Personal Care Ingredients: A Comprehensive Look at the Specialty Actives and Delivery Systems Markets

The segment of active ingredients in the personal care industry is experiencing rapid growth, fueled by the rising consumer demand for effective products that meet their individual needs. Moreover, the growing importance of sustainability is driving various market trends, such as upscaling, minimalism, and the use of multifunctional ingredients. In line with this, delivery systems are gaining increased attention as they aim to protect, stabilize, and enhance the delivery of active ingredients.

Watch the webinar, as our experts integrate valuable insights from our Specialty Actives in Personal Care Global study and Delivery Systems in Personal Care report, into an insightful presentation, which will help you:

- Get the full picture of the specialty actives market, as well as an overview of the market by region and ingredient type
- Discover main trends driving the active ingredients market in personal care
- Understand the delivery systems market and its value chain



Kunal Mahajan

Project Manager,
Chemicals Practice

Carlos Ruiz

Project Manager,
Chemicals Practice

The Active Ingredients Market in Asia

The Active Ingredients Market in Asia

Specialty ingredients have the largest growth potential within the personal care ingredients business, with Europe and the United States representing the two biggest markets. Next in line: China and Japan.

In a special presentation given at the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists Suppliers' Day, Kline's Vice President of Chemicals,  Nikola Matic, zeroed in on the active ingredients market in Asia, taking a deep dive into China. Among his revelations regarding the country: Multinational active ingredient suppliers and cosmetics brands are building factories there in the aftermath of COVID-19; regulatory challenges such as those by the National Medical Products Administration restricts live cells usage in skin care product, which limits further development of the market for probiotics, stem cell extracts, and more; and the "skinification" of hair is rising in popularity.

What else is helping to shape the specialty ingredients market in China? And what are some of the specifics of the markets in Japan and India? Find out by downloading Nikola's presentation, which draws insights from Kline's new Specialty Actives in Personal Care: Global Market Analysis and Opportunities report, a detailed appraisal of key regional markets for active ingredients that assesses current and forecast demand by major ingredients, functionalities, prices, distribution channels, supplier sales, and technical and market trends

Active Ingredients Is Naturality Still Driving the Market

Active Ingredients: Is Naturality Still Driving the Market?

This special presentation, Active Ingredients: Is Naturality Still Driving the Market?, was given by Nikola Matic, Kline’s Vice President of Chemicals, at the recent in-cosmetics Global event in Barcelona, Spain; it features insights from Kline's new Specialty Actives in Personal Care: ​Global Market Analysis and Opportunities report. Among its offerings:  

  • A breakdown of active ingredients 
  • Specialties demand by ingredient group
  • Value share of specialty actives by region, active category, and application
  • M&A activity
  • Effects of the ISO 16128 standard  
  • Personal care ingredients demand by naturality
  • Value share of select active ingredients categories in Europe
  • Factors currently driving the market for active ingredients
  • Forecasts for growth in consumption of specialty actives by active category and region 

Specialty Actives in Personal Care: ​Global Market Analysis and Opportunities is a detailed appraisal of key regional markets for active ingredients assessing current and forecast demand by major ingredients, functionalities, prices, distribution channels, supplier sales, and technical and market trends.​ In addition, the report includes a brand-new analysis of consumer perception of active ingredients. 

Specialty Actives in Personal Care: New Market Trends and Opportunities

Multifunctional actives are gaining steam among cosmetic makers. One powerhouse ingredient is niacinamide, thanks to its multi-faceted benefits. Botanicals and biotech ingredients are also in high demand as consumers have become greener in their beauty purchasing. What are the other trends driving the industry forward?

Watch this webinar, which will draw upon key insights from our soon-to-be-published Specialty Actives in Personal Care: Global Market Analysis and Opportunities report, to learn about:

  • Key ingredient trends in Europe, Brazil, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and United States
  • Growing role of sustainability and consumer perceptions
  • New products, regulations, and the competitive landscape


Kunal Mahajan

Project Manager,
Chemicals Practice

Frances Davidson

Senior Account Manager

Is Lonza’s Specialty Ingredients Divestment the Chemicals Deal of the Decade?

Is Lonza’s Specialty Ingredients Divestment the Chemicals Deal of the Decade?

Lonza’s Specialty Ingredients Divestment
Trade tensions, geopolitical events, and slowing economies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had little effect on merger and acquisition (M&A) activities in the chemicals industry this year. The industry experienced a slowdown in organic sales growth across most segments in all regions, yet many companies have taken this time to consider transactions for business transformation. This includes acquisitions to secure growth, generate cash resources, maintain market competitivity, build IP, or restructure their business. This year alone has witnessed divestment announcements such as Lonza’s Specialty Ingredients business and deals closing across the specialty chemicals sector, particularly in the ingredients value chain. Deals have ranged from EQT Partners acquisition of Schuelke and IFF’s acquisition of DuPont’s Nutrition and Biosciences to Cargill’s acquisition of Floratech. Deal multipliers continue to rise, showing no indication of a decline. The current situation has had a mixed impact on the global biocides market. Many markets for biocides such as household, industrial and institutional hygiene (HI&I), personal care, and agriculture are either positively or less impacted, whereas industrial markets such as paints and coatings, marine antifoulant coatings, plastics, and oilfield applications experienced the strongest decline in demand.

