What’s the secret to true inclusion in the beauty industry?

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“I'm not sure if the products I see in the store will work for my hair, so I joined online discussions. After a lot of trial and money spent, I found the perfect cocktail of 3 different products to give my curls the definition and hydration I want.”

These true stories from textured hair consumers sparked the imagination of BASF researchers to develop a platform devoted to enabling inclusive beauty solutions.

“We built on what we learned to enhance our test methods and innovative solutions,” added Jill Litchauer, Head of Development and Innovation for Personal Care North America.

BASF recently launched the Passport to Textured Hair Ingredients and Solutions, the third concept developed since first shifting focus to this important area in 2019.

“We’ve worked with our employees as well as Monica Stevens, an influential professional hairstylist, to understand and meet the needs of our customers and consumers,” said Andrew Miller, Marketing Manager for Hair, Body and Oral Care.

Mythili Nori, Senior Performance and Claims Scientist added, “As an ingredient supplier, we challenged ourselves to develop claim substantiation techniques, enabling us to identify ingredient solutions that would be ideal for developing products for specific hair care needs.”

It’s exciting to see this expand beyond Textured Hair Care to include consumer research to understand the skin care needs of consumers with deep skin tones, innovation in zinc oxide UV filters to provide best in class transparency and the launch of the Inclusive Beauty Accelerator program.

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Melanin-rich skin is an underserved field and Kimberly Hairston-Hicks, founder of Good Beauté, shared her vision about what must do to address the gaps.

“Research is so critical. Everything starts with ingredients and how things come together and work,” Meg Mullen, Marketing Manager for Actives North America understands that and recognizes the call to action for BASF to develop the right ingredients for Melanin-rich skin care. “At BASF, we see it as our responsibility to make our ingredients as inclusive as possible to help our customers deliver exactly what all of their consumers need.

Shifting to UV filters, Hannah Cwienkala, Marketing Manager for Skin and Sun North America shared, “There’s an opportunity to create more inclusive sun care products with Zinc Oxide, an ingredient which has long posed challenges in achieving non-whitening sunscreens for all skin tones. We’re challenging ourselves to expand our testing protocols and innovate more transparent options such as our recent portfolio addition, Z-COTE® Sheer.”

BASF understands the indie brand’s impact on the industry, so the Inclusive Beauty Accelerator program was launched to "create a launching pad for entrepreneurs to help scale their approach to developing products that serve the diverse needs of consumers of today and tomorrow,” said Whitney Millegan, Digital and Project Leader for North America. "BASF selected six BIPOC, female entrepreneurs to participate in the program where they receive networking, technical and business training, as well as a $10,000 non-dilutive grant”

BASF Care Creations is building the path to enable the next generation of Inclusive Beauty solutions.

As Kate Drummond, Head of Marketing for Personal Care North America added, “What I appreciate the most is that it’s an evolving journey where we are constantly learning and pushing ourselves in order to change the industry.”

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