How are cosmetic brands innovating in 2021?

How are cosmetic brands innovating in 2021?

Since 1990, in-cosmetics Global has given R&D professionals an unrivalled opportunity to source the latest ingredients and network with key suppliers. When it returns to Barcelona this October, many of the biggest names in the industry – as well as a host of first-time exhibitors – will showcase their latest innovations. Helping formulators to learn more about the major trends shaping the future of cosmetics and discover the next best ingredients, we take a look at the latest innovations in everything from sustainability and skincare to colour cosmetics.

The hot topic of sustainability

Small plant growingSustainability is a key priority across all industries and one that has been accelerated by COVID-19. The pandemic-induced lockdowns have changed the way we live and work and consequently, our negative impact on the environment has declined. This is demonstrated by a drop in pollution levels and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as an increase in air and water quality. This change has been tangible for many, giving consumers a newfound appreciation of nature and a strong will to do more to protect it.

Demand for green products is driving personal care brands towards new sustainable innovations such as reusable or refillable packaging solutions, carbon neutrality and waterless beauty. Upcycling is another way to reduce our waste and involves transforming unwanted products into useful materials.

According to research, cosmetics containing recycled or upcycled ingredients appeal to 69% of beauty consumers. At in-cosmetics Global, Givaudan Active Beauty will be displaying its new Omegablue – an ingredient produced from upcycled wild bilberries that improves skin hydration and barrier functionality. In addition, exhibitors can see Koster Keunen’s latest innovation, Orange Wax, which is an emollient made from peel waste produced from the juice market, as well as Quimivita’s new gentle exfoliator called Exfobreeze which is made from cork.

Another sustainable concept gaining traction is waterless beauty, which initially originated in South Korea as a way to increase product efficacy. Water is commonly used in cosmetics as a filler, however this reduces the product’s effectiveness meaning more must be consumed. Consequently, more packaging is required, which if not recycled, is either sent to landfill or discarded, potentially causing harm to wildlife. Tapping into this trend and reducing the need for packaging, attendees at in-cosmetics Global will be able to learn more about waterless beauty from exhibitors Stephenson and Kao Chemicals Europe, which have launched a solid shampoo conditioning bar and a solid waterless kit containing shampoo, hair conditioner and body moisturiser, respectively.

Other environmentally-friendly innovations that will be on display are ROELMI HPC’s brand-new BeauSensTM line, which consists of an emollient, an emulsifier, and a surfactant. The ingredients are produced from sunflower seed oil using a Mediterranean-based circular economy model, giving formulators several sustainable solutions for use in skincare products. In addition, Scott Bader has also launched a new range of eco-friendly additives. Its innovative high performing Texique emulsifiers provide the perfect thickening solution for personal care formulations and are bio-based adhering to the company’s 2036 vision of developing sustainable products.

Naturally derived ingredients

cosmetics in natural setting with aloe veraDemand for natural ingredients is also on the rise, particularly in Europe where a growing ageing population craves natural ingredients with active anti-ageing properties, and influential millennial and Gen Z consumers favour organic products. Ingredient suppliers are matching these trends to stand out in a competitive marketplace, for example, Gattefossé’s EleVastin ingredient. The new product is of 100% natural origin – made from Murraya koenigii plants – and fights gravity-induced ageing signs such as skin sagging. Similarly, Bicosome’s new Bicoalgae ω3 product is a microalgae-based delivery system that works to resolve ageing resulted from chronic inflammation.

Other exhibitors that have mastered the production of natural ingredients include O&3, which will be displaying its new Fruit & Vegetable Oil patch. The range of unique oils are made by pressing seeds giving an aromatic product rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids to improve skin health. Kobo Products has also responded to demands for natural ingredients by launching its new ASGP, a hybrid surface treatment that renders powders hydrophobic and super-dispersible. Its properties are extremely beneficial to formulators as easy dispersal means minimal energy is required during the grinding phase.

