|Both animals and plants give suitable proteinaceous materials for the preparation of cosmetic ingredients. Proteins from fungi and algae, however, are also increasingly being used as protein sources. Proteins typically obtained from animals include collagen, elastin, keratin, milk, reticulin, fibronectin and silk (from silkworm).
High-protein plants most commonly used as starting material for producing vegetable proteins are wheat and corn gluten, soy, rice and oat protein concentrates, and defatted oilseeds (peanuts, almond, sunflower). Among the large variety of vegetable proteins wheat gluten and soy globulins are by far of the widest use and interest. Wheat gluten (often just called wheat protein) is a unique cereal protein of high elasticity when hydrated. Soy proteins are useful due to their gelling and emulsifying effects.
To make proteins suitable to be incorporated into waterbased cosmetic products, they need to be converted into soluble form. This is usually done by hydrolysation, a process where the protein is cut into smaller parts.