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Beauty in Layers: Multitasking Ingredients

By: Abby Penning
Posted: June 1, 2012, from the June 2012 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Being straightforward based on the primary necessities of the product an ingredient is being formulated into is wise, as well. “We usually try to differentiate based on the efficacy parameters of the ingredient,” explains Bennett. “For instance, in a hair care application, we may focus on film-forming capability, but in skin care, on moisturizing abilities.”

Bennett also notes that brands’ needs are always top of mind. “Instead of being biased toward more marketable elements, though, I would say we bias toward what the customer is looking for as we discuss the ingredient,” she says. “In other words, we custom tailor our presentation to address the particular needs the customer has expressed.” And Nayak notes, “If there is a particular interest in a certain aspect of an ingredient that we have not explored, we work with the customer to customize the study for their formulation.” Pande concurs, saying, “One of the advantages with Sabinsa’s ingredients is that they go through a series of tests for claim substantiation, hence the ingredients speak for themselves. For every ingredient, Sabinsa provides the scientific evidence for its proposed claims or functions. Based on the formulation in mind, the formulators often add ingredients for targeting a specific condition or function.”

Ingredients with multiple claims can get pigeonholed though. “The ingredients with multifunctional effects often get compartmentalized into certain cosmetic segments, which makes it challenging for a brand to promote in other segments,” Pande notes. “However, scientific evidence and claim substantiation often provide a strong rationale for broadening the use of cosmeceutical actives in different cosmeceutical segments.”

And Bennett notes, “The biggest challenge is actually proving that the ingredient has efficacy in the different segment. But it is more of an opportunity, really, as we get to present new data for a currently available ingredient, which could drive increased sales. Much easier than doing a new launch from scratch.”

The final word always comes down to the product needs. “It’s all about the feel and what the customer wants,” says Griffiths. “An in-depth understanding of the end product and desired attributes helps us to tailor make the solution.”

More Multitaskers

This category of ingredients continues to move ahead as well, with new innovations and discoveries taking place every day. “We are steadily testing molecules from our existing portfolio for new applications, based on customers’ feedback and scientific surveys,” says Lefèvre. “Once we have all the results, then we come back to the market and inform customers that they can use such or such compound for a new application. This is usually extremely appreciated, as the ingredient is already coded by their company, and can therefore be used directly.”

But perhaps the biggest advantage in utilizing multitasking ingredients is the potential to offer consumers multiple benefits that can be expressed through simpler messaging/labeling. “We feel that the more multifunctional an ingredient is, the better,” says Nayak. “If an ingredient can perform multiple functions, it frees up room in formulation for some really novel ingredients to be used to perform unique functions. In addition, the fewer ingredients on the label, the easier it is for consumers to understand the beauty products and be informed about what they are using.”