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An innovation to limit the toxicity of sunscreen products on the marine environment

At Cosmetic 360, Innov&Sea, a young start-up based in Nice, presented its ecotoxicity test, which sets a new standard for assessing the impact of sunscreen products on marine ecosystems. This test in vitro based on cell cultures differs considerably from traditional ecotoxicity tests using living marine organisms. According to Innov&Sea, it represents a major innovation in the suncare sector, which has been growing rapidly for years.

The test can be used successfully at every stage of formulation, from cosmetic ingredients to formulation blocks and finished products.

"Technology in vitro used offers the advantage of not involving the destruction of living organisms, as is the case with traditional ecotoxicity tests, which are often viewed negatively by consumers. In addition to offering excellent reproducibility and accuracy, this test is fast and available all year round.says Dr Pauline Cotinat, President of Innov&Sea.

The test is based on cell cultures of a recognized sentinel organism of coastal marine ecosystems, an invertebrate belonging to the same class as reef-building corals. This organism lives in symbiosis with a microalga and undergoes the same bleaching phenomenon, reflecting the state of health of the marine reef ecosystem. The test enables manufacturers wishing to take an eco-responsible approach to optimize their formulas in order to limit the impact on the marine ecosystem. It offers brands the opportunity to create products that are more attractive to consumers.

This test is already being used by several cosmetics brands wishing to position themselves in the eco-responsible products market.


Innov&Sea in a few words

- A start-up created in February 2023 and based in Nice, spin-off from the Université Côte d'Azur.

- Recognized scientific expertise in marine biology, cell cultures and stress response.

- Supported by CNRS innovation, Bpifrance and the Provence Côte d'Azur incubator.

- Innov&Sea ecotoxicity tests can be applied to all types of suncare products, creams, lotions, sticks, etc., and are available to brands, contract manufacturers and producers of cosmetic ingredients.

Photo credits:

  • suncream-1337629_1280: DR
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