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‘Conscious consumer’ demand is propelling cosmeceuticals industry, experts tell CPhI Discover audience

Gareth Carpenter — 20 May 2021

Upstream raw materials suppliers seen as the main source of innovation in a growing industry driven by demand for more natural ingredients manufactured in clean, sustainable way

Savvy consumers in search of more sustainable and cleaner beauty products that contain new natural ingredients are driving growing demand in the cosmeceuticals sector, according to experts speaking at CPhI Discover on Thursday.

In the webinar, Formulating Natural Ingredients for Cosmeceuticals, Akshay Talati, Vice President - Research & Innovation at L'Oréal said that while natural cosmetic ingredients have been in the market for over 25 years, it is only during the last five to six years that consumers have been moving over to the category of so-called ‘conscious beauty’ where sustainability concerns take precedence.

“50% of the products in cosmetics launched today have some kind of natural claim, which could be related to packaging, sustainability, ingredients, marketing etc.,” he told the audience. “This trend is going to continue; people are looking more for conscious beauty which is giving back to the planet and bringing back the whole concept of skin being the future of health and they are looking for products and ingredients that perform and they are coming back to naturals.”

He added that ‘star’ ingredients such as retinol, vitamin C, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and peptides are still powering most of the cosmetics products in terms of performance as they did 25 years ago when he joined the industry.

“What has changed is that the percentages of use of these ingredients has increased and whereas 25 year ago we did have naturals, at the time they were used more in diluted liquid solutions and were more for storage purposes – people were looking for basic moisturisers and anti-aging ingredients,” he said. “Now consumers are demanding more when it comes to performance; they are pushing the envelope and going almost towards cosmeceutical drug territory. They are looking for 20% nicotinamide and 30% glycolic acid, and then to support these are new natural ingredients.”

Sylesh Venkataraman, Global Business Manager, Botanical Ingredients at Lubrizol Life Science- Beauty said that in his role identifying new extracts and molecules, “the perspective has changed.”

“The market is looking for natural ingredients obtained by a clean, sustainable way in an approach where you impact the circular economy,” he said. “What we do is understand the molecules that are present in nature, utilise a design approach that focuses on efficacy, and do a screening evaluation of extracts produced by a clean technology.”

He added that while previous methodologies involved hazardous solvents, based on consumer insights, “we are now changing it into using natural technologies.”

Talati said that he had recently conducted an online poll among likeminded professionals in cosmetics including researchers, formulators and brand makers and they identified raw material manufacturers as the main source of innovation in cosmeceuticals.

“Innovation in the cosmetics industry does starts upstream to downstream,” he said. “The raw materials manufacturers start the idea and bring the ingredient and then it’s up to the formulators and marketers on how to create the message from that ingredient to bring to the consumers.”

“Natural ingredients are more popular than ever and what is encouraging about this exciting trend is this focus on innovation, on validation and on how both as formulators and ingredients companies, we are really thinking about how we use botanicals to provide the benefits we want to provide to give a better product,” said the session chair, Pushpa Vijayaraghavan, Director & Practice Lead- Healthcare at Sathguru Management Consultants. “I think in the next decade, global traditional knowledge is actually going to power more and more innovation, combined with a sustainability focus.”

This webinar will be available on demand from 31 May. In the meantime, for details on how to register for this ongoing virtual event, head to the CPhI Discover website

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