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Methods & Processes
Research in Cosmetic Valley
By: Eric Perrier, LVMH, et al.
Posted: February 19, 2010
page 4 of 9
What recent discoveries or advances have impacted, or will impact—whether positively or negatively—the formulation of cosmetic products?
First, the recent advances that have impacted the formulation of cosmetics are connected to the development of more environmentally friendly processes—i.e., decreasing the use of solvents, reducing the amount of energy used, and using fewer additives. Actives and ingredients are obtained via “natural” means more and more, including extraction from vegetals for actives, cultures of micro algae for antioxidants, colorants, etc., or cultures of bacteria for surfactants like glucolipids.
Secondly, new discoveries have permitted the development of sensorial ingredients such as phospholipids, natural thickeners and polymers. These raw materials improve the products’ feel, and consequently, the well-being of consumers.
How might these advances be used to improve personal care product formulations?
Under the influence of the European REACH regulation, which was set up to improve the well-being of the population in terms of health and environment, the formulation of personal care will be supported by using better chemical raw materials both in terms of residue and toxicological impact. Furthermore, personal care product manufacturers have access to more and more natural sourcing. It is thus a real re-innovation for the sector to be able to build these formulae with ingredients that are as successful as before, but much better defined with specific sensory features.
How have market trends or regulations impacted the formulation of personal care products?
We have observed an increase in the impact that regulations have as well as an increase in pressures at European and international levels, through media and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). All of these movements result in a certain awareness by consumers of their own safety—take the story of parabens, for example–or that of the planet. Certainly, in the near future, cold process and low carbon footprints will lead the market. But beyond these considerations, the formulation of personal care also must strive to improve the well-being of the population. These new requirements will become the engine of innovation.
by Frédéric Ossant, University of Tours: