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From Inspiration to Innovation

By: Lisa Doyle
Posted: July 13, 2011, from the July 2011 issue of GCI Magazine.

Ingredients are much more than the various components of the recipes that comprise skin care formulations—they’re the reason the product delivers its promised results; they’re a reflection of the brand’s mission; and they’re an integral part of a successful marketing campaign. Drawing inspiration both from consumers’ desires and unique sources, ingredients are forging connections with today’s educated consumer in unprecedented ways.

Higher Learning

According to the experts, looking into the latest developments in the world of scientific research is often the first step to finding the most innovative ingredients. “We are predominantly focused on being the next generation of skin care, not a ‘me-too’ manufacturer,” explains Rebecca James Gadberry, CEO of YG Laboratories, a private label manufacturer based in Huntington Beach, California. “We take a look at what’s going on in the world of research—not only with skin but also with genetics. Then we work with vendors to make sure they are developing along the lines of our interests.”

Likewise, Eric Perrier, executive vice president of research and development for LVMH Parfums at Cosmetiques in St. Jean de Braze, France, asserts the importance of crossing ingredient innovations over from different industries. “I believe it is the responsibility of luxury brands to open doors by proposing new alternatives and using some exclusive noble materials, polymers and ingredients generally not used before in the cosmetic field,” he says. “In that sense, our innovations are the result of the combination of our large, international and sustainable network of collaborations with suppliers, subcontractors, public and private research centers, and universities. Our researchers have developed very intense worldwide networks, each one of them being connected with the others, which allows us to be agile, very scientifically based, very demanding, but in turn, very innovative.”

The Power of Peptides

One such development that has deftly made its way from the scientific community into the skin care market is peptides. Many suppliers continue to reap the benefits of this ingredient family. “Peptides created a sensation when Matrixyl launched in 1999, and are still strongly in demand today,” says Cheria Orozco, director of product development at Chandler, Arizona-based private label manufacturer CoValence Laboratories. Despite more than a decade on the marketplace, suppliers are continuing to keep peptides ground breaking. “Our vendors are bringing new peptides every week,” says Gadberry, noting that discovering new uses for peptides keeps them fresh and in demand. “They started out as good anti-agers for firming and wrinkle correction. Now, we’re looking at them for skin lightening, hypopigmentation, rosacea, acne and even foaming peptides. We’re going to see a very, very big blowout in peptide technology, and we are going to see a lot from it in the next few years.”