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Alissa Marrapodi

Alissa Marrapodi is the managing editor for inside cosmeceuticals and production editor for Natural Products INSIDER. She has a passion for all things natural, including food, cosmetics and supplements. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in journalism. She loves hiking, photography, red wine and traveling.

Road Trip to New Cosmetic Ingredients


Yesterday, I had the privilege of attending a cosmetic seminar hosted by Brescia, Italy-based Kalichem Italia Srl and Extracts and Ingredients Ltd. Kalichem has a large ingredient profile, suited for many personal care applications, including skin care, anti-aging, hair care, oral care and more. 

A few highlights were:

Apalight® versus titanium dioxide (TiO2). Apalight is a micro-dispersed mineral active that enhances UV-B protection and shows some anti-aging qualities, too, boosting the efficacy of sunscreen applications via prevention, protection and treatment, according to a study published in SOFW-Journal in 2009—A New Biologically Compatible Physical Sunscreen with skin Firming Properties. Additionally, it can substitute for TiO2. During the touch-and-try session, I “got my hands dirty" and applied two formulas to my skin with the exact same ingredients except one had TiO2 and the other used Apalight. The Apalight formulation was smoother, silkier and it had better spreadability. It rubbed into my skin better and it didn’t leave a white, chalky film. I’m a journalist, not a cosmetic formulator or manufacturer or scientist, so I was impressed and surprised to know that swapping out just one ingredient can make such a difference. It’s not very often I get to see the industry “hands on" (no pun intended).

Its oral care product—Kalident—also had very promising lab results. It’s able to enter into the small cracks on the surface of the tooth to restore smoothness. It also adheres to plaque, causing a reduction; and it can re-mineralize, making it a good substitute for fluoride.

Lastly, its family of olive-oil based products—Olivoil—included three surfactants, three emulsifiers and two active principles. The base of all the products is fatty acids derived from olive oil. Each sub family uses the same base but then a protein, an amino acid, etc., is added to create an emulsifier and/or a surfactant. The entire Olivoil family is PEG-free and ECOCERT. Why olive oil? Well, from its 2006 study published in the SOFW-Journal—Vegetable Oils – The Base of New Active Principles—olive oil had the highest amount of monounsaturated fatty acids over peanut, sunflower, maize, soya and coconut oil. It offers natural triglycerides with high physiological skin compatibility. It’s also able to make contact with vital cells. And with the natural trend growing stronger, olive oil is a great natural alternative. Formulators and consumers are looking for PEG-free surfactants and emulsifiers with high efficacy.

It’s interesting to see new natural ingredients that are being introduced in Europe and soon, here in the United States. It’s also encouraging to know many personal care companies are making strides to reduce their carbon footprint, from the ingredients they source from to how they manufacture and produce their products.

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