Jennifer Marsh, Ph.D., research fellow, Beauty Technology Division for Procter & Gamble and C&T scientific advisor, offers her insights on current formulating concepts and challenges.
C&T: What are the latest developments and trends in formulating that cosmetic formulators need to be aware of? How should they act on them today? What should they expect to see coming in the next six to 12 months?
JM: Damage remains a key need area for women, especially as we see levels of hair coloring increasing, especially in South America and Asia. Also, the use of heated implements and in particular flat irons; you could argue that the state of hair health today globally is the worst it has ever been.
I think there is a continuing trend in technologies that prevent damage before it occurs and going beyond repairing damage. For example: antioxidant technology that protects against UV exposure preventing damage from occurring.
C&T: Anti-pollution is one of the hottest areas of interest in cosmetics and personal care today. What should cosmetic formulators look to do with their formulas to create effective anti-pollution products? Please talk about how the industry needs to respond to this growing trend.
JM: You are right, pollution is a hot area of interest especially in parts of Asia such as China and India. The sources of pollution can be multiple and can include particulates from the air, cigarette smoke, and also pollutants such as minerals from water. Formulators should be thinking of multiple strategies to combat pollution, including effective cleaning to remove deposits and also technologies to minimize minerals in hair.
C&T: Multifunctional products have been on the wish list for consumers for a while now. Do you think this trend will continue, and what do you see as the latest trends in multifunctional products? What functions are coming together?
JM: Yes, absolutely. Many women want to simplify their beauty routines, so we need to develop higher-performing foundational products like shampoos and conditioners. When we realized that we needed to address oxidative stress in hair with antioxidant technology, we faced the choice of creating dedicated antioxidant treatments or including the technology in our shampoos and conditioners. We chose the latter. Not only is this protective mechanism important to all hair types, we believe it is right to push the boundaries of foundational products.
If women get better results from their shampoo and conditioner, they can save time, effort and frustration from the rest of their hair care routine.