New, Improved and Empowered: in-cosmetics 2017


April 4-6, 2017, LONDON--"Very busy." These were the words uttered by nearly every in-cosmetics exhibitor and attendee, with an approving nod, when asked how the show was going for them. So busy, in fact, at one point, the "Tube" platforms became overwhelmed and people could only enter the station in waves.

Really, it's no wonder; with hundreds of stands to visit, four main presentation areas, the Innovation Zone complete with live demonstrations, Sensory Bar and Formulation Lab all on the show floor—not to mention the workshops held adjacent to the hall, individual vendor events and awards—attendees had access to nearly every innovation and concept relevant for cosmetics R&D. This generated gigawatts of creative energy, as colleagues and friends, new and old,ngaged in powerful exchanges.

Sustainability Scene and Owning Expertise

Sustainable materials and optimized workhorse ingredients dominated the overall scene once again this year, but with a few notable differences. First, in addition to providing these key ingredient types, more than ever before, supplier companies were owning their expertise.

For example, in the case of sustainable ingredients, several suppliers showcased tools and apps to visualize for their customers how the ingredient supply chain can be tracked and what marketable parameters, i.e., carbon footprint, emissions, fair trade, etc., they incur along the way. One company even envisioned a future where customers could scan a product label on their smartphone to see all the ingredients a product contains and where they come from.

Suppliers also were focused on platform technologies that, with the right molecular manipulation, could be used to create multiple and unique ingredients for most any given application. In most cases, hands-on lab assistance with these ingredients is provided, to teach customers how to use them in the lab. However, one supplier went to the trouble of bringing the lab into the booth, to allow visitors to interact with ingredients; much like the in-cosmetics Formulation Lab did.

Beyond Benefits

Popular benefit ingredients such as anti-aging actives, naturals, scalp care, moisturizers, repair agents for skin/hair and texture/experience innovations made prominent appearances again this year. However, some had creative new positioning. For example, a warming agent to stimulate the scalp for hair growth; an indoor-focused anti-pollution ingredient; even a complete prototype line for tattooed skin.

There also were new, improved offerings to further optimize the efficacy of actives, reducing the levels required. Microbead replacements and alternative preservatives were presented; and novel extraction technologies for natural ingredients, including engineered microbes and fermentation.

All in all, this "very busy" show was new and improved, like many of the concepts presented. Stay tuned as we continue to report on evolutions and discoveries found within, and beyond, the walls of in-cosmetics 2017.

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