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Synthetic biology in cosmetics: limitless perspectives

Growing consumer’s environmental impact awareness has made sustainable and bio-based products one of the fastest-growing areas of personal care. There have been transformations to make the cosmetics industry more sustainable: waterless formulations, compostable packaging, upcycling, recycling, microplastic ban...

But have you already heard about synthetic biology? For 6 years now, Sederma has been collaborating with Alganelle, a French innovative biotech company at the cutting edge of  synthetic biology. Thanks to this partnership, Sederma is on the right track to be one of the first companies to offer active ingredients derived from this avant-garde technology.

Learn about synthetic biology and numerous sustainable benefits to produce molecules of interest for cosmetic applications.

Synthetic biology in cosmetics limitless perspectives

Synthetic biology in cosmetics: pushing back frontiers of molecule synthesis


Using science to use micro-organisms as safe and reliable cell factories to produce specific molecules of interest that can’t be found in nature. Here we are! Synthetic biology is born. 

Mathematical modelisation / bio-informatic, molecular biology, microbiology, genetic engineering, chemistry, engineering sciences, automation…: Synthetic biology is a combination of several scientific disciplinaries. It uses rational engineering to create complex biological circuits, networks or whole organisms that do not exist in nature or to reconstruct existing systems by modifying them. The concept is to use (bio) bricks that are standardised and able to be put together to fulfil a function. This disruptive bio-based technology allows tailor-made production of recombinant proteins and peptides, antioxidants, pigments, UV filters, biomaterials, polysaccharides, … with new and optimised abilities.

The potential of innovation becomes limitless allowing to synthesise molecules that cannot be produced by organic chemistry. Synthetic biology also permits time and cost savings as performance and efficiency are increased.

Synthetic biology in cosmetics: a safe bio-based technology

Eco-conscious beauty consumers can be reassured! Genetic engineering modifies the initial strains to make Genetically Modified Microorganisms (GMM) produce specific molecules of interest. However, a confined and controlled environment guarantees neither any diffuse loss in the environment nor GMM in the final ingredient. 

This must be also taken more widely in comparison to genetic modifications on the whole organisms as with plants. Furthermore, there are some steps of downstream processing to finally recover the molecules of interest, only. 


CB in Conversation with Sederma: synthetic biology, a safe bio based technology

Synthetic biology in cosmetics: Sustainable benefits


Synthetic biology is disrupting the personal care market. Allowing the production of limitless molecules of interest makes it more differentiating for cosmetic companies. 

This high technology also tackles societal and environmental key challenges. While waiting for some improvements in chemical synthesis, synthetic biology positions itself as a sustainable alternative, avoiding use of solvents (sometimes dangerous) and presence of undesired residual molecules. 



Preserving the environment


  • CO2 capture, O2 production

  • Low nutritional needs to grow

  • Low environmental footprint thanks to a total confinement

  • Reducing greenhouse gases

  • Decarbonisation of industries

  • No use of hazardous solvents

  • Accepted for naturalness in the ISO 16128


Preserving the biodiversity and securing the supply chain


  • 100% biobased AND infinitely renewable

  • NOT obtained from scarce resources

and/or disturbing ecosystems

and/or overexploiting marine and land resources

  • No infectious agent to humans



CB in Conversation with Sederma: sustainable benefits of synthetic biology

Upcoming products from Sederma produced with synthetic biology


Microalgae was identified by the EU commission as a novel cell factory and in the 50 most significant bio-based innovations for the next 5-20 years (report released in April 2021). Alganelle has developed a disruptive technology and unique knowhow in genetic and metabolic engineering of different species of microalgae and cyanobacteria. Starting from photosynthetic microalgae, Sederma, thanks to its partnership with Alganelle will be able to offer a biobased version of one of its peptides. Another collaboration should allow the production of ceramides from synthetic biology.

Stay connected with Sederma to be among the first to benefit from these sustainable innovations!


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CB in Conversation with Sederma: upcoming products from synthetic biology

Microbial biotechnology: lab technician observing microorganisms under microscope

Microbial biotechnology in cosmetics

Microbial biotechnology in cosmetics: Sederma has chosen to develop microbial biotechnology to produce molecules of interest in quantities without causing any damage to the environment. Discover our range issued from microbial biotechnology with guaranteed efficacy, reproducibility and absolute sustainability.

Plant biotechnology in cosmetics: Sederma plant cell culture test tube with plant growing out the top with clouds background

Plant biotechnology in cosmetics

Plant biotechnology in cosmetics: Sederma has chosen to develop plant biotechnology to produce molecules of interest in quantities without causing any damage to the environment. Discover our plant biotechnology range with guaranteed efficacy, reproducibility and absolute sustainability

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