L'Oréal

Biotherm: Protecting The Oceans With Water Lovers

Since 2012, Biotherm has shown its determination to help preserve the world’s oceans with its Water Lovers program. The result of that commitment has been a lasting transformation of the cosmetic brand and a series of practical initiatives.

Water is at the heart of Biotherm’s DNA. It’s also at the heart of its products, and particularly its flagship ingredient, Life Plankton™. The mission of the Water Lovers program is to inspire positive change in the beauty industry by developing innovative processes for the conservation of the world’s oceans, which provide more than 50% of the oxygen produced on Earth. As a first step, the brand wanted to embrace change itself, by making a commitment to have zero negative impact on water resources by 2025.

Preserving the oceans with ever more sustainable formulas and packaging

The use of biosciences to produce natural ingredients that are both safe and renewable has become a key feature of Biotherm’s commitment to safeguarding the oceans. One of its leading probiotic ingredients, Life Plankton™, for example, was extracted only once from thermal springs in the Pyrenees before being replicated in a laboratory in a 100% sustainable way. Such a bioscience-based solution provides a way of preserving natural resources over the long term.

Another major element of the brand’s commitment is for its formulations to preserve water resources – a requirement of every new product launched by Biotherm. Thanks to the support of scientists, the brand is able to minimize the impact of its formulas on the environment.

To continue to soften that impact, Biotherm uses recycled materials as often as possible, and at every stage of the life-cycles of its products, from packaging to their distribution to points of sale. This year, 100% of the PET plastic used in its products will be from recycled sources. And that’s just the start.

The latest products to be launched by Biotherm are the result of this underlying commitment and brand transformation. In 2020, the WaterLover Sun Milk range received the Nordic Swan ecolabel that certifies a product’s impact across its entire life-cycle and guarantees that it meets very strict environmental and chemical standards. With a base formula that is 97% biodegradable, along with bottles that are made from 100% recycled plastic and are themselves fully recyclable, these sunscreen products are designed to minimize their impact on water resources and aquatic life. At the same time, they offer the highest level of protection from UVA and UVB rays in their category.

Committed partners for ocean conservation

Biotherm collaborates with experts and international NGOs that have been recognized for their commitment and practical action in protecting the oceans.

Since 2012, the brand has been partnering with Mission Blue, an NGO founded by marine biologist Sylvia Earle, whose mission is to combat the overfishing and pollution of the oceans. Her organization works to protect what she calls ‘Hope Spots’ – marine areas that are essential for having a healthy ocean. Biotherm has helped to create seven such Hope Spots since their collaboration began, representing 17 million square kilometers of sea that are now protected zones due to their biodiversity and marine ecosystems.

Water Lovers also supports the Tara Ocean Foundation, a scientific NGO that studies the marine ecosystem and the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans. Its research is helping to better understand the impact of product formulas on water, so that their effects can be minimized. The foundation’s boat plies the world’s oceans to collect the data needed for its research.

Lastly, Water Lovers became involved in early 2020 with Surfrider Foundation Europe, an NGO whose aim is “the protection and showcasing of oceans, coastlines, waves, lakes, rivers and all the populations who benefit from them.” This year, the program will support 1,100 litter collections by volunteers around the world.

An ecosystem as vulnerable as it is essentiel

More than half the oxygen produced on Earth comes from the phytoplankton that lives in water, making oceans a blue lung for our planet. Yet this ecosystem is as vulnerable as it is essential. Today, it is threatened by plastic pollution of the oceans, climate change and major environmental disruption.

This year, Biotherm is working with artists as well as defenders and lovers of the oceans to raise awareness of the challenges posed by such plastic pollution and to make people realize the role that phytoplankton plays in making oceans a blue lung for our planet.

Two short films have been presented to mark World Oceans Day. The first, Into the Depths, features Paralympic swimmer and Water Lovers program ambassador, Théo Curin, and freediver Guillaume Néry. The second, Breathing the Ocean, features freediver and choreographer Julie Gautier, with a soundtrack composed by French musician, Molécule. Together, the films provide a striking demonstration of how art can be used to take action.

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