News From Latin America

Beauty is a Natural Throughout Brazil

By Daniela Ferreira, Correspondent | March 5, 2014

The Brazilian people have more awareness about environmental issues than consumers in other countries—and now there’s data to prove it! According to the results of a recent study by the Union for Ethical Bio Trade (UBET), 96% of Brazilians are aware of the term “biodiversity” and 51% of respondents can define the term correctly. That puts Brazilians ahead of consumers in many other countries, including France, China, Switzerland, South Korea, England, Japan, the US, Peru, Germany and India.

Other findings from the UBET survey showed that 81% of Brazilians are concerned about the origin of natural ingredients that are used to manufacture cosmetics, foods and beverages. This global study also showed that 84% of Brazilians would not consume products from brands and companies that do not utilize sustainable supply chains. Moreover, 87% of respondents said they wished that these companies would disclose more information about the subject.

Luckily for Brazilians, their country is chock full of sustainably sourced ingredients such as murumuru, cupuaçu, açaí, andiroba.
These Brazil nuts are powerful actives with moisturizing, nourishing and antioxidant properties. They are recommended for hair and body treatments because, unlike synthetic products, they do not harm the environment and, what’s more, harvesting these natural materials is of economic benefit to the local communities. That puts Brazil at the forefront of a growing trend among consumers who have, in recent years, become much more demanding and concerned with the quality of ingredients, the ethical sourcing of these ingredients and the environmental impact of harvesting.

As a result, marketers and suppliers will be required to certify that their products and ingredients benefit both the communities and the ecosystems that bear fruit. Companies will have to be more and more open about their processes and have to be more prepared for the strengthening of the natural ingredients market.

In recent years, the Brazilian cosmetics, toiletries and fragrance market has come of age, and it is now the No. 3 market in the world, trailing Japan (No. 2) and the US. As the Brazilian success story grows, outsiders are taking notice. Next month at In-Cosmetics in Hamburg, Germany, the first country focus will shine a light on Brazil’s vibrant personal care market, which has posted 10% growth each year for the past 17 years to reach $14.2 billion in 2012. With that in mind, we asked several leading Brazilian suppliers about what’s new for 2014.

The company specializes in the development of sustainable products and technologies and is the sponsor of In-Cosmetics’ first country focus, which will explore how Brazil has become a powerhouse in the global cosmetics and toiletries market. Beraca’s focus on innovation extends not only to its high-performance active ingredients, but to its supply chain relationships as well. Those relationships extend from the rural communities responsible for the sustainable sourcing of raw materials to the end consumer.

Through its Sociobiodiversity Enhancement Program, Beraca has inspired companies from more than 40 countries to use natural and organic ingredients sustainably sourced from the Brazilian biodiversity. Beraca’s efforts have improved the lives of more than 1,600 people, while preserving Brazil’s precious natural resources. Here are four key ingredients highlighted by the company:

Murumuru Butter: Extracted from the seed of an Amazonian palm tree, the Murumuru butter is rich in lauric, myristic and oleic acid. It is also a powerful emollient, which nourishes and moisturizes the hair and skin. When used in hair care products, it has an anti-frizz effect, reducing hair volume and providing softness and shine.

Buriti Oil: Rich in provitamin A, oleic acid and carotenoids, buriti oil is an excellent source of tocopherols, which provide superior antioxidant activity. Due to its moisturizing, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, buriti oil can be developed into a wide range of beauty products including sunscreens and hair conditioners.

Beraclays: A range of 13 naturally colored clays sustainably extracted from the soil of different regions of Brazil, they have various applications in the cosmetic industry and do not contain artificial dyes or pigments. Their tones and shades are variations of minerals and oligoelements found in nature. Beraclays’ decontamination process does not use radiation, nor generate toxic waste, allowing their organic properties to be preserved. The clays are loaded with minerals with clinically proven benefits, and can be used for various purposes, primarily as a natural colorant for creams, masks and lotions.

Patauá Oil: This is natural moisturizer that contains high levels of fatty acid and protein to protect and nourish the scalp. In a 21-day study on chemically-damaged scalps, Beraca’s patauá oil significantly reduced scalp redness and lowered the flaking rate by 43%. Obtained through a vacuum refining method, patauá oil has a high oleic acid content (75%) and a light, non-greasy feel. It can be used as a substitute for olive oil in skin care and hair care formulations due to similarities in their fatty acid chain.

