UK-based Oat Cosmetics has launched an Ecocert accredited Superfine Oat Flour for use in natural cosmetic ingredients, building on the growing cosmetics trend that ‘if it is good enough to eat, it is good enough for my skin.’
The ingredients supplier claims that creams and lotions requiring superior gelling, thickening or texturizing properties, and pressed powder products will benefit from the enhanced oil absorption benefits, as the flour is capable of absorbing 18 per cent more oil than traditional oat flours.
Importance of efficacy and texture
Manufactured using a patented process, the flour is easy to formulate over a wide temperature range and has excellent textural characteristics resulting in smooth creams, including a reduction in their oiliness.
Oat Cosmetics also say its light colour is beneficial to formulators looking for white colour bases, and the ultra-fine flour is competitively priced when compared with alternatives.
“When formulating with oats, a number of challenges need to be overcome: It’s necessary to improve the colloidal properties, enhance the overall efficacy and activity of the ingredient, allow it to be certified as natural, and reduce the microbiological load to acceptable limits,” explained Cark Maunsell, managing director at Oat Services, of which the cosmetics line is a subsidiary.
“Oil absorption is extremely important because the ingredient has both enhanced capacity for water uptake and the ability to absorb larger quantities of oil, making it an excellent base for creams and lotions, giving a silky feel. In powder products, the oil-binding capability of colloidal oatmeal can be advantageous in conjunction with its additional skin care benefits.”
Trend for novel food ingredients in cosmetics
The growing perception among consumers concerning foods crossing into skin care, has led to a trend for the use of novel food ingredients in cosmetics according to Judi Beerling, head of technical research at Organic Monitor.
“Formulators and product developers are interested in making use of ingredients and actives that are viewed by consumers as green, effective and healthy,” she told CosmeticsDesign. “Indeed, scientific studies show that many natural ingredients have an affinity with the skin's structure, providing many beneficial effects.”
Beerling said that the cosmetics industry is searching for visually appealing, readily available and sustainable raw materials for ingredient sources. As many food ingredients are available in certified organic grades, she said, their use in cosmetics can be marketed on natural or ecological attributes.
Companies that have embraced the trend for food ingredients in cosmetics include Oat Cosmetics, as well as the Israeli company Yes To, which has built a family of brands based on foods, and Intelligent Nutrients in the US that markets its products as ‘safe enough to eat’, Beerling noted.