Nouryon is helping its customers in the personal care industry to meet the demands of environmentally-conscious consumers by introducing biodegradable, natural and clean ingredients.

March 2020

Today’s consumers, especially Millennials, are having a big influence on the way personal care products are made. They want more natural alternatives for items such as hair gel, shampoos, and sun screen, and they are also asking for them to be just as effective—or even more effective—than existing products. Nouryon is helping its customers in the personal care industry to meet the demands of environmentally-conscious consumers by introducing biodegradable, natural and clean ingredients.

“The rise of environmental ethics amongst consumers has presented many opportunities for formulators and ingredient suppliers,” said Jens Müller, Global Technical Marketing Manager, Personal Care at Nouryon. “However, it also has presented some challenges, as the introduction of formulations labeled natural and clean has led to confusion among consumers, since there is not an accepted definition of what these terms mean.”

Recently, Nouryon introduced Amaze Nordic Barley, a natural starch product for the personal care market. It is a 100% natural, GMO-free, unmodified starch that can replace petrochemical-based ingredients used in sun block, dry shampoos, cosmetics and other personal care applications. It helps formulators to deliver more natural, clean and high-performing solutions.

Using barley starch in personal care products helps to absorb excess oil and grease on the surface of a person’s skin and/or hair, leading to a more natural, aesthetic feel. This is not an advantage exclusive to barley – it can also be achieved with starch derived from corn, tapioca and other grains.

What is unique about barley is its flattened spherical shape – think of M&Ms. Corn and rice starch are shaped like hexagons, which leads to a very raspy feel, while barley (and tapioca, which is round) is smooth, resulting in a velvety skin feel. An additional advantage of barley is that it has an extremely low whitening effect—in fact it is almost invisible—making it optimal for haircare products. In color cosmetics it is used as a bulk ingredient to promote even coverage and provide a nice skin feel.

Amaze Nordic Barley also has excellent microbial purity, which enhances the shelf-life and improves the final product’s ability to hinder germ formation. The high microbial purity also removes the requirement for irradiation or other treatments, which makes it suitable for COSMOS (Cosmetic Organic and Natural Standard) natural certified products

“Response from customers has been very positive,” said Müller. “They like the environmental profile of Amaze Nordic Barley, which is sourced regionally through a partnership we currently have with UK-based Oat Services, Ltd. Customers have already started integrating it into various products for skin and hair care.”

Amaze Nordic Barley is the latest entry in Nouryon’s expanding range of innovative products to customers in personal care, one of the company’s key market segments. These include a recently launched bio-based polymer that is perfect for natural hair styling products and a film-forming polymer for use in long-lasting, high SPF sunscreen products.

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