ISC3

Cryosmetics – Caring for healthy skin and the environment

ISC3 – International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre

Uruguay-based start-up Cryosmetics develops all-natural skincare products that are free of any synthetic chemicals in order to promote skin health while also being friendly with its microbiome and to the environment. The start-up applies scientific knowledge to identify natural ingredients that best meet the biological needs of the skin while also considering their environmental impact. For these reasons, Cryosmetics has been chosen as the ISC3 Start-up of the Month for February 2022.

Cryosmetics Founders – Vanesa Piattoni & Federico Ciappina, photo by Cryosmetics

Cryosmetics' all-natural skincare products, photo by Brian Ojeda

Microbiome-friendly products free of any synthetic chemicals, photo by Brian Ojeda

Year of Foundation: 2019

Addresses the following SDGs: SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 14 (life below water), SDG 15 (life on land)

Website: https://www.cryosmetics.com/

From scientist to entrepreneur

Cryosmetics started as an idea in 2017, when Vanesa Piattoni (CEO and co-founder of Cryosmetics), started to get involved in the cosmetics industry. One day she thought: “Where will I really enjoy applying the acquired knowledge to do something that improves our health and environment?”  She began her entrepreneurial journey by combining her professional background in biology and biotechnology with her passion for skin care. Vanesa's first two years as an entrepreneur were a completely new learning experience about what it truly means to be an entrepreneur and to understand the industry. This experience shaped the idea that led to founding Cryosmetics in 2019 when Vanesa met Federico Ciappina (COO & co-founder of Cryosmetics) at GriDX, an Argentinian start-up program that teams up scientists with talented entrepreneurs and helps them in the creation of new generation biotech startups. “When we understood the composition of cosmetic products, we identified that even when we were interested in developing natural and biotechnological ingredients for the industry, these would end up mixed with synthetic chemicals in most cases,” Vanesa explains. Also, because of her biotech background, she was aware of the impact that some products could have for the biodiversity of the skin microbiome. Thus, they decided to design a process for producing 100 percent natural products that are both sustainable and shelf-stable.

Microbiome-friendly products minimizing the environmental impact

The innovation driving the start-up is a combination of analysis and processes that allow it to sustainably produce 100 percent natural and effective skincare products or even makeup free of any other synthetic chemicals, using a sustainable process that can be run under GMP practices and resulting in products that are approved by the health regulatory agencies. Cryosmetics also applies the scientific method to design microbiome friendly products that feel good on the skin, meet the biological needs of the skin, and help to mitigate the impact of extrinsic aging factors that prompt skin damage. The start-up is also concerned with developing safe and effective products avoiding animal testing, so they seek providers who offer alternative assays by utilizing other biotechnology approaches for these purposes. “Sometimes chemical modification is a strategy to elaborate more stable molecules and even when this is very useful in some cases, when they are used massively and they end up in our land or water resources, these substances are highly contaminating and accumulative, nature cannot restore them by the natural biogeochemical cycles. Even when some natural molecules can be exactly replicated by synthetic chemistry, their elaboration process should be sustainable to minimize the impact on our planet,” Vanesa explains.  For these reasons, Cryosmetics tries to implement only natural and recyclable resources throughout the entire manufacturing process, including the supply chain and packaging. For the packaging, they use glass or aluminum bottles, kraft paper and cardboard, and screen printing. For their supply chain, the start-up chooses natural ingredients preferred from organic culture, cold pressed vegetable oils preferred unrefined (some of them from seeds wasted in the food industry), and local providers when possible. The manufacturing process begins with natural ingredients, and the waste generated is compostable. They avoid wasting water during the elaboration process, using organic solvents for active compound extraction, and adding any other synthetic chemicals to their products.

Next up at Cryosmetics

Cryosmetics is currently seeking funding to develop a formula-prediction software prototype that will be linked to their processes in order to sustainably elaborate formulation designs based on skin and microbiome needs and lifestyle data inputs. The startup is primarily focused on growth in Uruguay, but it plans to expand into Chile and Argentina as well. Cryosmetics, who joined the ISC3 Global Start-up Service in October 2021, actively contributes to SDG 3 (good health and well-being), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), SDG 14 (life below water), SDG 15 (life on land).