RhYme’s technology delivers an uncompromising high-performance emollient

Actinowax™ is a luxurious emollient with a skin-temperature melting point

Wax ester-based emollients are highly sought for their excellent cosmetic properties. Actinowax™, a complex wax ester-rich material, is a high-performance emollient for premium cosmetic products. A dry emollient with a melting point just below skin temperature, Actinowax™ imparts luxurious, light, and non-greasy sensory properties that can be formulated over a wide range of applications. Specific applications include use as a stabilizer and co-emulsifier in skin creams and hair conditioners, and as a wetting agent in sunscreens and colour cosmetics.

A unique combination of molecules

Actinowax™ is a unique source of both branched- and odd-chain wax esters, which have been shown to improve and strengthen the cutaneous barrier, smoothing skin and preventing transepidermal water loss (1, 2). Indeed, the wax esters of Actinowax™ are highly similar to those found on human skin and hair (3, 4). As we age, our body produces reduced amounts of wax esters (5). By replacing them, products that incorporate Actinowax™ may prevent and reverse signs of ageing.

A prebiotic for healthy skin

The branched- and odd-chain wax esters found in Actinowax™ may promote a balanced microbiome and healthy skin. The metabolism of these unique lipids by the skin microbiome results in the production of short-chain fatty acids that are known to modulate human and microbiome health (6). Furthermore, these lipids can be incorporated into lipid membranes of the microbiome, helping them to interact with human skin (7).

Sustainability, logistics, and quality

The sustainable fermentation technology that produces Actinowax™ will allow cosmetic brands to reduce their dependence on palm-based ingredients, decreasing their ecological footprint and highlighting their commitment to environmental stewardship.

Actinowax™ will also simplify the logistics of cosmetic manufacturing. Compared to the supply challenges associated with many traditional plant-oils, the Actinowax™ production process is highly scalable, allowing supply to rapidly adjust to demand, and will consistently deliver high-quality products that are resistant to supply interruptions and price volatility.

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Our technology

Better materials through biology

Microbial activities establish the foundation for life on our planet. Tapping into this potential, we can create sustainable bio-based materials that preform better for both us and our planet.

New technologies are helping to solve global problems

Our world relies on lipid-based chemicals, we use them in our cosmetics, lubricants, foods, and fuels. But as demands for these products grow, so does the environmental and societal burden associated with palm oil from which most are derived. Rising consumer awareness is challenging industries to reduce their dependence on palm oil, but current technologies are struggling to provide alternatives.

RhYme is harnessing the power of Rhodococcus, a naturally occurring soil bacterium, to create high-value lipid-based molecules. By applying advances in DNA technology and biological engineering, we are developing a technology that converts sustainable sugars into products that not only reduce our dependence on palm oil, but also bring preformance benefits.



Sustainable biomaterials


  1. Rissmann R, et al. 2008. BBA-Biomembranes. 1778:2350-2360.
  2. Pappas A, et al. 2013. Dermatoendocrinol. 5:319-324.
  3. Fitzgerald M, Murphy RC. 2007. J Lipid Res. 48:1231-46.
  4. Tachi M, Iwamori M. 2008. Exp Dermatol. 17:318-323.
  5. Jacobsen E, et al. 1985. J Invest Dermatol. 85:483-5.
  6. Schwarz A, et al. 2017. J Investig Dermatol. 137:855-864.
  7. Nguyen MT, et al. 2015. Infect Immun. 84:205-215.