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Can food waste be turned into cosmetics?

FRUUURSKIN specialises in turning fruit by-products into sustainable cosmetics, like lip balms made from up to 60% fruit-based ingredients
A selection of Fruu lipbalms in different coloured packaging against a white background
© EIT Food

FRUUURSKIN is a cosmetics company that specialises in turning fruit by-products into sustainable cosmetics. Their lip balms are made from up to 60% moisturising fruit-based ingredients, which are ethical, vegan and sustainable.

We asked Terence, biochemist and founder, some questions about the business.

How and when did you get the idea of turning by-products into cosmetics?

“I was a secondary school teacher and scientist. My aim was to teach sustainability to my students. That’s when I recognised that sustainability didn’t seem to be important to them when it came to the cosmetics they were using.

“I saw that in the cosmetics market, there were fewer sustainable products and that most people use materials that travel long distances. Also, 95% of cosmetics are made from crude oil, a non-sustainable resource, which is a dirty ingredient from the consumer’s point of view.

“I knew about the waste issues in the agricultural and food supply chain. So, our goal was to bridge these processes by turning unwanted fruit waste into cosmetics. This prevents waste and contributes to the circular economy by giving higher value to the by-products of juicing.”

What do you aim to achieve with your products?

“We want to strengthen consumers’ consciousness of cosmetics ingredients, and we want to design a sustainable product which is affordable and available to many people.

“FRUU’S products are priced competitively in a world where organic and green cosmetic products often come with a very high price tag (4-20 times more expensive).”

What types of products do you produce?

“Our pilot project was to produce lip balms with different flavours, but we’re researching other product categories which are used more often than lip balms.”

Which by-products do you use for the cosmetics and how do you get hold of them?

“The core ingredients are oils which we extract from the seeds of fruits (such as avocado, lemon and watermelon), because their chemical compositions are great for cosmetics.

“We’re currently not able to process the raw material ourselves because the cosmetics sector has very strict regulations, so we source them from supplier farmers.”

What poses the biggest challenge in the production process? Do you have any problems with the variable quality of the seed by-products?

“One of our challenges is the quality of the oil oxidation status, but small variations are okay in the cosmetics world. Natural products are less stable and must be kept in air tight containers, and stored in a cool environment.

“Once the oil oxidises, it smells and consumers don’t like it anymore.

“On the other hand, the carbon footprint for our product is much better than many others due to using side-stream primary materials, but you can’t indicate this on cosmetics labels yet. So we try to communicate the sustainability of our lip balms on the packaging.”

Where can we buy your products?

“You can buy our products in 800 stores in England. Soon, FRUUURSKIN products will also be available in stores in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, as well as online.”

© EIT Food
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