With every new packaging material, formulation strategy, and marketing premise there comes a stretch of time devoted to proof of concept and consumer education. This often isn’t the actual beginning of a consumer trend but rather the moment when the balance shifts and the concept in question becomes a trend or a movement.

In the upcycled beauty ingredient space, brands like Le Prunier—launched in 2018—occupy this crucial moment. That brand sells just one skin care product: Plum Beauty Oil ($72 for 30mL less 10% if purchased by subscription).

“Our Plum Beauty Oil is created by cold-pressing upcycled plum kernels, which were previously a waste product on the farm,” ​explains the brand’s FAQ page​.

“The remaining flesh of the fruit is then used to create juice, dried fruit, baby food, etc., so nothing goes to waste. Our farm has been 100% powered by solar for the last ten years and we’ve been committed to organic farming for over 30 years. From start to finish, Le Prunier products remain all natural, ethical, and eco-friendly.”

“Le Prunier is 100% sustainable,” ​asserts the brand. And in this concise claim can be found the ultimate ambition of the upcycled beauty movement.

Upcycled beauty ingredients often come from the waste of commodity crops

Upcycling creates or increases the market value of a previously discarded or disregarded material. (By contrast, a material goes through the recycling process when both the original material and the recycled material are of comparable market value.)

Food or beverage production is commonly the source of ‘waste’ that can be upcycled into beauty inputs, especially since food-grade and superfood ingredients have become quite popular with cosmetics and personal care consumers in recent years.

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