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Trends in Asian Cosmetic Raw Materials
Posted: May 3, 2011
At the Bell Flavors & Fragrances Fragrance Workshop, held on April 26, 2011, Taya Tomasello, Mintel's US director of beauty innovation, reviewed recent trends and traditions in Asia, which included ingredients formulated into or used to inspire the fragrance of personal care products.
Trends in Japan were discussed first, as Tomasello introduced many attendees to the Japanese tradition of "hanami" or flower viewing. This practice celebrates the blooming of the "sakura" or cherry blossoms, which is a sign of spring in Japan. According to Tomasello, there are nearly 200 varieties of cherry blossoms and because they are difficult to distill, their presence in personal care products is often for fragrance inspiration rather than specific raw material benefits. The cherry blossom is also often seen in the fragrance and packaging of color cosmetics and skin care, in addition to some Japanese beverages, where it is used as a flavor.
Also part of the flower viewing is "ume," the Japanese apricot or Chinese plum. Similar to the "sakura," this tree, Prunus mume, produces flower blossoms every spring. It has also been used to inspire the fragrance and packaging of personal care products.
Moving to Chinese ingredient trends, yuzu is a versatile fruit that has made its way into a number of personal care products. In China, the fruit can be found in color cosmetic formulations in addition to beverages. According to Tomasello, it has migrated to the United States and Europe mostly in the food and beverage markets but also in medicated bath tablets.
Of course, no discussion of Chinese ingredient trends would be complete without mentioning green tea. This ingredient, which is available in a number of varieties (gyokuro, sencha, matcha, ganmaicha, etc.) all have different functions in personal care products. Some are formulated in skin care products to soothe skin, protect skin against free radicals, and even to lighten skin.