New ExpandFibre Ecosystem member Innomost develops ingredients for cosmetics based on Finnish wood

New ExpandFibre Ecosystem member Innomost develops ingredients for cosmetics based on Finnish wood

Members 20.12.2023

Innomost has harnessed the Finnish birch to provide cosmetics producers with new functional, safe, biodegradable, and renewable ingredients. The company develops, produces and sells active ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industry from this ethically grown raw material. We talked to Sami Selkälä from Innomost to learn more about the company investing in circular economy and the use of valuable side streams from the forest industry.

With a doctorate degree in organic chemistry and passion for renewable and sustainable raw materials, Sami Selkälä is the CEO and founder of Innomost. Currently employing 8 people, he founded Innomost 2015 in Kokkola, a town on the west coast of Finland.

Finnish birch as the abundant raw material for a variety of active ingredients

Innomost mainly collaborates with Metsä Group on obtaining the required raw material from various side streams in the forest industry. In 2021, Innomost became part of Metsä Spring’s growing investment portfolio of innovative startups operating in the fields of biomaterials and bioprocesses.

For example, Innomost is the world’s only producer of birch charcoal powder. The black-coloured formulations can be used for cleansing masks and mascaras, for instance. Other products include a variety of active ingredients derived from the birch bark, to be used for example in anti-aging and anti-acne products or to replace environmentally harmful ingredients such as microplastics.

Sami says that the wood-based ingredients produced by Innomost offer endless opportunities for different types of formulations. The ingredients can partially or fully replace emollients based on mineral oil or palm oil derivatives in the final formulations.

Potential for a wide variety of applications

Sami Selkälä considers biodegradable and sustainable products derived from birch just a starting point for the innovation potential of the company. The birch bark has also other applications outside the cosmetics and care industry, such as obtaining protective layers and water repellence for a variety of surfaces. In that sense, Sami Selkälä sees the ExpandFibre Ecosystem as an excellent collaboration platform to further develop new applications together.

For the future plans of Innomost, Sami envisions even wider collaboration with global giants. They are now planning to build a new commercial scale production plant to meet the growing interest and needs from the industry.

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Photo by Innomost: CEO Sami Selkälä, Innomost