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Sustainability Meets Beauty: ABSORPTION Algae Black™

Traditional black pigments in beauty products are often derived from toxic and finite resources like crude oil and coal, posing ethical, environmental and health concerns. In addition, the beauty industry faces regulatory hurdles in adopting new colourants, emphasising the need for industry collaboration and public awareness.

After five years of development, THE UNSEEN Beauty unveils its pioneering ABSORPTION lengthening mascara and long-wearing pencil eyeliner duo, showcasing a biology-built true black pigment better for you and the planet: Algae Black™.


Challenges in Conventional Black Pigment Production: 

THE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae BlackTHE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae Black


01. Carbon black 

Annually, 8.1 million tons of carbon black are globally produced, made from burning crude oil or natural gas. Used in cosmetics, its excessive use correlates with cancer and organ harm. Traditional production methods are unsustainable and emit approximately 4 kg of CO2 eq. per 1 kg of carbon black. 

02. Iron oxide 

Iron oxide is obtained through mining or chemical synthesis, causing environmental harm like soil erosion, habitat loss, and biodiversity decline. Mining can pollute water, especially if near water bodies, and production releases harmful pollutants into air and water. Stringent regulations are necessary to mitigate these impacts. The process involves high energy consumption, which also leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions. 


THE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae Black

How we made ABSORPTION Algae Black™ happen?

Through a partnership with biomaterials company Living Ink, THE UNSEEN Beauty harnesses sustainable algae technologies to create ophthalmologically- and dermatologically approved colour cosmetic products using carbon-negative upcycled pigments derived from algae organisms; Algae Black™. This groundbreaking innovation reduces carbon emissions by 200% compared to typical carbon black production.

Using 45lbs of algae ink saves 22.5lbs of petroleum, reducing environmental impact. Algae Black™ also removes -59 kg of CO2, the equivalent to planting four trees, as algae absorb and store carbon dioxide for over a century. 

How is ABSORPTION Algae Black™ created? 

Algae Black™ is made by subjecting waste algae biomass to a pyrolysis process, burning it without oxygen. This prevents the carbon stored by the algae from turning into carbon dioxide. Instead, the carbon forms a char, serving as a pigment. To achieve substantial carbon reduction, mass-scale production and utilization of the pigment are necessary.

THE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae BlackTHE UNSEEN Beauty ABSORPTION collection with Algae Black

Why we made ABSORPTION Algae Black™ happen and what we want next?

ABSORPTION Algae Black™ not only offers a climate-positive alternative to polluting carbon black but also signifies a crucial step in reducing environmental impact and meeting the demand for sustainable options in the beauty sector. The ABSORPTION collection marks a significant shift in cosmetic colour production, aligning with THE UNSEEN Beauty’s mission to pioneer innovative and conscious choices in colour cosmetics.

With this groundbreaking climate-positive black pigment, we're leading the charge in ethical beauty innovation, setting new sustainability standards, and encouraging collaboration to revolutionise beauty while preserving the planet’s future. Stay tuned for more exciting products with improved colour alternatives!

Learn more about the challenges facing the colour cosmetics industry > 

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