Cosmetic Active Ingredients, the Next Beauty Trend

Recently, German specialty chemicals company Evonik acquired Novachem, a sustainable cosmetic active ingredient innovation company based in Argentina, continuing to expand its cosmetic active ingredient business. According to Research and Markets, the market size of active ingredients for cosmetics is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 5.9%.

Cited: Active Cosmetic Ingredients Ltd

Evonik, a German specialty chemicals company, has acquired Novachem, an Argentinean company specializing in sustainable cosmetic active ingredient innovations, as part of its ongoing expansion in the cosmetic active ingredient business.

Evonik continues to increase its personal care business

Evonik is one of the world’s leading companies in the specialty chemicals field and is also one of the main providers of cosmetic active ingredients globally.

Evonik’s business is mainly composed of five segments, including the Specialty Additives division, the Nutrition & Care division, the Smart Materials division, the Performance Materials division, and the Technology & Infrastructure division.

As an expert in skin care, sun care, color cosmetics, hair care, skin cleansing, active ingredients, alternative preservation, and product stabilization, Evonik utilizes renewable resources and sustainable methods based on four technology platforms – organics, silicones, biotechnology, and actives.

Evonik offers a range of products that include natural-based emulsifiers, ceramides, glycolipids, enzymatic esters, PG-esters, esterquats, natural-based thickeners, alpha hydroxy acids, cholesterol specialties, advanced botanicals, delivery systems, peptides, amino acids, naturally derived chelating agents, as well as naturally derived and antimicrobials.

In 2022, Evonik achieved a sales revenue of 18.5 billion euros and an adjusted EBITDA of 2.49 billion euros. The Nutrition & Care segment had a sales revenue of 4.237 billion euros, representing 23% of the total sales revenue of the company. The adjusted EBITDA for this segment was 677 million euros.

Novachem specializes in developing biotechnological, natural, and sustainable active ingredients for skin and hair care applications. Founded in 2007, the company focuses on using science and technology to create innovative, eco-certified actives derived from live microorganisms that align with current trends in the cosmetics market.

Evonik has announced that it will integrate Novachem into its Care Solutions business line within the Nutrition & Care division of the life sciences segment. By utilizing Novachem’s expertise in innovation, access to biodiversity, and robust skin and hair care portfolio, Evonik aims to enhance its Systems Solutions portfolio and further advance its transformation into a leading provider of active ingredients in the Care Solutions business.

“Latin America is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. The acquisition of Novachem will enable us to bring even more innovative and sustainable solutions to our customers in the personal care market,” said Hendrik Schönfelder, regional president Central & South America Region at Evonik.

Evonik said the acquisition of Novachem is a natural progression for the Care Solutions business line as it continues to evolve into the leading sustainable specialties partner for the personal care industry. Evonik has made several other acquisitions in recent years to support this transformation, including sustainable botanicals pioneer Botanica in 2021, cosmetic delivery company Infinitec Activos in 2021, biotech company innoHealth in 2020, Wilshire Technologies in 2020, and ALKION Biopharma in 2016.

Cosmetics Active Ingredients Market to Reach $5.5 Billion by 2030

Active ingredients refer to components or compounds (including natural and chemical constituents) that possess a certain function. Active ingredients are utilized in skincare products to target specific skin concerns and problems such as dryness, oiliness, eczema, and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

Active ingredients can be found in various cosmetic products, such as cleansers, moisturizers, serums, facial masks, and sunscreens, with different formulations and effects.

Common active ingredients include retinol, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs), niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, ceramides, and benzoyl peroxide. Each of these active ingredients targets different skin issues. For example, retinol, derived from vitamin A, is specifically designed to combat premature aging. Topical application of retinol increases cell turnover, helping to rejuvenate skin cells and address issues of excessive pigmentation. Ceramides are a group of fatty acids that occur naturally in the skin and have a waxy texture. They can enhance the skin barrier by providing hydration.

Similarly, AHAs and BHAs help brighten the complexion and reduce blemish occurrences. AHAs are derived from fruit sugars (glycolic acid) and milk (lactic acid). They gently exfoliate the skin, removing impurities and improving texture. Alpha hydroxy acids are commonly used in anti-aging products that are designed to treat skin issues like fine lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and age spots.

According to data from Research and Markets, the global market for cosmetic active ingredients is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 5.9%. The global market size for the cosmetic ingredients market is expected to reach $28.5 billion by 2030, with active cosmetic ingredients accounting for nearly 30% of the entire cosmetic ingredients market.

China, which is the world’s second-largest economy, is the active ingredient for cosmetics and is expected to achieve a market size of $648.7 million by 2030, with a CAGR of 7.2%.

