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Science with the Glamour: Ingredients' Brand Impact

By: Abby Penning
Posted: April 4, 2012, from the April 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Of course, ingredients first need to be looked at from a functional point of view. Beth Bewley, co-founder of the Eufora International hair care brand, explains, “In the world of beauty, there are many wonderful ingredients that are available for personal care formulations. Some provide a proven efficacy and others, while they sound intriguing, do not deliver the promise of the product or proven results. Choosing ingredients that genuinely deliver on the promise of the product is paramount in Eufora’s ingredient decisions.”

“It all starts from [beauty brands’] needs,” says Isabelle Lacasse, marketing director, Unipex. “We must know what they are looking for before doing anything. Are they reformulating a new product line and they need new ingredients? Sometimes they are working on a more natural line, so they need eco-friendly actives. Constant needs [include those] for effective anti-aging ingredients, skin lightening, ingredients that target skin imperfections and so on.”

And thus the product story can dictate the necessities required of the ingredients. “What is most important to one formulator or marketer may be very different to another. Sometimes ingredients are trend-driven while others are need-driven,” explains Caren Dres-Hajeski, marketing director, Lipo Chemicals. “It is our goal to try to marry the science with the glamour and deliver an ingredient that helps our customers find success.”

However, few products these days aren’t multitaskers, and their ingredients are often expected to achieve several desired outcomes as well. “While innovation is often the first thing that is looked at in formulating with new ingredients, the R&D team at Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase seeks ingredients that are effective, safe, gentle and deliver proven results,” says Jill Wittenberg, marketing manager, Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase. “When our chemists feel an ingredient could be a good fit, preliminary studies, sources of the ingredient and safety testing are examined to ensure the quality. The ingredients that ultimately end up in our formula are effective and work synergistically with kinetin and our formulas.”

So, beyond the functionality needs of the ingredient, there is also often a need for a USP—the ingredient’s unique selling proposition. For example, Petersen comments, “We have a broad range of emollients—from light, fast-spreading emollients to rich, solid emollients. This gives [product developers] many opportunities to develop formulations that achieve desired effects.”