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Cosmetics innovation comes naturally in Bretagne

In north-west France, Bretagne has always been a seawardlooking region with its 2,730km coastline – the longest in the country. It has developed a strong cosmetics industry which draws on its long tradition of thalassotherapy and on its use of marine and plant resources. The regional businesses featured in this article are showcases of this innovative sector.

Turning resources into finished products

The region’s cosmetics industry currently has around 170 businesses operating across the whole value chain: from the recovery of raw materials, testing and formulation through to packaging. Bretagne is France’s top region for marine cosmetics and one of the world’s key providers of marine ingredients.

Discover the directory of players in the cosmetics sector in Bretagne here.

A strong training and research network

Bretagne enjoys a dense network of scientists and students which supports the industry in its innovation. For example, the main marine biotech research teams are based there.
A wide range of courses up to doctorate level are available throughout the region, covering all professions: production of raw resources, formulation, and aesthetic care to R&D in chemistry or biotechnology.

A whole region pulling together

In Bretagne, networks are strong and many. Public and private stakeholders come together to promote its capabilities and to innovate in formulation, packaging, marine bio-resources and tests. To support this drive, the Regional Council has set out priorities in its roadmap which include the development of an innovative cosmetics sector while addressing the digital transition and ecology.

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Public and private stakeholders have ample opportunity to share and develop their insights and knowledge, by jointly attending international trade fairs or at events organised in Bretagne.

Biotech Santé Bretagne, your innovation support partner

site-industries-cosmetiques Un flacon compte-gouttes en verre doté d'un bouchon pipette foncé, incarnant l'innovation cosmétique, se dresse sur une surface rocheuse en Bretagne, entourée d'éclaboussures d'eau.

As a technology innovation centre and with its expertise in cosmetic ingredients, Biotech Santé Bretagne supports businesses from the cosmetics industry in their efforts to innovate. It is partner in national associations and cosmetics clusters (Cosmed, Cosmetic Valley…), and helps project developers in their cosmetics research: bio-sourced packaging, sustainable active ingredients, molecular screening, rheology etc.

Featuring some regional businesses that are driving cosmetics innovation

AGRIMER – Is seaweed the answer to youthful-looking skin?

Leader in the harvesting and development of marine resources, AGRIMER is the only cosmetic laboratory officially recognized by the French state (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant) thanks to its unique know-how in the development of Breton seaweed. AGRIMER laboratories are committed to sustainable innovation.
AGRIMER has developed a new active ingredient: ALGAFILLER®. This super-powerful active ingredient is derived from a self-regenerating macro-alga sourced in Brittany. With a coenocytic structure made up of a single giant cell, it has an exceptio¬nal capacity for healing and infinite regeneration.

This 100% natural ingredient is the result of AGRIMER’s patented upcycling extraction process, which promotes the solubilization and bioavailability of the algae’s active fractions.
The benefits of ALGAFILLER® have been proven through in vitro and in vivo tests:
• Reduce crow’s feet wrinkles depth by 12.3%
• Increase cheek volume by 6%
• Reduce depth of the nasolabial fold by 22.2%
• Increase dermal density by +17.3%
• Increase skin firmness by +15.2%
Learn more about AGRIMER

BERTIN BRETAGNE – Produce your ingredients from pilot scale to industrial scale

Bertin Bretagne, created in 2020 in Vannes (Britany-France), is proposing innovating process in green ex¬traction, refinery and purification of vegetable biomass. We are equipped with an R&D laboratory to develop customer project and with larger machines to produce at larger scales (10kg up to 50t).
We provide you customized services in:
1/ Biomass Extraction
Solvent used: Water/ EtOh / Ethyl Acetate / Acetone / Ecoxtract (Hexane alternative)
2/ Physical refining
Deodorization / Discoloration
Removal of residual solvent traces
Removal of pesticide contaminants
Winterisation: oil dewaxing
Reduction of PV or FFA
3/ Extract Purification and concentration
Concentration and purification of molecules fractions using Molecular Distillation (Ex. Separation of unsaponifiable molecules of virgin oils)
4/ Green Chemical process
Ethyl trans-esterification, saponification, Liquid/liquid separation
Our factory quality standard is FSSC22000/ISO9001 and is certified by ECOCERT as Cosmos Toll Manufacturer.
Learn more about BERTIN BRETAGNE

GLOBAL BEAUTY CONSULTING – Your expert for cosmetic formula development project

GBC, is a cosmetic formulation laboratory located in Quimper. Since 2017, we have been supporting our customers in their cosmetic formula development projects: tailor-made work, from specifications to industrialization. Our mastery of formulation techniques enables us to develop a wide range of formulations for all types of applications.
GBC is a team of experts ready to listen to your needs, whose foundations are expertise and quality, adaptability and openness to the world of cosmetics, and more globally to the world around us, whose interests we also protect to the best of our ability.

