CBD skin care to get a boost from Amyris technologies

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images \ (Artfully79)
© Getty Images \ (Artfully79)

Related tags CBD biotech Amyris cannabinoids

The beauty ingredient maker has announced recent advances in fermentation technology and posted new research data online that shows the advantages of formulating CBD skin care with the company’s biotech Neossance Squalane.

Amyris, the biotech ingredient maker behind consumer personal care brands Biossance skin care and Pipette baby care, as well as the sweetener brand  PureCane, hopes to be “the first company to provide highly pure and efficacious CBD from [fermentation] technology at commercial scale,” ​according to a media release issued this month.

Making CBD for beauty with biotechnology

Amyris teamed up with a cellular agriculture company called LAVVAN in 2019​ to accelerate progress toward that goal. Under the terms of the licensing, development, and commercialization agreement, Amyris is contributing the necessary R&D and LAVVAN will handle the actual manufacturing and commercialization.

Amyris has developed the biotechnology to manufacture some 10 different molecules. The company specializes in modifying the DNA of yeast and relies on sugarcane as the feedstock for ingredient production, which is why the company’s Neossance Squalane ingredient is sometimes referred to as sugarcane squalane.

Cannabinoids are on track to be a big opportunity in the market and already CBD is just one of several cannabinoids being used in skin care and wellness product formulations. Within the next couple of months, for instance, Lab to Beauty is expected to launch a five-product skin care line formulated with CBG. And the skin care and supplement brand Plantpeople sells a product called Drops+Sleep that’s made with CBN.

Biotech squalane as a CBD carrier oil in skin care formulations

“We are very pleased with the breakthrough results from our clinical studies,” ​says Caroline Hadfield, President of Aprinnova, in the company’s recent media release. (Aprinnova is a joint venture between Amyris and a Japan-based specialty chemical company called NIKKOL Group.)

The studies that Hadfield is referring to were conducted by Cosmos Technical Center, the R&D lab division of NIKKOL Group. And they compared how various oils and fats carry and deliver CDB to the epidermis.  

The study looked at medium-chain triglycerides (MCT), jojoba oil, sunflower oil, hemp seed oil, and Neossance Squalane. According to the data posted on the Amyris site​, the company’s squalane is a more effective carrier by 10 – 40 times than the other oils. And the press release publicizing the new data notes that Neossance Squalane doesn’t disrupt delivery by clogging pores like some carrier chassis oils can.

“This is a great example of how clean ingredients made from our science platform and naturally sourced from sugarcane combined with our scientific approach to formulations can lead to disruption in key markets,” ​says Hadfield.

And, “we are very excited,” ​she says, “to deliver what consumers are seeking and support the brands that are committed to delivering high efficacy and sustainability at an accessible value for consumers.”



Deanna Utroske is a leading voice in the cosmetics and personal care industry​ as well as in the indie beauty movement. As Editor of CosmeticsDesign.com, she writes daily news about the business of beauty in the Americas region and regularly produces video interviews with cosmetics, fragrance, personal care, and packaging experts as well with indie brand founders.

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