At NYSCC Suppliers' Day, the "Digital Age of Beauty" seminar series discusses market demand in beauty and personal care, where consumers are now demanding personalization, as well as specific and sustainable ingredients, which has caused suppliers, formulators and product development specialists to enact a digital transformation.
The "Digital Age of Beauty" helps to navigate digital solutions that are driving innovative and personalized formulations, and assisting product development specialists to answer these consumers’ demands.
Presenters include analytic forecasters and technology specialists from Mintel, Ashland and others. Select brands will also share the latest consumer insights and inventive technologies such as AI and AR, that will influence beauty and personal care product development.
How Tech is Transforming Transparency in Beauty
Sarah Jindal, senior director of beauty and personal care at Mintel discusses how consumers are adopting a more conscious approach to consumption and therefore wanting to ensure their products are responsibly sourced and made, as well as to ensure quality and that they are getting what they paid for as people become more cautious and mindful of what they consume.
Jindal presented how cosmetic companies should leverage technology as a way to protect consumers from counterfeits and make more informed choices to improve well-being and product experiences. While people immerse themselves in the digital world and acquire more digital assets, the application of blockchain technology can ensure the legitimacy and value of a digital property, providing new investment opportunities for both consumers and brands.
"This idea of a traceable supply chain is something more and more consumers are starting to get on board with and are starting to understand what to look for," said Jindal. "Half of Chinese consumers that bought their products in the past year bought products with a traceable supply chain. And about 30% that hadn't done it [checked the supply chain], said they were interested in doing it. So growing numbers [with consumers] there."
"Sixty-three percent of consumers in the UK think brands need to do a better job in proving their [product] claims and almost 60% agree that information around their ethical stance or their sustainability ratings, etc. is more trustworthy coming from an independent, third-party source. So that's really something interesting to consider."
Jindal continued: "How is all this digital that we're seeing really changing the beauty landscape? I think it's all of the digital tools and things we have access to [that] are starting to become more normalized, becoming more mainstream. They were niche for a very long time. [This emergence of] VR (virtual reality) has become a game-changer but for a long time it was something that was fun for people to play around with but nobody really saw all the value until people couldn't go into a store and test the product anymore and they realized it was the only way they were going to be able to do it. So we've now seen over the last couple of years this massive push for advancements in the technology; lots of acquisitions, partnerships happening between beauty and tech companies, and really starting to change the game of how we leverage those tools to better relate not just to the brand but also to the product itself."
Artificial Intelligence and Upcycled Cosmetic Ingredients
Joseph Dallal, business development of naturals and biofunctionals at Ashland Specialty Ingredients, presented how artificial intelligence (AI) is predicted to change the face of every industry.
In the pharmaceutical domain, network pharmacology systems play a vital role in the development of drugs. Network pharmacology systems can be adapted to cosmetic science to explore potential skin benefits associated with key molecules in a cosmetic ingredient. Therefore, using digital tools helps to answer the growing demand for personalized cosmetic ingredients.
"If we look at a breakthrough solution, it's how can we do a breakthrough? And pull out some of these natural products that people used to throw away for feed or whatever. How can you improve and make sure you have sustainably sourced products? Full traceability," said Dallal. "We're looking at what fields are being used, where they are and the genetic tracing of some of the plants that we use. Looking at how many thousand years old is this gene network or the genome of some of the plants that we use? And that goes into AI as well."
Dallal continued, "We've been also looking at the hand-in-hand partnering suppliers and the growers, and the people moving the grown food around, how it's processed and looking at what's going on local communities—you know, donating computers to the local schools, are they giving them rides to and from work, those kinds of things. [Basically] anything that we can do that delivers a minimum impact on the environment and the ecosystem. And of course, that's good for everybody. So it all worked. This has all been developed by uncovering unique and very innovative molecular signatures from different plants."