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Zkin Explains Green Science

The natural beauty world owes a lot, in fact everything, to green science. It is what allows for natural skincare and makeup to be as good, if not better than its potentially toxic counterpart. But what exactly is it? and how does it apply to our daily moisturiser? We put the hard questions to one of the industry leaders, Zkin, who have not only fully harnessed the power of green science in their products, but have the clinical studies to back it up! (stay tuned for more on this!)

The natural beauty world owes a lot, in fact everything, to green science. It is what allows for natural skincare and makeup to be as good, if not better than its potentially toxic counterpart. But what exactly is it? and how does it apply to our daily moisturiser? We put the hard questions to one of the industry leaders, Zkin, who have not only fully harnessed the power of green science in their products, but have the clinical studies to back it up (stay tuned for more on this!)

In a nutshell, what is green science?

Green Science is the application of eco-friendly thinking to scientific disciplines – including energy, plastics, medicine and beauty.

How does it differ from traditional 'chemical' science?

Green science aims to replace the traditional oil-based manufacturing methods, with non-toxic, non-polluting alternatives.

zk'in is more than green science – it's ethics based Honest Beauty.

Why has green science taken so long to develop and get to where it is today?

While the world largely recognises green science and the sustainability it delivers as necessary, I believe there is still confusion as to the motive. For example, is sustainability motivated primarily by a desire to protect ecosystems and life on earth? Or, is it motivated primarily by finding ways to satisfy human needs more efficiently? This is the big question, and the reason it has taken so long for progress to have been made.

Sustainability science scholar, William Clark, was asked in an interview "what is the most important question in conservation and sustainability science?" Clark (2006) responded, "What is, and ought to be, the human use of the Earth? 1

I agree with Clark, there has to be an ethical component added to green science to ensure the direction stays pure and balanced.

It's for this reason we built zk'in on an ethical platform, as we want to be remembered for the positive legacy we leave on everything we touch. The 'z' in the brand name ties in with our zero tolerance policy to anything less than the best. There are no parabens, no sulphates, no petrochemicals and no unnatural ingredients in any zk'in certified organic skincare product, achieving naturally beautiful and clinically proven results, free from worry about toxins or synthetic ingredients.

zk'in is more than green science – it's ethics based Honest Beauty.

Why is the use of natural ingredients better than chemical ones? How are they better for our skin, our health and the environment?

Our skin is our barrier to the world often referred to as our first line of defense against infection. It makes sense to look after it and not expose it to chemicals that could compromise its effectiveness.

For example, most mothers have experienced cracked knuckles from cleaning with chemicals, the skin is stripped of moisture and literally cracks open like a cut. That is an obvious physical effect, but what about what is happening on the inside of our bodies, what we can't see? I started creating skincare to aid in my recovery from a tumour growing on my optic nerve, so for me this question is very important and believe it should be for everyone. zk'in has zero tolerance to petrochemicals and synthetics – this includes parabens and sulphates.

While organic skincare is made from pesticide free organic raw materials, most organic beauty standards allow for the use of petrochemical preservatives in their products.

At zk'in we use a 100% natural preservative system which earned us an R&D grant in 2014 from the Australian Government for contributing new knowledge to Science.

What are some of the big advances green science has made in recent years within the beauty industry?

Looking to nature for performance ingredients (instead of trying to reproduce nature, synthetically in a lab).
The extraction and cultivation methods have become much more refined, so that the natural ingredients retain their potency. For example, our organic colloidal oatmeal is cryogenically frozen to keep it fresh and prevent bacterial growth, this way the material does not need to be steamed and retains all the delicate oat oils that contribute to skin health.
During the avian (bird) flu outbreak, Korean Scientists observed that chickens fed a diet including kimchii recovered more quickly than those fed conventional dry feed. Consequently, a cosmetic company explored the anti-microbial properties of kimchii, isolating a key peptide with antimicrobial properties. This resulted in the development of a powerful preservative, Leuconstoc, used in zk'in products. Beauty Bonus: Due to the isolated peptide, the inclusion of this ingredient can increase moisturisation of the skin by up to 10%.

What needs to be improved on / discovered?

I would love to see surfactants made from organic agricultural waste. These are desperately needed, and are in development stage but not yet to market.
A fantastic development is being reported from UK researchers to overcome the rising demand for palm oil. A little-known yeast has been found to have nearly identical qualities to palm oil without the environmentally harmful side effects (eg deforestation). Early tests suggest it can produce an oil that is thicker than palm oil and the yeast can grow on nearly any organic feedstock. This means it can be produced using agricultural waste products such as wheat straw which would normally be burned. This would make the reduction in carbon footprint two-fold as no extra agricultural land would have to be cultivated. This sounds like green science with ethics, and can't wait to try it!

1 - Clark, W. C. 12 questions to...William C. Clark. Gaia 15, 164–169 (2006).
2 - Expression Cosmetique, 2010, May-June 03, p 107.

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