Our latest innovation:
Gel aux éclats de karité, the freshness of a gel, the comfort and richness of shea thanks to a lipid phase encapsulation technology, offers a unique texture for a complete skincare product: the creation of this wax/ butter network enables lipophilic active ingredients to be encapsulated; the gelled phase can also contain water-soluble active ingredients.
The aim was to create a “macroencapsulation” that could be industrialized on standard production machines, and thus create a wax/butter network enabling lipophilic active ingredients to be encapsulated without any specific technology.

LESSONIA – Alter-powders: the range of functional and plant ingredients in powder, as alternative to unwanted cosmetic ingredients in formulations

Since 2002, LESSONIA’s core business and expertise has been the design and manufacture of cosmetic ingredients.

At a time when environmental awareness is growing and consumers want to avoid using cosmetic products containing unwanted ingredients, LESSONIA offers new perspectives by proposing a new range of functional ingredients. These plant-based ingredients are technical alternatives to unwanted ingredients. For example, they offer alternatives to synthetic polymers, talc, surfactants and modified starches.
To develop and manufacture this range, LESSONIA is capitalising on its industrial tools for transforming plantbased powders and on its formulation expertise. This is a strategic shift away from its core business of manufacturing exfoliating particles and micronised plant powders.
The range is the result of an R&D project aimed at identifying the potential cosmetic applications of many white and colorless plant raw materials. One of the main objectives of this development was to offer plant-based solutions that would not have any organoleptic impact on the formulas.
His ALTER-POWDERS range contains 6 ingredients whose functions are to emulsify, thicken, gel…
Learn more about LESSONIA

OCEALYS LABORATOIRE – 100% Natural Cosmetic Innovation Laboratory

For 30 years, OCEALYS has supported many cosmetic brands in the creation and development of their full skin care ranges. From small emerging brands to large cosmetic groups, the laboratory is recognized for its expertise, creativity, innovative strength, ethics and sensoriality.

Its latest innovation: Oceanheritage – biomimetic formula
OCEALYS has developed the Ocean¬heritage cosmeceutical skin care range by replacing the water in all formulations with a 100% natural cellular living medium based on fresh seawater. This medium allows exceptional cell survival (98%) unlike demineralized water. The patented Reviviscent complex© has enabled the formulation of biomimetic formulas that restore skin homeostasis, unprecedented properties demonstrated by extensive scientific and clinical tests.

Biotechnologies and Nature at the service of cosmetics
With its Biomolenez R&D center specializing in tailor-made marine active ingredients and plants valorization, OCEALYS offers unique support in the 360° creation of cosmetic ranges (liquid or solid). The laboratory ensures permanent regulatory monitoring and collaborations with numerous scientific centers.

Organic marine and plant resources in the spotlight
OCEALYS promotes marine resources (algae, clays, mother waters, micro algae, etc.) sourced in the most beautiful areas of the Iroise, Molène, Iceland and Corsica marine parks. Plant and cosmopolitan resources are also its strong point: Norman apples, essential oils and endemic plants from Corsica or Provence, turmeric from Reunion Island, Malagasy ravelana butter…
Learn more about OCEALYS ici et ici

ODYCEA – Your supplier of active ingredients led by nature explorers

We draw our inspiration from the heart of plant intelligence by unlocking the secrets of living organisms and of this mysterious nature at the roots of life. The natural substances identified have new and innovative properties or original mechanisms of action. Their effectiveness is scientifically proven. This innovation is intended for the Research and Development departments of french and international cosmetic laboratories.

