Upcycled Sumo Citrus Is the Star Ingredient of Loli Beauty’s First Cleanser

Loli Beauty is making moves toward its vision for a circular beauty industry.

The zero-waste beauty brand has teamed with Sumo Citrus — a brand of oversized mandarin orange known for its oversized topknot and sweetness — to harness unused fruit peels for a cobranded skin care launch.

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Retailing for $38, the Loli Beauty x Sumo Citrus Cleansing Jelly offers skin-brightening benefits thanks to its use of Sumo Citrus peel and extract, which are rich in vitamins C and P. The formula’s other ingredients — aloe vera juice, banana peel extract and jojoba oil, work in tandem to support skin health and soothe inflammation.

“No one has ever made a produce — a fruit waste stream — the celebrity [of a formula]. There are upcycled ingredients, but they’re anonymous, right? You don’t know where they come from,” said Tina Hedges, who founded Loli Beauty in 2018 and has steadily introduced new waste- and water-free skin care products since.

Sumo Citrus, first cultivated in Japan during the ’70s, will soon enter its 14th growing season in the U.S, where it’s harvested in the San Joaquin Valley in California. The fruit has a four-month growing season — January through April — and roughly 40 million pounds of it were packed in the U.S. this year.

“There’s even more fruit that gets dropped onto fields — which I haven’t even quantified — where I’m like, ‘what could we do with that?'” said Sunnia Gull, vice president of marketing at Sumo Citrus.

The jelly cleanser is the first foray through which Sumo Citrus aims to reduce waste from unused yield while boosting brand awareness. Flavored waters, alcoholic beverages, and even another product with Hedges may soon be on the way, too.

“If [Tina’s] got ideas, we’ve got plenty of supply,” said Gull. “There’s not a lot in the world of branded fruit. For [most] people, an apple is an apple. Our company’s focus has been on growing the best trees and the best fruit, and now, we’re trying to figure out how we can think about the waste that’s generated in a different way.”

The cleansing jelly will be available direct-to-consumer via the Loli Beauty website. Previously, the brand launched in 360 Ulta Beauty doors, but withdrew from shelves last year.

“We went to [Ulta] about a year and a half ago and said, ‘hey, I know we launched with you, but we’re looking at a pivot where we want to double down on this upcycling,'” said Hedges. “They have been such amazing partners and collaborators — they said, ‘go do what you need to do — we’ll always be here.'”

In the interim, Hedges is focused on making upcycling mainstream through partnerships like this one with Sumo Citrus and, hopefully, other brands and grocery stores.

“Sumo is our lead partner in fruit waste, and we’re thinking about what are those other partnerships that we could do in other categories? I want to own this, almost like Coty owned celebrity fragrance licensing,” Hedges said. “Loli wants to be that innovator, development partner and collaborator with other brands, whether it’s floral or plant waste or even whatever produce is on the shelf that doesn’t get sold — that’s where we’re heading.”

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