Amyris’ partnership with Sephora began in 2017 with the debut of Biossance clean skin care products in stores and on Sephora.com. Today, Sephora’s shelves showcase Amyris’ three of her brands: Biossance, JVN Hair, and Rose Inc, a line of high-performance color cosmetics and skincare.
This week, Annie Tsong, Chief Strategy and Product Officer at Amyris, joined Sephora’s “Red Bag Speaker Series.”
Under Annie Tsong’s leadership, Amyris has developed innovative technologies, implemented at scale, and transformed the vitamin E and squalane markets, the flavor and fragrance industry, and more.
She has been heavily involved in Amyris’ product innovation department and has led the establishment of the ingredient development pipeline. This innovation helps the planet by reducing the use of precious and valuable natural ingredients from fragile ecosystems without compromising on cost or performance.
Hosted by Sephora Associate Merchant Mackenzie Milton of Skin Care, the Red Bag Speaker Series virtual event invites speakers to bring creativity from the professional field to the table with the aim of expanding ideas and fostering collaboration across Sephora. , share stories, and learn. .
This week’s conversation brought together hundreds of passionate Sephora employees who want to learn more about Amyris’ science-backed beauty.
Mackenzie Milton (MM): Welcome Annie! We know our audience would like to know more about you and Amyris. Can you describe what the company does and your role within the company? mosquito?
Annie Tsung (AT): Thank you so much for having me, it’s great to be here with Sephora.Amyris is a renewable products company. It may sound a bit like science fiction, but we created a new way of making materials. There are environmental challenges associated with each of these methods. Petrochemicals, by definition, are not renewable. And many natural ingredients are not sustainably harvested.
Amyris combines cutting-edge advanced biotechnology with ancient fermentation techniques. We use the same yeast traditionally made to make bread and beer to produce sustainable ingredients. We use sustainably sourced sugar cane and yeast to ferment new sustainable ingredients for our clean beauty, health and wellness products.
What you probably don’t know for Sephora is that Amyris is also an ingredient supplier to other companies. Ingredients are in nearly 20,000 SKUs worldwide, reaching over 300 million consumers.
My role as Chief Strategy and Product Officer is really, really fun. I choose which ingredients Amyris will focus on and create a pipeline. My background with the company is pretty eclectic. I worked for her Amyris for her 14 years and started on the R&D bench as a yeast biologist. It was very exciting to apply my education in yeast biology to something with immediate impact.
MM: Wow. It seems your role was meant for you. Can you back up and explain how you choose those materials?
and: The beauty industry is still incredibly dirty. There is still a lot of petroleum, harsh chemicals and endangered plants and animals used in this industry. I lead a team to identify ingredients that can be made through fermentation. We have a very comprehensive and diligent process of reviewing a variety of ingredients. Ingredients that provide alternatives to existing ones that the process can provide. As consumer brands grow, I work closely with the new product team to select ingredients that consumers love. and technology to create new clean ingredients for the beauty and personal care sector. We see it as an area ripe for disruption and innovation.
MM: So you are a pioneer at one of the world’s leading manufacturers of sustainable raw materials. What is your personal vision for a sustainable future 10 or 50 years from now?
and: Great question. Thank you for your question. The technology developed by Amyris has so many possibilities. We are already making big changes in raw material sourcing for the fragrance, flavor and beauty industry and we want to go deeper into other industries. , including the transition to renewable energy sources and the electrification of transport. In the same way, I think fermentation is one of the pillars of sustainable living in the future. I think it lays the foundation for how to source scarce natural ingredients without destroying sensitive ecosystems or unnecessarily exploiting oil reserves.
I hope that in 50 years there will be fermentation factories all over the world. We see this technology impacting every industry that today relies on chemical inputs from petroleum, plants and animals.
MM: If anyone can achieve that vision, it’s definitely Amyris! One of the attendees asked about resources that help consumers quickly and easily learn about product ingredients when they go shopping. . what do you recommend?
and: No perfect resource yet. When we shop on our own brand websites, we describe the ingredients well. For example, Biossance.com launched a complete clean academy with tutorials and educational references for shoppers. We also have an ingredient library that provides details on each ingredient we use. Outside of our own site, I know a lot of consumers use his EWG database that aggregates information on ingredients, but I honestly haven’t seen a single good resource. there is not. I think there is an opportunity there.
MM: Another question from the attendees. i love this What are the differences and challenges of creating a makeup line or using a makeup line and a skin care line?
and: Let me start by saying I’m not a compounder! But what I’ve learned from working with different teams is that there is an even more complex level of working with color. Rose, for example, is known for its multi-functional products. Therefore, Rose Inc formulators must simultaneously balance skin benefits and color performance. I’m also constantly learning things like color perception and how factors such as undertones are important in achieving a good color match.
MM: Annie, thank you very much for your time. We sincerely appreciate your passion for clean chemistry and the work Amyris is doing to provide natural ingredients for a more sustainable planet.