15 January 2021

Face to face with Alessandra Pantella, Head of the Oway Research & Development Laboratory

A journey from field to bottle that gives us a privileged view of our “0 km” agricosmetics laboratories, the breeding ground where, every day, we formulate the answers to the sustainable challenge of the third millennium and to the most demanding cosmetic requirements, starting from the selection of the healthiest and most genuine ingredients from an organic and biodynamic agriculture.

 

What does the term Agricosmetic mean?

The term Agricosmetic applies to the entire Oway supply chain and therefore also to the formulation of the product. In our treatments, whatever the functionality required, we have included multiple raw materials which derive from plants grown at 0 km, according to organic and biodynamic regulations. These cultivation methods ensure the extreme purity of the plant and the maximum concentration of the active ingredients, as no chemicals are used, thus respecting the plant's genetic heritage

This combination allows exploiting the power of plants as much as possible and at the same time to create formulas in a sustainable way, by respecting the environment, as we prefer to use native species grown "close to us" in an agro-ecological manner.

Why does the Oway laboratory prefer natural transformation processes such as steam distillation, maceration and pressing? And what are they?

It is necessary to transform part of the plant in order to obtain an active principle which can then be introduced in a stable manner in the formulations. To do this, it is necessary to use processing methods which must comply with the Agricosmetics supply chain, such as steam distillation, maceration and pressing.

Steam distillation allows obtaining essential oils and hydrolates from fresh or dried plants by exploiting the steam created by the water at a controlled temperature and pressure, thanks to a machine called a distiller. Lipophilic volatile odorous substances, as well as hydrophilic ones, are extracted from the steam. During the refrigeration phase, this gaseous mixture rich in active ingredients returns to the liquid state but perfectly divided into two phases: the upper one which consists of essential oil and the lower one consisting of hydrolat.

Another method to obtain essential oils from citrus peel is that of pressing the fresh fruit, using a press.

Thanks to maceration, on the other hand, we obtain concentrated hydrophilic extracts. It can be considered an infusion of the most characterising parts of the plant, which are placed in water for at least 24 hours, cold pressed. This long time ensures that all the hydrophilic substances flow into the water, in order to obtain concentrated extracts.

It is evident that we are talking about 100% sustainable transformation systems, in which no chemical solvents are used, and with low energy consumption. They are also perfectly integrated into the circular Agricosmetics supply chain, since the residues of the plants used are in turn reused as natural fertilisers or to produce clean energy.

What do we mean by Clean & Green Chemistry and what makes agricosmetics actually effective and performing?

The cultivation and transformation processes described above demonstrate how Clean & Green Chemistry perfectly applies to the active essential oils, hydrolates and macerates present in the Oway formulas.

We pay attention to all the raw materials in the formulation and we study, in the early stages of creating the formula, their derivation, biodegradability and effectiveness.

Only raw materials that meet our Green Chemistry criteria are then actually used. The result is complex, concentrated and functional formulas. Starting from the zero km principle, in a thoughtful manner and always avoiding the use of aggressive substances, over the years we have replaced synthetic ingredients with equivalent plant-based derivatives. We choose technological substances and intelligent reactions only if they respect the planet's resources and emphasise the performance of all our treatments.

Agricosmetics are therefore a highly performing and safe combination of natural and naturally derived raw materials with a high functionality.

Biodegradable formulas and plant-derived ingredients: what percentages of naturalness do the Oway formulas achieve? 

We operate in a highly professional sector, where the quality and performance of the products play an essential role in achieving optimal results. The percentage of natural ingredients varies from product to product. Most Oway products exceed 90/95% natural origin, up to achieving 100% natural products. Our products contain organic and biodynamic active ingredients, or those with fair trade origin.

Almost all the selected raw materials have a natural origin or are completely natural

We also considered the biodegradability of raw materials and in particular of those present in rinse-off products, where this parameter is more emblematic. The high percentage of biodegradable raw materials for rinse-off products allows us to affirm that our formulas are sustainable and respect the environment.

Our agricosmetics are VEGAN and PETA CRUELTY FREE: what does this mean?

We can state that our formulas are 100% vegan and, therefore, that they do not contain animal derivatives or substances produced by animals.

All animal derivatives have been replaced with plant-derived ingredients with better properties and efficacy than their “non-vegan” counterparts.

All our products are certified PETA Cruelty free, the world's largest animal rights association.

 

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