Like all other ingredients featured in Beraca’s RainForest Specialties range, patauá oil is sustainably manufactured, ensuring the conservation of natural resources, social and economic welfare of local communities involved in its production, and the traceability of its supply chain. 

Another Brazilian manufacturer taking part in the In-Cosmetics’ In-Focus event is Chemyunion, which has been developing ingredients for cosmetics and pharmaceuticals for 21 years. The company relies on an open innovation model that integrates a network of universities and partners to generate new ideas, concepts, technologies and products. Chemyunion works with clients through all stages of product development, including efficacy testing and formulation support, to deliver value for customers and consumers. The company manufactures actives and excipients that add value and enable chemists to create formulas with new sensory profiles and novel textures.

With a presence in 29 countries, Chemyunion is committed to sustainability, using raw materials of vegetable origin from Brazil and around the world. The company uses a wide range of technologies including super critical fluid apolar extraction, organic synthesis and delivery system. Chemyunion exports a range of products, including:

Emulfeel: This vegetable-derived structuring agent is a cold process emulsifier. A stabilizer in cold or hot process, it promotes sensory improvement in different formulations. Emulfeel also reduces the formulation components and reduces costs by bringing more benefits for marketers, consumers and the environment.

Seriseal and Seridefrizz Intense Salon: This collection of hair care ingredients promises to restore the hair fiber, decrease frizz, close cuticles and temporarily straighten hair.

Investiga Institutos de Pesquisa
Since 1993 Investiga Institutos de Pesquisa has been attending to customers from different countries in the fields of cosmetics, toiletries, fragrances, pharmaceuticals, OTC, household, food, beverages and paints. Investiga was formed by a group of companies specializing in the evaluation of products from conception to launch.

Scientifically integrated with the most recent and advanced studies in its line of business, the Investiga Group develops internal and external research projects as well as technological innovations. Scientific projects in the areas of molecular and cellular biology, focused on the study of skin physiology and stem cells have been developed in partnership with research centers of international reputation, based in universities such as the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP).

The Investiga Group comprises the following companies:
Allergisa: Allergisa is pioneer in its field, performing efficacy and safety studies and tests for dermatological products. Certified by ANVISA (the National Health Surveillance Agency), Allergisa’s studies are accepted by regulatory agencies all over the world.
Perception: This firm specializes in sensory analysis and consumer studies in the qualitative and quantitative fields, for a range of product categories including cosmetics, home and personal care, food and beverages, paints and pet food.

Dosage: Dosage provides laboratory analysis, and chemical and biological studies. Dosage enables clients to outsource quality control of raw materials and finished products.

Tridskin: This firm offers in vitro solutions for safety and efficacy tests, which support the development and research activities of products and raw materials.

According to CEO Samuel Guerra Filho, the big issue facing his company and others is developing ethical safety tests to meet the expectations of society. He explains that there are two spheres: The first is ingredients selected by socio-botany, based on local customs and therefore already analyzed toxicologically. In this case, tests are needed to confirm safety and efficacy. The second is entirely new ingredients, which demand extensive pre-clinical testing. In the future, Filho predicts that systems will be biologically built from human cells that imitate the organs. These “bioidentical” systems will be globally validated and will safely assess risk potential of materials.

Ongoing Issues
Although Brazilian companies are at the forefront of cosmetic research, obstacles imposed by Brazilian legislation have hampered the innovation stimulus based on the use of biodiversity. ABIHPEC, (the Brazilian Association of Personal Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance) and other entities have worked with the government to solve these issues.

Ultimately, there is hope that Brazil will unify its position regarding its immense natural resources; a position that will create a new model of development to encourage the sustainable use of the components from biodiversity and provide social and economic benefits to all of Brazilian society.

Daniela Ferreira
Mobile: 55-11-993880867

Daniela Ferreira is a marketing and communication professional in both consumer and B2B cosmetic markets. With a degree in social communication and postgraduate work in business administration, her expertise includes managing and launching products, communication planning, market studies and analysis, and identifying new business opportunities. She also has beauty blog (, and is a makeup artist and image consultant.