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Beauty Ingredient Innovations and Trends

By: Joshua Hashim
Posted: March 25, 2014, from the April 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Increasingly, beauty brands are asking for ingredients to develop lotions, soaps, creams and serums that boast hydrating effects. The primary challenge in finding the right hydrating ingredients is creating an appealing texture in the final product. For skin care in particular, it is important to offer hydration benefits in products without creating a mask-like feel.

For instance, product developers are adding hyaluronic acid and rich pigments to formulations to create a hydrated, healthy look, combined with primers that are breathable and moisture-locking. Silicones also are incorporated to help make skin feel hydrated by decreasing water loss, a feature that is often included in anti-aging products. Silicone emulsifiers, elastomers and fluids are extremely important ingredients for skin feel, hydrating effects and overall pleasing aesthetics.

For example, the Dow Corning HMW 2220 non-ionic emulsion imparts a rich after-feel when used in skin cleansers and body washes. Its combined film barrier and wash-off properties make it a good choice to impart the feeling of moisturization with a rich texture. Or, for a smooth luxurious feel, Dow Corning EP 9801 hydro cosmetic powder offers the powdery texture without the formulation challenges of a traditional elastomer powder.

Another trend emerging in 2014 is a fresh approach to color in cosmetics. Beauty brands are turning to new and unique colors to create vibrant lipsticks and lip glosses. Brighter colors like blaze orange and neon pink are an easy, inexpensive way for consumers to make a bold statement with their look.

To meet this trend, suppliers have been creating formulations devised to highlight the bright hues. For example, Univar developed a non-tacky, neon-colored lip gloss that provides shear lip color that hair won’t stick to—a common problem among focus groups. The lip gloss boasts a base combination that provides more shine than traditional polyisobutylene-based lip gloss and longer-wear properties. The formulation also achieves lip conditioning and plumping effects with a non-tacky base. And in utilizing synthetic-based mica pigments, the number of bright, exciting colors becomes nearly endless for lipsticks and glosses.

Moving on to men, demand for men’s personal care has also increased. (Read more about this in “It’s a Man’s World: Men’s Grooming Breaks New Ground” in the March 2014 issue of GCI magazine.) Mintel projects the men’s grooming personal care market will see a 13% increase from 2013–2018 to reach $4.4 billion, with sales driven by antiperspirants, shaving products and body care products.4

For older men, brands are creating more options for men’s beard and hair dye, along with conditioners to make hair feel less wiry. To combat the signs of aging hair, product developers are incorporating conditioners that contain repairing characteristics to reduce and eliminate brittleness. Dow Corning CE 8411 Smooth Plus Emulsion is one example of an ingredient that provides moisture to the hair shaft without leaving buildup.

Male consumers also are looking for skin products that offer a dry, silky feel. To achieve this, formulators are turning to ingredients such as Dow Corning FZ 3196 when working with natural oils to achieve a non-greasy after-feel. Because oils tend to be very moisturizing but have a tacky feel on the skin, these kind of ingredients are a great addition.

Innovation Always

The constant demand for new beauty, grooming and personal care product options is leading formulators, product developers, brands and manufacturers into new territory across product categories, making 2014 an exciting time for the industry. Brands are looking to meet these trends—integrating multiple benefits in beauty, grooming and personal care products while also developing new solutions for anti-aging, natural ingredients, bright makeup colors and men’s care.

Understanding how to incorporate these trends in beauty products can be a daunting process, as brands must prioritize what changes to make while also considering logistics such as production times and cost efficiencies. The good news is that these challenges are driving innovation in the industry and giving consumers more options than ever before.


  1. Personal Care & Household Cleaning Products Industry Profile, Yahoo! Finance, (Accessed Feb 5, 2014)
  2. Color Cosmetics – US report, Mintel, July 2013
  3. M Takahashi, M Yamada and Y Machida, A new method to evaluate the softening effect of cosmetic ingredients on the skin, J Soc Cosmet Chem 35, 171-181 (1984)
  4. Men’s Personal Care – US report, Mintel, October 2013

Joshua Hashim is a business manager in the personal care division of Univar, a global chemical distribution company. Hashim has nine years of experience in the beauty and personal care industry, and holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing from California State University, Fresno and an MBA from the University of La Verne.

The Skin Care Ingredient Handbook is so much more than an ingredient dictionary for the skin care industry. This book is useful to the cosmetic formulator to hone in on skin care trends for ethnic skin, scalp and hair products plus offers insight into BB creams, suncreens; active versus functional ingredients, natural, organic, and synthetic ingredients; OTC drugs; INCI names, antioxidants and DNA and how to read labels. Did we mention the newest ingredients are listed?

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