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Sustainable Cosmetic Films: Natural, Preservative-Free, Eco-Friendly

This innovation, patented by the University of Bologna, consists of films made from natural polymers containing various types of encapsulated natural extracts, which hydrate and transform into gel upon application

A new type of cosmetic products, obtained from natural ingredients, without preservatives and antioxidants, with few packages to dispose of. They're called Sustainable Cosmetic Films and originate from the Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology at the University of Bologna, from the work of Professor Teresa Cerchiara and Doctor Valentina Sallustio. The innovation – patented by the University of Bologna – consists of natural polymers films containing various types of encapsulated natural extracts. Upon application, the films hydrate and transform into gel.

The possible uses are multiple, for example, for anti-aging products, anti-acne, moisturizing, or protective functions. "The natural bioactive substances of the extracts are well known, but they are often easily oxidizable and therefore unstable: for this reason, the addition of antioxidant substances is required in cosmetic formulations," explain the inventors. "The development of Sustainable Cosmetic Films allows overcoming these limitations of natural extracts".

The use of encapsulation technology for natural extracts improves the stability and effectiveness of bioactive substances. And at the same time, the use of natural polymers enhances the application of the product and allows for a synergistic action with natural extracts. All while limiting the use of preservatives, lightening the packaging, and consequently reducing the environmental impact.

This innovation offers consumers skincare products of proven effectiveness, obtained from well-known natural ingredients, and highly tolerable, thanks to the absence of synthetic preservatives and antioxidants," add the inventors. "On the other hand, the manufacturer can rely on a limited number of readily available raw materials and the need for minimal packaging, with significantly reduced transportation costs and benefits for environmental preservation".