The major global companies focusing on the cosmetic active ingredients market include Ashland, Symrise, BASF, Clariant, Croda International, Evonik, Givaudan, Gattefossé SAS, Lonza, Lucas Meyer Cosmetics by IFF, Nouryon, and Seppic SA.

Cosmetic Active Ingredients Respond to Environmental Commitments

In recent years, the promotion of sustainable development concepts has led to increased attention in the cosmetics industry toward more environmentally friendly active ingredients. Not only are midstream brand owners focusing on this, but upstream raw material suppliers are also increasingly investing in active ingredients.

In June of this year, L’Oréal’s corporate venture capital fund, BOLD, made a minority investment in American biotech company Debut. This investment will help Debut expand its manufacturing platform quickly and meet the increasing demand for innovative ingredients used in cosmetics, skincare, and packaging.

Debut, headquartered in San Diego, California, specializes in the entire process of discovering, formulating, conducting clinical trials, and manufacturing new ingredients and products. Their advanced cell-free biomanufacturing platform can overcome the limitations of traditional fermentation and take direct control of biological processes to produce complex natural products, including polyphenols, biopolymers, and natural colors.

Joshua Britton, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Debut said, “Debut’s ambition is to turn the active ingredient manufacturing process on its head, and in doing so, help industry leaders like L’Oréal maintain its innovative edge and desirability, fulfilling its responsibility to both the planet and consumers.”

In addition to investing in Debut, L’Oréal also announced on June 29th a collaboration with the Bakar Lab at the University of California, Berkeley to advance the testing and development of biocosmetics. The collaboration will focus on leveraging L’Oréal’s extensive expertise in microbiome science, Bakar Lab’s expertise in biotechnology, and other advanced biotechnologies to develop the next generation of beauty products.

In June 2022, Genomatica, a company specializing in biotechnology and sustainability, and Unilever announced the launch of a venture aimed at scaling and commercializing alternatives to cleansing ingredients derived from palm oil and fossil fuels, which are essential components in the formulation of thousands of everyday cleaning and personal care products.

The venture, which has received a joint investment of $120 million and is expected to attract other strategic investors, will focus on developing a plant-based ingredient using biotechnology as an alternative to traditional cleansing ingredients derived from palm oil and fossil fuels. This innovation is particularly relevant for cleaning and personal care products that require ingredients to create lather and remove dirt.

In March of this year, L’Oréal, through its venture capital fund BOLD, also participated in the investment in Genomatica aimed at creating sustainable alternatives to oil-based surfactants.

Genomatica will deploy its proven biotechnology platform, using proprietary engineered microorganisms to ferment plant sugars, to produce sustainable surfactant ingredients. These new ingredients will be incorporated into a range of L’Oréal products, signifying an important step for L’Oréal towards its goal of 100% eco-designed formulations that respect aquatic ecosystem diversity, with 95% of ingredients being derived from renewable plant sources or natural minerals by 2030.

In addition to brand owners, upstream raw material suppliers are also increasing their investments in active ingredients.

In February of this year, Givaudan established a partnership with Israeli biotech company Synergio and acquired a minority stake in the latter, which specializes in developing natural and sustainable solutions for consumer goods using advanced plant technology. Also in February, Givaudan reached an agreement with leading synthetic biology company Amyris to acquire a portion of their cosmetic ingredients.

In May of this year, DSM and Firmenich completed their merger, creating a new company that will be a leader in the global market for cosmetics raw materials, and biotechnology.

Based on the actions and strategies of upstream raw material suppliers and brand owners, active cosmetic ingredients are expected to receive increasing attention in the future.

Based on the actions and strategies of upstream raw material suppliers and brand owners, active cosmetic ingredients are expected to receive increasing attention and become the next trend in the beauty industry.




Subscribe for unlimited readership of the most professional, comprehensive and unbiased articles backed by data.
Starting at $8.33 per month if you subscribe a Pro Annual Plan


Beauty News

Industry News, Broadcast and Breakings

Industry Stats

In-depth Statistics from all aspects to dig out the sales, up and downs.

Consumer Research

Exclusive service to survey numerous consumers across the country and get the best expected results

Brand Analysis

Examine and analyse a brand in details to conclude a report showcasing the desired information

Niche Market Research

Study into the niche product market, producing whitepaper helpping business to understand the potential, development of a product and make decisions.


Retail / Distributor Finder

Help brand distribute in China.

Cosmetics/ Makeup Compliance

Help make your product legal in China

OEM/ODM Manufacturers

Know what's trending or find the best possible material / ingredient / product supplier

Scroll to Top

Subscribe Yearly Member to Read More