Covalo X The Upcycled Beauty Company

Beyond Sustainability Claims

As part of the Covalo #BetterAgeing campaign, we are exploring new upcycled actives that preserve the integrity of the skin barrier and support skin health.

In recent years, the launch of upcycled materials for personal care has surged, emphasising sustainable sourcing and provenance. However, sustainability alone doesn't drive or maintain sales, whether as a B2B ingredient or a B2C product. Upcycling transforms waste feedstocks or by-products from one process into something of greater value. Today, we're discussing this value—upcycling extends beyond sustainability claims to offer innovative and quality raw materials with effective results.

So, let’s delve into the upcycled actives (launched within the last year) that can enhance better ageing benefits in formulations…


Our perception of age is largely visual and psychological. An uneven skin tone is often subconsciously interpreted as a sign of ageing, making individuals appear older than they are. According to studies, this visual cue is more immediately noticeable and impactful than the presence of wrinkles.

Maintaining an even skin tone can be a more effective strategy in better ageing skincare than solely focusing on fine line and wrinkle reduction. Products and treatments that target hyperpigmentation, sunspots, skin clarity, and overall complexion can have a profound impact on how a person feels and looks.

AC ExoTone from Active Concepts
INCI: Water & Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract & Phospholipids

AC ExoTone is described as a cutting-edge skincare ingredient designed to balance the skin by harnessing the power of BioAuthentic Exosomes derived from botanical sources. These natural vesicles mimic the behaviour of human exosomes, effectively targeting brown spots, boosting cellular renewal, and evening out skin tone. By promoting a harmonious complexion, AC ExoTone reduces visible hyperpigmentation and enhances overall clarity for better ageing and healthy skin.

Additionally, it features upcycled apples, some of which are sourced from the Lincoln County Apple Festival in North Carolina (NC), USA. Active Concepts’ headquarters are in Lincolnton, NC, and each year there is an apple festival that attracts more than 80,000 visitors. Five local apple growers take part in the festival, and the apples that don’t sell are normally discarded. Active Concepts upcycles this would-be waste as part of the apple extract encapsulated in their Exosome delivery system.


Inflammation triggers a cascade of biochemical responses that can damage the skin's structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin. This damage weakens the skin barrier, making it less effective at protecting against environmental aggressors like pollutants, bacteria, and allergens.

Reducing skin inflammation is vital for protecting and maintaining a healthy skin barrier. It helps prevent damage, maintains hydration, reduces sensitivity, promotes healing, and enhances overall skin appearance. By keeping inflammation in check, calmed skin can remain strong, healthy, and more resilient against both external and internal stressors.

Paradisyl from Biolie
INCI: Citrus Paradisi Fruit Extract & Aqua & Propanediol

Paradisyl is a natural active ingredient derived from the waste peel of Citrus paradisi (grapefruit). Targeted for its soothing properties, Paradisyl is rich in bioactive compounds that help to calm and comfort irritated skin. It works by reducing inflammation and redness, providing a gentle, calming effect on sensitive and stressed-out skin. Additionally, Paradisyl enhances the skin's natural barrier function, promoting hydration and resilience. This makes it an ideal ingredient for better ageing formulations while also targeting sensitive, reactive, or inflamed skin.

Paradisyl is manufactured using Biolie’s patented zero-waste enzymatic method, which obtains an aqueous extract, a botanical oil, and a solid residue from just one process. The grapefruit by-product comes from the food industry—specifically, the grapefruit skin, seeds, and pulp are upcycled (in some countries, this type of grapefruit is also known as pomelo). The resulting aqueous extract is rich in vitamin C and flavones such as didymin, naringin, and their derivatives. These compounds function as anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents, helping to calm the skin and prevent damaging inflammageing.


Protecting the skin from extrinsic stress is an important part of better ageing. External factors such as UV radiation, pollution, smoking, and stress lead to the generation of free radicals and oxidative species. Free radicals damage skin cells, resulting in wrinkles, loss of elasticity, and uneven skin texture. Unlike intrinsic ageing, which is genetically determined, extrinsic ageing can be mitigated through protective measures. Using sunscreen daily as well as formulas rich in antioxidants can help protect and maintain a healthy skin barrier from extrinsic stress.

Phloretin Upcycled distributed by UBIB AG
INCI: Phloretin

Phloretin is a natural compound found in different botanicals such as apples, pears, and pomelo (Citrus maxima), a large citrus fruit native to Southeast Asia. A versatile active, phloretin exhibits strong antioxidant properties, which help neutralize free radicals and shield the skin from harmful UV radiation. Phloretin also has anti-inflammatory effects and is known to enhance the penetration of other active ingredients into the skin, improving the efficacy of topical formulations.

Phloretin Upcycled is a powerful better ageing ingredient sourced from rescued pomelo fruit gathered from over 6,000 family cooperatives in Meizhou, China. This community is committed to the sustainable farming of different citrus fruits. The pomelo fruit that is not suitable for sale and waste parts such as the white pith are used in the manufacturing of this upcycled antioxidant active. Using a patented AI enzymatic method, naringin is extracted from the pomelo waste with hot water and then in a multistep enzymatic reaction, it is converted to pure >98% Phloretin. Phloretin also acts as a potential tyrosinase inhibitor, leading to a reduction in melanin production, so it can also be targeted for skin brightening applications.

*Phloretin Upcycled is also an In-Cosmetics 2024 Innovation Zone Nominee*

The integration of upcycled actives in better ageing formulations highlights a progressive shift in the personal care industry, where innovation and sustainability intersect to deliver results. By transforming waste into valuable skincare ingredients, companies like Active Concepts, Biolie, and UBIB are not only reducing environmental impact through circular processes but also enhancing skin health through advanced technology. These upcycled actives demonstrate that sustainable practices can go together with high performance, offering products that support a balanced, calm, and protected skin barrier. As we continue to explore and adopt such innovations, we move beyond mere sustainability claims, embracing a future where responsible sourcing and superior skincare coexist seamlessly.

👉 To learn more about these 3 featured upcycled actives for Better Aging, or request a sample, click below: 

👉 Explore more upcycled actives for Better Aging on Covalo


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  5. Zhang, S., & Duan, E. (2018). Fighting against Skin Aging: The Way from Bench to Bedside. Cell transplantation, 27(5), 729–738.