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Beauty in Layers: Multitasking Ingredients
By: Abby Penning
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.
- Ingredients that offer multiple claims or can be applied to more than one product category are valuable in both the formulation and in telling a brand’s unique story.
- Talking about an ingredient outside of its known category or for displaying a little-known claim can help gain attention and results.
- Multitasking ingredients can free up formulation space to add more specialized ingredients and help contribute to simpler, easier-to-understand product labeling.
To function in modern society, nearly everyone is a multitasker. From everyday at-home tasks to work responsibilities, family and friend activities, and a variety of other obligations, we’ve all worn multiple hats in a single day—or even an hour—in order to get done what needs to get done. However, when the multitasking responsibilities fall on something such as beauty ingredients, it can turn out to be not only a time- and value-saver but also an interesting way to differentiate your brand’s beauty products to consumers.
In the Market for Multitasking
“My personal point of view [is], as a supplier, we can consider multitasking ingredients at two levels—ingredients that can be used in different kinds of finished products (body, sun care, makeup), like a polymer; and active ingredients that have several modes of biological activities, and thereby offering several claims for their use,” explains Fabrice Lefèvre, scientific marketing manager, Induchem Companies.
“Multitasking active ingredients are half-devil, half-angel molecules,” Lefèvre continues. “Angels because they answer at least four requests:
- They enable [beauty brands] to face economical constraints and reduce formulation costs (using one ingredient instead of two or three);
- They are more easily integrated in formulas, with fewer incompatibilities;
- They generate less issues for toxicologists and are coded only once for several uses; and
- They answer one growing tendency from customers: having one cream to take care of several problems at one time.
“[They are] devils because they cannot always act on each biological target with the level of efficiency [needed]. It’s almost like these famous multitasking kitchen robots: you use them for one specific application, but not for all of them. So they have to be used carefully by brands, who need to discuss in detail with suppliers the use of these compounds to make sure they make the best choice,” Lefèvre concludes.
Recognizing Various Uses