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Re-energizing the Beauty Business With Novel Ingredients

Lisa Doyle
  • Innovation is always the name of the game, and some of the best innovations in beauty are behind the scenes—in the ingredients.
  • Natural ingredient options are big right now, but finding a way to translate their claims and make the ingredients relatable to consumers is paramount.
  • Providing provable and demonstrable claims to consumers is the most important aspect of ingredient-based beauty marketing, so make sure what you’re working with is accurate and smart.

A vast majority of today’s consumers fall on far ends of the beauty spectrum—either seeking organic, sustainably sourced products that are as close to nature as possible or looking for the absolute latest and greatest in technology, with the newest scientific innovations utilized in the products’ development. Whatever the target market, beauty product developers are seeking out the ingredients that meet their needs, and suppliers and ingredient developers are providing the back stories on how these formulations come to fruition. Learn how these novel ingredients and the technology behind them are uncovering new opportunities and re-energizing the beauty business.

Naturals With a Twist

Plant-based and sustainably sourced ingredients are nothing new, and even may be expected by many of today’s consumers, but a forward-thinking beauty brand will put a great deal of thought into which naturals will appeal to its target markets and why.

Mode Cosmetics, a New York-based beauty brand, highlights its PotentNaturals, the company’s highly concentrated natural ingredients found in each of its product. “The launch of our Mode Natural Skin High Performance Hydrating Foundation features our PotentNaturals chardonnay and blueberry fruit extracts,” says Mode co-founder Jennifer Isaac. “Our approach with this product was to focus on the benefit of the ingredients while targeting different market segments. Chardonnay, which is a unique ingredient to color cosmetics, is tailored toward the anti-aging market, while blueberry keeps the product young and fresh to equally attract the youth market. Our goal was to tell more than one story to different segments while speaking directly to each demographic’s specific needs and issues.”

Also delivering upon the eco-friendly factor, Evonik Industries’ Tego Feel Green, a natural cellulose particle from renewable sources, is an odorless soft white powder that provides homogenous texture in a formulation, increases absorption and provides a matte finish to the skin without the shine. “This more even skin tone is desirable for all types of makeup,” says Anna Howe, applied technology manager, personal care North America, Evonik. “This completely new chemistry is an unmodified cellulose particle that can be used at 0.3–3% in emulsions. That low use level can give our customers a major cost advantage.”

And green ingredients are reinvigorating the hair care market, as well. The Plantasil line from BASF is made up of silicone-free actives for hair care, including Plantasil Micro, a transparent microemulsion based on renewable raw materials. According to BASF, the Plantasil Micro conditioning agent is a blended surfactant-oil system that can help deliver the conditioning performance of similar shampoos made with silicones when the ingredient is combined with cationics.

For the ethnic hair care market, BASF introduced Plantasil Relaxcare. “This innovative new product is based on a new technology that strengthens and reduces damage to hair during treatment without compromising the straightening efficacy,” says Laura Partynski, marketing communications manager, BASF.

Ahead of Its Time

Launching an ingredient that can improve a beauty product is great, but providing the proof to measure the improvement is even better. Croda has accomplished both recently through its VibraRiche technology, and the accompanying Hair Color Vibrance Factor, which is a test methodology that demonstrates that hair vibrance is a combination of shine and depth of color that can be quantified.

“Since VibraRiche is a quaternary ammonium compound and substantive to the hair, it leaves the hair feeling soft, nourished and supremely conditioned—all while sharpening the color of the hair,” explains Regan Tillou, marketing manager, hair care, Croda. “Vibrancy is a claim concept that could not be quantified easily before this test methodology. Now customers can quantify vibrancy and claim a vibrance factor on their packaging, much like an SPF rating, to show how well the product works on boosting shine and color.”

The innovations are equally evident on the skin care side of the beauty industry. Catering to consumers who want both eco-friendly products with high-tech performance is AkzoNobel Global Personal Care via its patented Zeta Fraction technology, which selectively isolates intracellular components from living plants and marine sources to produce a wider range of bioactive cosmetic ingredients able to capture the synergy that exists within plant cells. “This process is completely solvent-free—not even water is added—and 100% of the plant is utilized,” explains Maria Tolchinsky, global marketing manager for the global personal care business of AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry. “Zeta Fraction technology represents an improvement over chemical and supercritical extraction methods and yields a more potent plant-derived ingredient.” For example, the technology was used in the company’s Recentia CS plant serum fraction for skin care and sun care applications (see, Hot in Sun Care).

Also reinvigorating skin care, the Acqua Pelle fluid skin-balancing technology from Presperse, a liquid hydrogel, features a unique visco-elastic texture, creating polymeric memory and delivering instant hydration. Salt-activated and pH-tolerant, in addition to skin care systems, it can be used in hair care, clear gel systems and color cosmetics.

Telling the Story

Educating the public about these innovations is key to their success. And, it’s worth noting that it’s not only up to the brands to convey the stories behind these ingredients to the consumers—suppliers can successfully connect with the public as well. The BASF Personal Care business recently launched its Care Creations brand, touting the tagline, “Inspired by Life.” Its user-friendly website educates both potential clients and consumers about the company’s products in a clear manner, and it features videos, attractive photography, and clear information about what the ingredients can do.

“Customers want to learn and understand the story behind a product and the benefits of the ingredients and from where they originate. We convey this message to our customers through highlighting the PotentNaturals ingredients directly on our packaging, and with informative marketing material describing the key benefits and story behind the ingredients, including our website, so in turn, customers have the knowledge about ingredients they may have never been aware of before,” explains Cristina Samuels, co-founder of Mode and GCI advisor. “It is very important that the customer relates to the products; there has to be a real connection where the message strikes at an emotional level.”

Lisa Doyle was formerly the associate editor of GCI magazine and is a freelance writer in the Chicago area. Her work has appeared in Skin Inc. magazine, Salon Today, America’s Best, Renew and Modern Salon.

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