiments directly linked to the main application sectors of the EBISilc® technology. Finally, we propose an innovation-oriented design process taking into account the evolution of the innovation models in the bio-industries.
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