Start the week with a startup: Lignovations

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

Lignovations is a spin-off from the Vienna University of Technology
Lignovations is a spin-off from the Vienna University of Technology

Related tags Startup company Sun care Sunscreen Spf UV protection

Every fortnight we talk to a game-changer startup brand about why it exists and how it plans to change the industry...

This week we spoke to Victor Tibo, who is head of business development at ingredients startup Lignovations, about its use of colloidal lignin particles to significantly boost UV protection.

How Lignovations is changing the game…

We develop and manufacture high-quality ingredients from lignin – a basic building block of biomass that protects plants – to enhance the performance and sustainability of personal care and other products. 

Our flagship product, LignoGuard, harnesses the power of colloidal lignin particles to significantly boost UV protection (up to 50%) and deliver antioxidant and emulsion-stabilising properties in skin care products. We aim to collaborate with environmentally conscious cosmetics companies seeking eco-friendly and efficient ingredients.

LignoGuard can be incorporated into many types of cosmetic products. Its SPF-boosting capability works well with both mineral and organic UV filters, improving performance and sustainability, and reducing the white cast that is often associated with mineral filters. 

Our future goals for the business…​ 

Lignin protects plants from many environmental influences and has many useful properties. With our current product offer, we bring these benefits of lignin to the cosmetic industry – incorporating it not only into sun care but also into different cosmetics, such as serums, masks, peels, or even hair care. 

For the future, we are already working with many industry partners to bring the amazing properties of lignin use to other products, such as packaging materials, coatings, and textiles. It is an amazing, multifunctional polymer, and we are still discovering new uses for it. 

How we started out…​ 

We are a spin-off from the Vienna University of Technology, with a focus on science-based innovation, quality,​ and eco-friendliness. 

Our team has been working on bio-based and climate-friendly solutions in various energy and material-related sectors for almost 20 years. The last years of our scientific research were directed towards lignin which is often discarded because it could not be used for higher-value applications despite its remarkable properties.  

In 2016, we developed a patented technology that allows us to create extremely small lignin particles – Colloidal Lignin Particles – to maximise the performance and processability of lignin in high-value applications. 

In 2019, we decided to launch Lignovations to make use of this valuable resource and unlock its great properties for cosmetics and other applications. LignoGuard’s proven efficacy demonstrates that lignin is too valuable to go to waste. 

The challenges we’ve faced…​ 

When we started, we did not have experience in cosmetics applications. Therefore, to develop an ingredient that fulfils the high expectations of customers we gathered feedback from many cosmetic manufacturers to inform our product development. In addition, we needed to develop knowledge in cosmetic formulations, especially in the complex field of sun care.  

It took numerous attempts and failures before we finally crafted our first successful formulation. Now, armed with valuable lessons learned, we have created many sample formulations that demonstrate the great efficacy of LignoGuard, for example 50% or 11-point SPF boost. 

How we are set to disrupt the beauty and personal care industry…

With its proven efficacy in enhancing SPF performance, we believe LignoGuard can set a new standard for eco-friendly ingredients in the cosmetics industry. It also helps formulators to make more appealing sun care products with mineral UV filters, as it eliminates white cast. We hope it can be a shift towards greener and more sustainable practices within the industry, influencing both manufacturers and consumers. 
Consumers are already searching for more sustainable and natural products. People are realising that natural ingredients can work just as well, or even better than artificial ones. We support that movement, and we're proud that LignoGuard can contribute to this change. We believe the industry is moving towards greater awareness and responsibility, with consumers demanding products that align with their values of sustainability and personal well-being.  

Related news

Show more

Related products

show more

See our latest innovations in personal care

See our latest innovations in personal care

Content provided by Covation Bio™ PDO | 02-Apr-2024 | White Paper

At CovationBio PDO, we’re helping the world achieve its sustainability goals by enabling better performing, better-for-the planet products across a range...

Collagen Reimagined, Discover Biodesigned Type XXI

Collagen Reimagined, Discover Biodesigned Type XXI

Content provided by Geltor | 20-Mar-2024 | Product Brochure

Collagen is the body’s most abundant protein and a mainstream ingredient for beauty. Type XXI collagen transcends a common protein into a powerful bioactive

Empowering natural barrier function for future-proof skin

Empowering natural barrier function for future-proof skin

Content provided by Lucas Meyer Cosmetics | 14-Mar-2024 | White Paper

Corneopeptyl™ is a new patented peptide biomimetic to the LCE6A protein, obtained by green chemistry-based synthesis. By mimicking the LCE6A protein activity,...

Related suppliers

Follow us


View more


Beauty 4.0 Podcast