How NZ's fishing industry is influencing the future of beauty products

The New Zealand fishing industry is turning its hand to an unlikely line of work - the beauty industry.

From food to the face, leftover fish skins are being used to create skincare products - with scientists in west Auckland saying there's a lot more to hoki than just to eat.

The fish skin that was being turned into pet food is now being turned into high-end beauty products. They take the collagen from the hoki skins, then extract nanofibres, effectively spinning it into a fabric.

Iain Hosie, CEO of Revolution Fibres, told Newshub that "marine collagen was always something that we wanted to embrace".

"The hoki has a really particular, unique structure for collagen - so it's very easy for us to turn it into fibres," he explained.

That's then combined with other natural active ingredients to make face masks which dissolve on wet skin.

"It's a huge market; 85 percent of Chinese women wore a face mask last week," Mr Hosie said.

"I mean, they've really adopted this type of technology - and everybody's looking for a new way of delivering active ingredients into the skin." 

They just needed the fishing industry on board.

Fishing company Sanford has a long association with the fish market, but it says tapping into the beauty market makes good business sense.

"Sustainability is a big part of what Sanford does; we're always looking for better way to use our fish stocks, so a real nose-to-tail story for each fish," says spokesman Adrian Grey.

"But it's certainly about adding more value."

As well as reducing wrinkles, in the next two years they plan to use the technology for medical treatments, like healing burns.

Revolution Fibres reckons it will be producing 2 million of the actiVLayr face masks per month by the end of the year.

But there's one 'catch'; while they're being launched in China tomorrow, Kiwis won't get their hands on them until later in the year.



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