Synergio demonstrates that the relationship between technology and personal care products is still in its nascency
Founded in 2009 by Barak Tzadok, Synergio is a biotech company bringing the technology and personal care industries together. Located in the High-Tech Village at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Synergio aims to create a healthier personal care industry by merging natural ingredients with biotech. As of 2020, alongside its CEO Itamar Levy, Synergio has brought this mission to life this through the launch of its first ingredient, BiomEco™, which can extend the life of natural personal care products and simultaneously protect the skin microbiome.
Tzadok was inspired to create Synergio after launching Mother’s Choice, a consumer product company that developed a line of personal care products for babies, in 2007. The line saw great success in offering baby products that advertised its use of mild ingredients and Tzadok quickly realized that there was a gap in the market since the personal care industry was saturated mainly with products targeting adults.
What the company also found was that many consumers are concerned about the safety of preservatives used to keep their personal care products fresh. Whilst preservatives approved for use in personal care products are safe, some preservatives are less suitable for use in baby products, and many beauty brands started looking to switch out their existing preservatives for milder, botanically derived ingredients that can help reduce the risk of microbiological contamination while also meeting consumer demand for plant-based ingredients.
The search for a natural yet effective preservative
Since Mother’s Choice could not find an existing preservative on the market that fulfilled its requirements for baby skin care, the company decided to take matters into its own hands and leverage biotechnology to create its own unique, multifunctional preservative system derived purely from botanical ingredients. Not only did the company receive praise from parents and other customers for tackling this preservation challenge on its own, but it also drew attention from other personal care companies, including competitors, who were keen on creating new formulations, or replacing their own existing formulations, with more natural preservatives such as the ones used in Mother’s Choice products.
Given this influx of inquiries about their preservatives, Tzadok launched Synergio in 2009, a company with an entirely new focus on making its natural preservation knowledge available to other personal care companies around the world. Synergio began working with top consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to create custom natural preservative systems based on their specific brands’ and products’ needs.
Through working with various CPG customers to conduct extensive research on preservation possibilities, Synergio amassed large quantities of data that it turned into a digital innovation accelerator tool called EcoDato™, a tech-based product that helps Synergio differentiate from other raw material suppliers when it comes to speed to market. EcoDato is Synergio’s computational platform and discovery engine that integrates data and chemistry on plant synergies into a platform that helps the company expedite innovation.
Cracking the natural preservative challenge with BiomEco
In 2020, instead of only offering customized natural preservation solutions for personal care companies, Synergio launched an “off the shelf” version of its natural preservative system: BiomEco. This technology is a botanicals-based preservation system that not only fights microbial resistance and can act as an antimicrobial, but it can also be formulated as a surfactant, chelating agent and antioxidant.
Multifunctionality aside, one of the biggest innovations that BiomEco brings is the ability to increase a beauty product’s shelf life while still protecting the skin microbiome.
The skin microbiome, much like the gut microbiome, is a protective barrier that is home to millions of bacteria living on the skin that help prevent exposure to pathogens and free radicals. Damage to the skin microbiome can affect the look and feel of your skin, as well as its overall health.
While synthetic preservatives may kill microbiome bacteria in a broader manner, BiomEco uses a microtargeting approach capable of targeting specified microorganisms at low concentration, which means it only has a slight influence on the skin microbiome (more data available by contacting Synergio directly).
“Inspired by nature’s own microbial protection methods, we made it our goal to develop a long-lasting natural shelf-life system designed to target and destroy harmful bacteria that affect product longevity, while protecting the healthy bacteria that initiate the skin immune functions. By utilizing nature’s micro-targeting techniques, BiomEco is delivering formulators the desired positive end results of a long-lasting product shelf life without the negative side effects on the skin microbiome,” said said Itamar Levy, CEO of Synergio in a statement to Cosmetics & Toiletries.
To ensure efficacy BiomEco also uses dozens of molecules to reduce the chance of bacterial resistance development. In comparison, many other preservatives on the market are made up of one to four molecules, increasing the chances of bacteria resistance developing over time.
Moreover, BiomEco has been proven to be both hypoallergenic and skin-sensitive. The product was tested on humans with both normal and sensitive skin in the form of both a lotion and a patch, and did not induce dermal irritation and/or sensitization in the human subjects.
Environmental consideration across the entire product lifecycle is at the core of Synergio's innovations
One of Synergio’s principles is producing products that are healthy for humans, but it also ensures that its products are healthy for the environment across the entire lifecycle, from sourcing to production to end-of-life aspects such as biodegradability.
To ensure sustainable sourcing, the company is a registered member of the Union for Ethical Biotrade (UEBT). This means that it ensures biodiversity conservation, sustainable use of biodiversity including regenerative practices, fair and equitable sharing of benefits in accordance with the Nagoya Protocol, and socio-economic sustainability including enhancing contribution to local development, among other standards.
For BiomEco’s ingredients, the company makes sure that the plant stays unharmed if a resin or fruit is collected, and it also aims to minimize overall raw material usage. BiomEco is also a renewable product given that it’s bio-based.
To ensure sustainable production, Synergio minimizes waste by recycling the water and using the residues as bio-fuel for boiler steam generation.
The company employs green chemistry in the production of BiomEco, using fermentation, water and ethanolic extraction to ensure minimal environmental impact and a low carbon footprint.
In terms of end-of-life considerations, the company ensures that it uses ingredients that are 100% natural with no chemical modification, meaning that the synergistic plant bio-active combinations developed are readily or inherently biodegradable and environmentally benign.
Through its multifunctionality, microbiome-friendliness & eco-friendly principles, BiomEco provides formulators with an innovative preservation system
BiomEco provides many benefits for use in skin and body care products including the following (for more request the MSDS here):
- EU Cosmetics Regulation compliance
- Chinese Cosmetics Regulations compliance
- US Cosmetics Regulations compliance
- Cruelty-free: Not Tested on Animals
- Wide history of safe use
- Low toxicological safety risk
- Low phototoxicity risk
- Protein-free: less than 200 ppm
- Allergen-free: less than 10 ppm
- Free of heavy metals - less than 10 ppm
- 100% natural with no chemical modification (ISO 16128-1 compliant)
- Renewable bio-based product
- Employs green chemistry and minimal waste production approach
“As more and more chemical ingredients are being regulated in CPG products as a result of health and environmental side effects, the demand for natural, sustainable products that also deliver on performance are growing with it,” Levy shared with Cosmetics & Toiletries. “BiomEco is the first realization of our goal to develop these kinds of components that ultimately reach consumers via forward-thinking manufacturers and consumer brands in the personal care space.”
Learn more about Synergio and its products here on Covalo.com
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