Consumers want long-lasting performance coupled with a high level of plant-based ingredients, but natural makeup notoriously lacks the former, often smudging and transferring onto textiles. However, Covestro is helping formulators tackle the challenge of modern make-up by launching Baycusan® eco E 1001. The new bio-based product increases the contents of natural ingredients in traditional make-up formulas, whilst keeping the long-lasting properties of synthetic film formers such as water-resistance, rub-off resistance and anti-smudge.

Spotlight on skincare

girl doing skincare in the mirrorFor several years, innovation in skincare has been fuelled by the rise of knowledgeable consumers, known as ‘skintellectuals’. The widespread lockdowns due to the pandemic have further propelled skincare into the limelight. According to research by Swedish beauty brand Foreo, 96% of consumers would rather invest in skincare instead of make-up during the pandemic, and almost 40% have been stockpiling their favourite skincare products for fear of further lockdowns. Consumers are more concerned about dermatology than ever before as lockdown living has caused changes in our diet, sleep, vitamin D intake, and stress, all of which can wreak havoc on skin health.

There’s always a strong line-up of skincare solutions at the in-cosmetics events and this year will be no different. Attendees will be able to discover Vantage Personal Care’s new oil-free emollient Liponate™ Jojoba 20, a multi-functional ingredient that protects and repairs sensitive skin by restoring hydration levels in just four hours. Meanwhile, Jojoba Desert is branching out beyond its usual Jojoba Oil by launching its revolutionary JD Hydro Boost after five years of research and development. The ingredient is an active natural fibre that penetrates the epidermis to rejuvenate skin cells by promoting collagen secretion.

Other anti-ageing innovations that will feature at the event include Zinc Ascorbate from Dr. Paul Lohmann GmbH & Co. KGaA, which combines the antimicrobial properties of Zinc with Vitamin C, an ingredient renowned for slowing the ageing process. Visitors can also look forward to Silab’s Erisium and Deretil Nature’s Maslinic Acid, both of which are active ingredients derived from nature. The first comes from the outer layers of rice and helps maintain cellular proteostasis to reduce Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and limit the inflammation process. The latter is olive fruit extract standardised in triterpenes and has an anti-dark spot and anti-inflammatory effects to give the skin a more youthful appearance.

There will also be ingredients that enhance the texture of personal care products, for example, Silok’s new SiCare2181 P5, which is a crosslinked dimethicone polymer grafted with acrylic acid. The micro-powder is hydrophilic and possesses a strong emulsifying ability allowing it to be used in pure oil and powder formulations where it gives a silky-soft feel.

Colour cosmetics for the future

multi-coloured eye shadow paletteMany exhibitors are making waves in the colour cosmetics market, such as Grolman Group with its Xicare™ 1305 dispersant. Currently, the majority of liquid colour cosmetics are based on water-in-silicone formulations, which causes concern amongst consumers over the bio-persistency of silicones. Xicare™ 1305 combats this by promoting dispersion of untreated oxide pigments in water, allowing formulators to produce silicone-free aqueous colour cosmetics that can be used as tinted moisturisers, liquid blushes, and liquid foundations.

Disruptive Materials is also shaking up the world of colour cosmetics with its patented Upsalite material. The mesoporous magnesium carbonate ingredient is versatile and can be used in countless applications. For example, it can enhance primer sticks by contributing to oil uptake, generating a matte and blurry canvas that is perfect for foundation application. Lastly, Koel Colours is brightening the post-pandemic future by launching a unique series of shades called Colours of Happiness. The pigments are perfect for formulators experimenting with exotic shades and aim to positively uplift the moods of consumers.

Endless innovation

There’s something for everyone at in-cosmetics Global 2021, from the latest fragrance technology, such as Iberchem’s antimicrobial NeoGuard, to oral hygiene ingredients like preBIULIN ORAL by Gobiotics. Formulators will even be able to find active ingredients for our four-legged friends thanks to Citróleo and its pioneering CitroPet line, which is specially designed for the skin and hair of pets.

Of course, as a hotbed for innovation, many products that will feature at the event are yet to be released, for example, world-leading speciality chemical company Clariant is set to launch a vast line of cosmetic ingredients and premium formulations this Spring. The run-up to the event will see plenty more exhibitors unveil their latest innovations as the specific needs of 2021’s emerging trends reveal themselves.


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