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L’Oréal Starts Sustainable Quinoa-Husk Sourcing Program

The beauty giant partnered with three organizations in Bolivia.

PARIS — L’Oréal has forged three partnerships in Bolivia for the sustainable sourcing of quinoa husks for use in cosmetics, the beauty giant said Wednesday.

The collaborations involve Andean Valley, which works directly with quinoa growers; Proinpa, a foundation promoting the conservation and responsible use of natural resources domestically, and Eco Terra, a responsible importer.

“This partnership will provide long-term benefits to 250 quinoa growers and their families in the Uyuni and Potosi regions of Bolivia,” stated L’Oréal.

Specifically, the collaboration provides support for training local farmers on best agricultural practices; preventing erosion by planting native legumes, bushes and herbaceous plants, and the transfer of scientific knowledge and expertise between L’Oréal and its local partners, it said.

Quinoa husk was formerly thought to be waste. However, it contains saponins and polyphenols, causing it to be an interesting renewable cosmetic ingredient.

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L’Oréal researchers have proven quinoa husk extract has exfoliating properties, and Chimex, a company subsidiary, has developed a green chemistry-based extraction method.

The partnerships in Bolivia are part of L’Oréal’s Sharing Beauty With All sustainability program. Among its aims is for all of the group’s products to offer environmental or social benefits by 2020.

By the end of last year, 46 percent of the raw materials L’Oréal used were of renewable origin. This represented 1,400 ingredients from almost 300 plants in more than 60 countries.