Gay Timmons has been in the agricultural business for decades. Twenty-one years ago she founded Oh, Oh Organic, selling organic ingredients—including palm oil—to cosmetic companies in North America.
“The chemical industry is complacent,” says Timmons, a scientist herself.
Many chemists may wish to stick to petroleum-derived ingredients instead of using plant-based sources. Yes, it’s expensive to test something new, to reformulate and use new technologies, but Timmons also believes that creativity is lacking and finding new solutions is important.
Change is on the horizon, though, with more manufacturers demanding clean and green ingredients. Timmons has seen the demand for organic palm oil and other ingredients growing, especially from medium and small sized businesses with a mission to be earth-friendly.
Finally, some large cosmetics companies, for instance L’Oréal, have committed to switching to ingredients from renewable plant sources and adopting a green sciences approach to research and innovation.