BASF offers biodegradable microbead replacement

By Lucy Whitehouse

- Last updated on GMT

BASF offers biodegradable microbead replacement
In a move that sees a new biodegradable and natural microbead alternative hit the market, BASF has launched a new wax-based product.

The ingredients company says its product offers an experience much closer to that of the now out-of-favour polyethylene beads.

BASF launched the product - Cegesoft Peel - at the recent SEPAWA Congress in Berlin.

Ingredient profile: Cegesoft Peel

Cegesoft Peel consists of spherically shaped wax beads that provide a gentle and mild exfoliation, explains BASF.

Mainly derived from natural and renewable resources, Cegesoft Peel is a readily biodegradable and environmentally-friendly alternative to sharp-edged abrasives and non-degradable beads (often referred to as microplastic beads).

We spoke to with Dr Ulrich Issberner, Director Operative Marketing Personal Care Europe, at the SEPAWA Congress, who explained that the new product more closely matches the smooth exfoliating action of traditional plastic beads than other alternative, biodegradable products on the market.

Issberner says that compared to other natural alternatives, the wax beads of Cegesoft Peel offer a particularly mild exfoliating action.

Quirks of production

One challenge of formulating such a product was seen in the fact that wax has a fairly low melting point, but ingredients in personal care products need to be able to maintain their structure and shape throughout transit and during their shelf life.

As such, the Cegesoft Peel wax beads have a melting point of 68-75 degrees celsius.

Issberner also notes that adding to its sustainable profile, the production of the wax product does not create any dust.

Why sustainable, biodegradable microbeads?

The proliferation of alternatives to traditional plastic microbeads has been driven by the rise in bans against the ingredient in beauty and personal care products in many markets across the globe.

The environmental impact of microplastics on waterways and oceans has been deemed to great in many markets, including the UK​, Holland, the US, Canada and Ireland.

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