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Confronting The Challenges in Colour Cosmetics

THE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae BlackAs an innovator in colour cosmetics we're up against a range of issues today, from ethical concerns to environmental impact. The entire beauty industry is grappling with these complex challenges. One big obstacle to innovation is the difficulty of introducing new colorants (pigments) into makeup due to outdated regulations.

Back in the 1960s, the US government passed regulations to safeguard consumers from harmful chemicals in colour additives. This led to the creation of a list of approved colorants known as 'Annex IV.' This regulation ensures that colour pigments used in cosmetics are safe for consumers. However, managing this list comes with significant costs, initially covered by the 'Toilet Goods Association', a group of major beauty manufacturers.

Our understanding of ingredients has evolved over the past 50 years, leading to the removal of once-deemed unsafe colorants from the approved list. Consequently, the number of approved colorants in 'Annex IV' has decreased over time.

Adding new colorants to the list has become more challenging due to the high costs and limitations in testing methodologies. For instance, animal testing, rightly banned, has limited the ways to ensure new colorants' safety. Despite ongoing research, alternative testing methods for toxicological tests are still lacking.

THE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae Black

Complicating matters further, regulations vary from country to country. While registering new ingredients is not impossible, it requires significant funding and political support. We believe collaboration and raising public awareness are key to addressing this issue.

Some brands ignore these rules these regulations by using unapproved and potentially unsafe ingredients, often concealed under unique codes and marketed as "green." Lack of transparency and consumer awareness adds to the industry's challenges.

Did you know that most black pigments used in beauty products are unsustainable? They are often derived from toxic sources like crude oil, coal, or non-renewable resources like iron oxide, obtained through unethical mining practices. Our mission is to pioneer innovative solutions in colour cosmetics, starting with creating a sustainable and ethically produced black pigment that meets regulatory standards and performs as well as traditional pigments.

After five years of development, we're excited to introduce the ABSORPTION collection, featuring the world's first non-toxic and sustainable algae black™ pigment in beauty, made from upcycled algae biomass. This collection offers a high-performance mascara and eyeliner that's better for the planet.


THE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae Black


Through a partnership with Living Ink, we utilise sustainable algae technologies to produce ophthalmologically- and dermatologically-approved colour cosmetics using carbon-negative upcycled pigments derived from algae organisms—algae black™. This groundbreaking innovation significantly reduces carbon emissions by 200% compared to typical carbon black production.

ABSORPTION marks a significant shift in cosmetic colour production, aligning with our mission to lead ethical innovation in colour cosmetics and set new sustainability standards while inviting collaboration to revolutionise beauty and protect the planet's future.

It's time for the beauty industry to step up and address climate change by challenging outdated regulations to create sustainable colour pigments. Together, we can overcome these challenges and establish new norms for responsible beauty practices.






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