Columbia promoting export of cosmetics ingredients in Europe

By Katie Nichol

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags International trade Cosmetics

Proexport Columbia is one of several companies working with the Columbian government to push exports in Europe, and as part of the Comsetics Valley pavilion at Beyond Beauty 2010, was promoting five different companies that can supply raw cosmetics ingredients or finished products to European brands.

“Columbian cosmetics exports currently represent $800m annually, and we hope to increase this figure to $1.2bn by 2013-2019 and to $4bn by 2020,” ​Cosmetics and Personal Care Manager at Proexport, Juan Carlos Castro told

According to Castro, a McKinsey & Company study carried out as part of the project revealed that it is difficult to position local cosmetics brands in Columbia, which is why Europe is a target for promoting exports, along with the US - areas with which Columbia has a free trade agreement.

“Some 90% of cosmetics consumed in Columbia are made locally by foreign companies such as Procter & Gamble and Nivea who distribute to the rest of Latin America from Columbia,” ​he explained, adding that the market in Columbia is extremely competitive due to its favourable geographic location and its free trade agreement with the Americas.

Focus on natural ingredients

The McKinsey & Company study also highlighted the development of natural ingredients, according to Castro, who said that Columbia is the second most biodiverse country in the world.

The companies being promoted by Proexport Columbia at Beyond Beauty included Waliwa, Neyber, Ecoflora, Kahai and Jean-Pascal, many of which have set up sustainable development projects in Columbia that provide support to local farmers and communities.

Natural ingredients available from Ecoflora include EcoScrubs, a natural exfoliating product that can be used in products including liquid soaps, body scrubs and foot care, and Myrica Wax, which is designed to be used as a base in cosmetics preparations and creams due to its low odour, film former properties and melting point similar to human body temperature. Myrica wax can also be used in hair, body and lip care products, amongst others.

Ingredients from Waliwa include Waliblend PBO from the Amazon rainforest which can be used in skin care and hair care products and is claimed to have antioxidant, moisturising and protective properties.

Amongst the range of ingredients offered by Neyber is Cupuazu Butter, which is said to help prevent premature ageing due to its antioxidant action that protects against free radicals and stimulates collagen production. Applications of Cupuazu Butter include intense hydrating products for skin exposed to the sun, according to the company.

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