Odycea is launching Spring Snow, as neuro-soothing and anti-spot shield. It is a unique combination of bioactive molecules from the flowers of wild Blackthorn with synergistic actions that targets the “skin-brain” axis. It meets the needs of skin challenged by the stresses of daily life and modern living. Through its multiple properties, Spring Snow creates a real virtuous circle. It strengthens the barrier function and improves hydration. It inhibits neurogenic inflammation and hypersensitivity of cutaneous nerve fibers. It finally prevents hyperpigmentation induced by stress such as pollution.
Learn more about ODYCEA

PREVOST LABORATORY CONCEPT – Transforming & Transformative Gel

Adapting to developments and keeping up with trends is essential, but maintaining efficiency is a priority. For over 30 years, Prévost Laboratory Concept has been creating formulas (gel, oil, cream, balm, pomade, mist, lotion, serum and many others) with high-performance active ingredients. Our expertise in transforming gels means we can introduce active ingredients in objectivised percentages for immediate action and undeniable effectiveness.

Transformation gel technology combines action on application with action after rinsing. The combination of ACB Fruit Mix from Active Concepts and Symrise’s SymRebootTM L19 in this gel provides gentle exfoliation while preserving skin hydration. ACB Fruit Mix contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), which have a proven track record of improving hydration and stimulating production of the skin’s structural components, with a reverse action on skin atrophy. SymRebootTM L19 comes from biotic technology. It combines protective actions against pollution, promotes antimicrobial peptides and improves hydration by reducing skin dryness.

SCILICIUM OMICSKIN – Expertise in cost-effective sequencing applied to cosmetics

SciLicium is a bioinformatics CRO supporting industry and academia in analysing omics data. Its innovation for the cosmetics industry is called OmicSkin, which offers expertise in cost-effective sequencing applied to cosmetics.

OmicSkin is paving the way for an era of responsible innovation in cosmetics. Our cutting-edge service, based on transcriptomics and artificial intelligence, evaluates the molecular effects of products on skin discs, providing a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of action. Saving valuable time and resources, OmicSkin enables rapid identification of the most promising formulations. In combination with predictive models, it is possible to assess the irritant, inflammatory or sensitising potential of a product and thus prioritise testing.
It goes beyond that. It responds to growing ethical concerns and stringent regulatory standards by significantly reducing animal testing.

SURFACTGREEN – High-performing, bio-based surfactants

SurfactGreen is a French start up specialized in the research, development and production of high-performing, bio-based surfactants, offering an eco-friendlier alternative to petroleum-based products like BTAC or CTAC.
CosmeGreen, their line of upcycled conditioning agents are developed using the Principles of Green Chemistry. CosmeGreen provides superior softness and smoothness to hair and skin while being readily biodegradable. You can create a wide range of textures, solids, emulsions, masks, scrubs, balms…
In 2023, SurfactGreen presented the Gliss & Green HydraMask, and was awarded with the 3rd prize of the formulation contest of SFC at Cosmet’Agora 2023.

The Gliss & Green HydraMask is a 99.9% natural glycerin mask which will bring hydration, radiance and softness to the skin. It is a natural wave that glides over your skin, providing a unique touch thanks to our innovative cationic biobased conditioning agent. An incomparable sensoriality with a zest of vitamin C, for an instant hydration and radiance ! Moreover, the HydraMask formulation process is very simple.
Learn more about SURFACTGREEN

TECHNATURE – Technature’s WoW Powders: Ethical, Convenient, and Innovative!

Our powders are making waves in the beauty world. They’re eco-friendly, portable, and preservative-free, aligning perfectly with the growing environmental concerns of consu¬-mers. Ideal for those seeking novel beauty rituals, they offer a unique product experience.
But don’t be fooled, these formulas are more than just practical; they’re crafted with expertise, whether in formulation or process control. Once rehydrated, they unveil a variety of textures (gel, cream, mousse, etc.) and cater to diverse skincare needs.
Powders have always been at the heart of Technature. From masks to scrubs, cleansers, and hygiene pro¬ducts, our powder formulations are extensive. And the best part? We’re constantly exploring new possibilities.

Imagine a powder that transforms into a cream without rehydration—our latest innovation brings this dream to life. It offers a guaranteed Wow effect and a personalized formula (active ingredients, applications, color, etc.).
There is no doubt, powders can always surprise us and have a bright future ahead of them.
Learn more about TECHNATURE

Don’t miss the next events in Brittany

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POLYMERIX, a leading event on innovative solutions based on bio-based polymers
From 26 to 28 June 2024 in Rennes

COSM’ING, a leading event for cosmetic ingredients and biotechnology
From 10 to 13 June 2025 in Saint-Malo (France)

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