Over the last decade, the global biocides industry underwent several M&A activities, including some major ones shown below.

M&A in biocides business

This month, Lonza is set to start the sale process of its specialty ingredients business (LSI) unit. With a reported EBITDA of CHF 300 million (US 323 million) in 2019, LSI is comprised of two business units: Microbial Control Solutions (MCS) and Specialty Chemicals Services (SCS). MCS serves end-use markets including paints and coatings, HI&I, personal care, and wood treatment. SCS mostly offers agricultural and pharmaceutical contract manufacturing, nutritional supplements, and composites.

Lonza decided to divest its LSI division to focus more on its Pharma, Biotech & Nutrition business.  UBS investment bank is leading the sale and claims to have issued information packages on LSI to peers such as LANXESS and Clariant, plus private equity groups. LANXESS and Clariant have been working on strengthening their businesses, having divested Arlanxeo, chrome chemicals, and masterbatches. LANXESS CEO Matthias Zachert stated on an investor call that the firm’s M&A firepower is somewhere between 1 to 2 billion Euros, while a big 4 strategy consultancy claimed it has been approached by 25 private equity firms interested in this deal.

Lonza has a wide portfolio of active biocidal ingredients encompassing several key chemistries across most applications. A market leader in wood preservation, antidandruff agents, biocides for soft foulants in marine coatings, crop protection molluscicides, and HI&I markets, it maintains a strong presence in paints and coatings, metalworking fluids, and oil & gas application segments.

Changes in regulatory frameworks in key regions have been the main driver for the shift in the global biocides market. A rich portfolio of products makes larger players, such as Lonza, more resilient to regulatory changes. Lonza has distinct competitive advantages in a world of increasing requirements for biocides registration, labeling, and packaging.

As biocides is a regulation-dependent business, some of the key actives in LSI’s portfolio are currently under regulatory scrutiny.  High exposure to mature markets, along with expiration of key patents such as ZnPT (zinc pyrithione), could pose potential risks for LSI’s business. Wood protection is gradually shifting toward new, alternative, less toxic, more environmentally friendly wood preservatives. This shift has implications on existing products from large players including Lonza, Viance, and Koppers. These products are banned in Europe and being phased out in North American residential applications. ZnPT is an effective and durable fungicide and algicide for many different applications. It is also the most common antidandruff agent worldwide. ZnPT remains under regulatory review for various applications and faces a high risk of a ban in Europe. A complete ban on ZnPT could have repercussions along the entire value chain, starting from raw material guar supply from Solvay to its key end use in antidandruff shampoos for the personal care majors such as P&G and Unilever. Nevertheless, Lonza’s extensive portfolio, as well as actives under development, mitigates against many regulatory concerns.

Kline believes LSI could take advantage of the robust growth expected from industrial applications in the longer term, leveraging preservation know-how, knowledge of formulated biocidal products, and its strong position in HI&I, especially with the increased demand for disinfection due to COVID-19.

Potential strategics interested in LSI

Reuters speculated that the LSI deal could be worth CHF 3.3 to 3.5 billion, which implies that private equity firms are most likely to secure this deal unless a partnership between a sponsor and strategic is struck—or unless LANXESS considers this portfolio of products a transformational acquisition.

UBS, the sell-side bank, suggested that Clariant, LANXESS, BASF, and Nouryon have synergies with this opportunity. It is of Kline’s opinion that, based on the recent multipliers of specialty chemicals and ingredients, deals may cause strategics to miss out on this opportunity). The LSI acquisition offers a route to a synergistic product/market/capability addition to their existing business portfolio industrial buyers purchase with the goal of ongoing or maintained ownership. Hence, the acquisition decision is based on the fit with their industrial logic and corporate renewal strategy.

Private equity owners are short- to medium-term business developers and transformers, enhancing firm’s value over a given timeframe in order to secure a financially sound exit. Bloomberg reported that several private equity partners active in the chemical industry, such as Bain Capital, Cinven, Advent International, Lonestar, Carlyle, EQT, Blackstone Group, KKR & Co., and Partners Group, could participate in the bidding process.

Given the centrality of the right investment decisions, pre-deal due diligence analyses are to be performed meticulously.

LSI business attractiveness and outlook

Overall, Kline sees Lonza’s HI&I, personal care, and industrial biocide business as a differentiator in the deal due to its value and potential. A handful of products in the LSI portfolio represents a large part of Lonza’s sales, despite its dense portfolio.

Unsurprisingly, hygiene and disinfection products have become a key driver of the biocidal industry during COVID-19. This has significantly increased the demand for biocides in HI&I and personal care applications, where end products include hand sanitizers, surface disinfectants, and antimicrobial soaps. Lonza is a key player in HI&I and other hygiene applications and will take advantage of the opportunities created in this area.

Further growth of LSI could be positively shaped with solution-driven innovations, open innovation programs, and licensing or acquisition of chemistries and technologies.

