Hair & Skin Care Fueling Boom in Upcycled Cosmetic Ingredients

It’s the capitalist version of “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure:” Skin and hair-care brands delving into food production waste for vitamin-rich fruit rinds or exfoliating nut shells are nearly doubling the global market for “upcycled” cosmetic ingredients.


That’s the projection from the Upcycled Cosmetic Ingredients Market Report by Allied Market Research. The study says the market size for upcycled cosmetic ingredients in 2021 was $231.5 million, and is projected to escalate to $433.5 million by 2031, a 6.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Fueling the boom are cosmetic companies reaping the benefits of “food side streams” —  waste items traditionally discarded during food production. These include nut shells, processed grains, plant leaves and petals, tree bark, coffee grounds, cooking charcoal, and fruit rinds, seeds, and extracts.





Skin care has consumed the lion’s share of upcycled ingredients thus far, but hair care is the fastest growing market segment, says the report, which lists the CAGR for hair products as 7.37%.

At the forefront of the movement are Upcircle and The Upcycled Beauty Company, which promotes indie brands that feature food byproducts.


Major brands that have championed upcycling include Stella McCartney, whose skincare line uses olive squalane (a byproduct of olive oil production) and The Body Shop, which includes upcycled raspberry seed oil in its products.