Three college students from UP Diliman envisioned the idea of dissolvable sunscreen wet wipes. It was so good that it won at the 2022 L’Oréal Brandstorm global competition.
If there’s one thing you need to know about the Filipino youth, it’s that you should never underestimate their talents and capabilities. Many of them have plans, ideas, and concepts to lead the country and society in general to a better future. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with generational crises such as climate change. And this ingenuity was on display recently when three college students took home a top prize at a prestigious global competition for their idea of making sunscreen in the form of disposable wet wipes.
AWARD-WINNING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY SUNSCREEN
On July 1, L’Oréal announced that a team from the Philippines won at the L’Oréal Brandstorm global competition. L’Oréal Brandstorm is one of the most popular youth innovation competitions in the world as it seeks to empower the next generation to become the change-makers of tomorrow. For its 30th edition, over 83,000 aspiring innovators from 65 countries joined the competition. And in the end, three students, Roque Mercado, Kara Santiago, and Julianne Ong from UP Diliman studying B.S. Industrial Engineering, B.S. Business Administration, B.S. Business Administration and Accountancy respectively won in the Green (Sustainability) track of the global competition. Their product pitch of an innovative and sustainable take on sunscreen was recognized by the judges. And in their win, they became the first team from the Philippines to win in the competition since 2012.
With the theme “Disrupt Beauty 2030,”Brandstorm 2022 participants were tasked to find innovative ways to create make beauty inclusive, sustainable, and environmentally friendly for the future. After all, as we push away from the fashion industry’s often unsustainable practices, so too should the beauty community. Nine teams representing Argentina, France, Germany-Austria, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the United States, and the Philippines advanced to the finals after 20 weeks of competition. Team Philippines was under the Green Track. It challenged participants to invent the next dimension of sustainable beauty. And in the end, the three Pinoy college students were part of the three winners under the Green Track.
WET WIPES MEETS SUNSCREEN
The idea that Roque, Kara, and Julianne came up with was to create dissolvable sunscreen wet wipes, which honestly is so smart and something we would buy. Under the creative team name of Roque, Paper, Scissors, the trio created Pocket Block it! Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes. The way the product works is basically that you rub the wipe in your hand until it dissolves and then apply it on your face. Specifically, the sheets dissolve through contact with the heat and natural oils of the skin. The wipes are kept in a recycled container that people can easily carry around and take a wipe when needed.
In case you didn’t know, wearing sunscreen every day, even indoors, is important. It protects the health of your skin. But most people often forget to put sunscreen for a variety of reasons. This is why this product combines the need to do so and the practicality and compatibility of wet wipes, all made through environmentally sustainable means. “Pocket Block It! Is not your typical polyester wet wipe. The wipes are made with a base of rice paper fibers that dissolve for a zero-waste application. They are packaged in a post-consumer recycled pods so you can care for your skin and the environment at the same time,” said the team during a video presentation as part of their pitch.
GREEN BEAUTY IN YOUR POCKET
The whole idea stemmed realization that while there is a universal need for sunscreen, there are also gaps in the current market where people are forced to compromise between effectiveness, convenience, and sustainability. Their product aims to eliminate all that.
To make it even better, the production cycle for their product is a closed-loop system. This means that any post-consumer waste is reused to start the process all over again. After users are done with the Pocket Block It! Dissolving Sunscreen Wipes, they can just refill it. It’s production also incorporates natural products such as UV filters in the formula and uses post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic packaging that can be reused. Say goodbye to throwing used sunscreen bottles and wipes in the trash. Finally, thanks to the products unique design, it stands out from other sunscreen packaging out there and is more environmentally friendly and convenient.
HELP THE ENVIRONMENT AND PROTECT YOUR SKIN AT THE SAME TIME
For their efforts, the college students, along with the other winners, won a three-month all-expenses paid intrapreneurship with L’Oréal in their headquarters in Paris. This means that they will be able to continue to develop projects with support from the company, as well as gain experience in a global company. This also means that, if things go well, we could see this product hit the market in the coming years.
“With the looming threat of climate change, the Filipino youth of today believes that the time to act is now. The record-breaking participation for Brandstorm this year in the Philippines and across the world shows the unbelievable power that this generation holds in creating a better future through beauty,” said Yannick Raynaud, L’Oréal Philippines’ Country Managing Director. “More importantly, the win of an all-Filipino team in a global stage like Brandstorm is a powerful inspiration to their fellow Filipinos to use their values, ideas, and talents to create a more sustainable future through innovation.”
As for the team themselves, the L’Oréal Brandstorm 2022 Green Track champions are grateful for the win and are hoping to use to springboard their ideas to a bigger stage. “The journey to getting here was not an easy feat. But we are very proud to having finished strong, granting the Philippines its first win in 10 years. Our main focus was to create an innovative product that we hope will have a positive impact on the beauty industry. So, being able to win and get global recognition is very fulfilling for the team. We are really excited and look forward to our entrepreneurial internship at the L’Oréal Group global headquarters in Paris, France where we’ll be able to immerse ourselves in an innovative and inspiring environment.”
Congratulations Roque, Kara, and Julianne! Hopefully, we will be able to see more environmentally friendly and sustainable products like these in the future. You can check out Brandstorm 2022’s website for more details on their product.