High performing and sustainable solutions for cosmetic products

Can beauty solutions be improved and made more sustainable without compromising their properties? The answer is yes. At the in-cosmetics global 2019 trade fair in Paris, cosmetics experts of Covestro will explain how this is possible. Under the motto, “Beauty Made Responsible”, the company will showcase sustainable beauty products and formulations based on its “Baycusan” naturally derived and biodegradable film formers at booth E 60.

With these developments, we respond to a growing awareness of consumers for sourcing and environmental fate of cosmetics products,” says Mélanie Dick, global marketing manager cosmetics. “This trend causes the cosmetics industry to look for new solutions to reduce the environmental impact by careful selection of ingredients. In other words: Our film formers are key for creating products that enable consumers to be as beautiful as they would like to be, but in a safe and sustainable way.”

Nature and high performance

At the previous in-cosmetics, the company introduced its new “Baycusan” eco line of polyurethane ingredients, which are based on at least 50 percent renewable feedstock and are considered naturally derived according to the ISO 16128-1 standard. The first product of the line, “Baycusan eco E 1000” (INCI: Polyurethane-93), was designed to fulfill all the requirements of a modern and highly performing hair fixative agent. It shows very good flexibility and humidity resistance and provides a strong hold, compared to synthetic benchmarks. The most important point is, however, that the bio-based film former performs well where alternative natural ingredients cannot be used without compromising the product performance and sensory properties. This in particular applies to hair styling using heat devices like straightening irons or curling tongs: While most natural substances used as fixatives, like for instance xanthan gum, exhibit poor thermal stability,this product withstands temperatures of up to 300 °C, ensuring both heat protection and a smooth hair feel and a flexible styling without flaking.


Most cosmetic film formers end their life being released in water, either in domestic waste water or – in case of sunscreen formulations – in sea or inland lake water. Thus the ability of a polymer to biodegrade in water is a key feature for assessing its environmental impact as well as for future cosmetics ingredients. While most synthetic film formers do not biodegrade well and can even be persistent in the environment, the polyurethane products of Covestro have the ability to biodegrade due to their unique chemical structure.

The biodegradability of the above mentioned products in water has been tested by independent expert institutes using the recognized test methods OECD 301 and 302. All film formers can be considered as non-persistent if released in the environment (OECD 302). Most of these film formers reach biodegradability rates between 50 and 60 percent within 28 days, according to the OECD 301 ready biodegradability test. “Baycusan C 1001” for instance achieves a biodegradability rate of 60 percent within 28 days, making it one of the only readily biodegradable synthetic film formers on the market.

Besides allowing cosmetics producers to create innovative beauty products in a responsible manner, the film formers also ensure formulators to comply with legal restrictions that could arise in the coming years, and contribute to reducing the environmental pollution of oceans or inland water areas.

New sun-care formulation

The company will present the new bio-degradable and durable Skin & Ocean Sun Protect Lotion based on “Baycusan C 1004 (INCI: Polyurethane-35) and the transparent and beach-ready Sun Oil with “Baycusan C 2000” (INCI: Polyurethane-64). In both formulations, ingredients have been carefully selected for their environmental profile and for high performance.

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