Build a solid foundation in science, formulation and product development—find out more!
Most Popular in:
Communicating Anti-aging Skin Care Benefits to the Consumer: Part II
By: Katerina Steventon, PhD, FaceWorkshops; and Steve Barton, Skin Thinking Ltd.
Posted: January 8, 2013, from the February 2013 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
page 2 of 4
Boots was confident that the Protect & Perfect product could influence some skin aging factors from in vitro studies. This hypothesis was tested in a biopsy study investigating fibrillin expression with positive results that were eventually shown on the BBC program. The goal of this study was not provide clinical proof; the consumer (and press) made this extrapolation. Rather, the biopsy study provided the confidence to go into this clinical trial.
Formulator's often find themselves in this position with new ingredients from suppliers that are formulated in bland bases. Amidst the surge in use of the Protect & Perfect product, there was some negative reaction. Interestingly, some customers who had changed from their usual routine to the serum, or started using the serum alone, found that it was not as good as their usual moisturizer. This was not surprising to formulators since it had not been formulated as a moisturizer. The serum was intended to deliver a more intense benefit and serve as an adjunct to a moisturizer. It was clear that the message consumers heard was "the first 'clinically proven moisturizer' rather than the first product to have been tested in this manner. The overall lesson here is the need to ensure that simplifying the communication does not leave some important consumer needs unfulfilled. Education and clear advice at point of sale help this process, which is difficult when a product is selling at a rate of 1 every 10 seconds
KS: Other long-term efficacy studies such as a double-blind, randomized, controlled, split face study, a comparison of a skin care product and a prescription treatment and a double-blind, vehicle-controlled trial followed the Boots trial. Some consumers ask for claims substantiated by an independent, blinded, long-term clinical trial with subjective views of the participants and clinical expert grading and objective scientific data obtained by non-invasive measurement. Initially expensive, this strategy drives commercial success. It differentiates between products with similar benefits, which is important in a purchasing environment without a dedicated sales consultant.
SB: I am interested in your statement that some consumers ask for claims substantiated in complex ways. I would suggest that they are looking for increased confidence, and cosmetic products offer the range of “confidence surrogates” that you describe.
Polling consumers in a number of different ways of communicating scientific claims testing shows little differentiation between terms currently in use, suggesting they have similar value. Who are we trying to convince? I would argue that the cosmetics industry is trying to convince ourselves first. Next, as exemplified above, the cosmetic industry is trying to convince dermatologists, who believe that cosmetics exert little or no permanent or cumulative effects. The cosmetics industry is also trying to ensure that consumers are getting something beneficial. These outcomes must be communicated to consumers, the same consumers who have diverse needs and are driven by emotional as much as rational evidence.
Much Needed Information on Formulating for Antioxidant Claims
NEW! Antioxidants in the Skin by Roger McMullen is the first book to offer a comprehensive account of antioxidants in personal care and addresses the cellular level of human skin.
Find Out More! Alluredbooks-Antioxidants in the Skin