Seqens (formerly known as Novacap) introduced the first blockchain focused on the traceability of cosmetic actives. (Photo : © Spainter VFX /

The platform developed by Seqens, called ACT4S, for Active Cosmetic Trust for Seqens, makes it possible to track the journey of the company’s organic-certified cosmetic actives, from the receipt of the raw materials down to the release of the product to be delivered to the customer.

Technically, a blockchain stores and transfers information sent by different users to a database, whose internal links are verified and clustered in blocks at regular time intervals, forming a chain - the whole is secured by cryptography. The idea is to protect data from any falsification or modification.

As part of a manufacturing process, every step is recorded in a digital register whose transparency and distributed management prevents any unilateral modification.

The blockchain technology makes it possible for us to guarantee compliance with our internal processes and organic certification processes in real time, for every single batch. It provides additional assurance, because the Ecocert certification is only focused on the quality system. Thanks to the blockchain, we can validate all our operations in real time,” explains Marie-Alex Premier, VP Cosmetic Division at Seqens.

In practice, Seqens’s customers only need to enter their batch number on the website to track the journey of the organic active they purchased. This way, they can check the validity of the raw material’s Cosmos/Ecocert certificate and trace the history of the ingredient within the company, from the storage of raw materials to the issuance of the final active’s Cosmos/Ecocert certificate, including the manufacturing process and storage, in order to verify compliance with the Cosmos/Ecocert requirements.

The blockchain follows the product throughout our internal process, so it guarantees compliance with the organic standard throughout the manufacturing and storage process,” adds Marie-Alex Premier. “It guarantees the organic origin of the raw materials and the compliance of the final active.

And for even more transparency, Seqens has planned to give Ecocert access to the platform in real time, so that the quality system control becomes almost instantaneous.

Thanks to this system, the company has full control over the quality chain. “If there is an error within the chain, the blockchain systematically prevents the product from being marketed,” explains the company.

Right now, the use of the platform is limited to the group’s internal value chain, but it is to be deployed more widely. And if the practical obstacles are obvious, from a technical standpoint, nothing prevents the company from going farther, by integrating everything upstream and downstream. For example, anyone could trace the active up to the supplier, and even the field, or down to the final product. In the long run, the blockchain technology could make it possible for consumers to find out by which farmers and in which fields the botanical actives contained in their cosmetics were produced. A future revolution!