Kline has been reporting on specialty biocides market activities for more than 50 years. Our experienced international consultants closely follow the ever-evolving market landscape. We are well-positioned to provide comprehensive assessments in the areas of strategy and business development, manufacturing and supply chain, technology and innovation, customer relationships, and M&A support, among others. Our unrivaled market intelligence and competitive intelligence across the chemicals and materials industry was developed over 60 years and helped our customers better position their business growth.

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Impact of COVID-19 on the Brazilian Personal Care Ingredients and Actives Market

Impact of COVID-19 on the Brazilian Personal Care Ingredients and Actives Market

Covid 19 impact on Brazil PCI and Actives market

COVID-19 in Brazil

According to official data from the federal government, on June 23, 2020, Brazil had more than 50,000 deaths and approximately 1.1 million people infected with COVID-19. However, due to a lack of testing for the virus, these numbers may be underestimated.

The Brazilian State had recognized the State of Public Calamity due to the pandemic back on March 20, allowing for budgetary flexibility and triggering a series of protective measures by regional and local governments. The most important measures were related to social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, with the suspension of face-to-face classes in public and private schools, suspension of religious and recreational services, and the closings of malls and stores. The exceptions were establishments that supply food and medicines, as well as gas stations.

The Brazilian government acted to provide resources to the health sector with an amount of approximately BRL 50 billion to fight the epidemic via purchases of test material, personal protective equipment (PPE), respirators, and more.

For citizens, the government provided emergency resources directed especially toward informal and low-income workers; this included the payment of BRL 600.00 per worker for a period of three months, BRL 1 billion in resources for the payment of electricity bills of low-income workers, advance payment of the 13th salary for retirees, and subsidized personal credit in public banks, among other benefits.

For the business sector, subsidized credit lines were available in state banks for working capital, in addition to the postponement of tax payments, resources for payment of wages to infected workers for 15 days, flexibility in labor legislation to allow a reduction in working hours, and partial reduction of wages to avoid layoffs. In return, companies are committed to not making layoffs to adjust costs.

Despite all these efforts, the impact of COVID-19 on the economy is expected to be significant, with a contraction of 6% to 9% in 2020 compared to 2019.

The economic impact will be more substantial in the urban states of the country, located in the southeast and south regions, which more heavily rely on the service and industrial sectors of the economy. The north, center-west, and northeastern regions will have their economies less affected, as they rely more on the agriculture, stocking, and extractive industry. However, the social impact of the pandemic is especially harmful to areas less urbanized and with a lack of infrastructure, including areas that do not have access to either hospital facilities or the recommended number of health professionals per 1,000 habitats recommend by OMS.

Even though the health crisis continues, the Brazilian government is adopting measures to reopen businesses in an effort to put physical commerce in place again. This includes reopening malls, street commerce, and sea sports.

Short-Term Impacts

The market already faces several difficulties in the short term, with the interruption of global supply chains as a way to contain the spread of the virus, leading to a shortage of raw materials. Another important impact refers to demand, as consumers and companies are looking to reduce their spending.

The impact on the industry came from the top, starting in physical stores; distribution, until it reached the industry; and, consequently, the market for raw materials, packaging, and actives.

At the end of this chain, where retail is located, however, some companies had an increase in revenue due to consumers rushing to supermarkets. The healthcare, cosmetics, and cleaning sectors industry suppliers benefit from the boost in consumer hygiene and cleaning habits.

On the other hand, small companies, even in the cosmetics segment, are among the most affected by COVID-19. This is due to the pause in industrial activity, combined with a severe interruption in the service sector due to the closure of perfumeries, specialized stores, and beauty salons, generating payment delays. This, in turn, leads more and more companies to exhaust their cash flow. As a result, it is expected that many of them will leave the Brazilian market.

Changes in Consumer Behavior

Social isolation has led consumers to adopt new habits, reevaluate priorities, and change their consumption.

As consumers adapt to social isolation and social distancing, the need to perform at-home beauty procedures, such as manicures, hair coloring, and facial treatments, arises. As the quarantine extends, more and more consumers have begun performing these services on their own. With the return of activities, it is possible that some consumers will continue to prefer getting these procedures done at home, thus permanently reducing the frequency of their visits to beauty salons, nail salons, and esthetic clinics.

Another important issue concerns the safety of products in terms of health. The consumer will seek more guarantees that products do not present risks and have the best quality, especially when it comes to cleaning products, antiseptics, and food items. In the short term, there may be a prioritization of quality when choosing a product, and sensitivity to price may become less relevant. Manufacturers and retailers will need to communicate why their products and supply chains are reliable. In times of crisis and low purchasing power, consumers tend to not risk it, opting for brands that they already know and trust, even if it involves paying a little extra for them.

In addition, consumers are valuing the purpose of the brand more than ever. Brands that have true positioning will be appreciated. Now, a consumer’s main interest is not what the brand has to sell but how it behaved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ingredients Market

The pandemic will affect each category of the personal care market in Brazil differently; personal care ingredients categories will be impacted according to the types of products in which they are present.

Resilient Categories

Surfactants: These are widely used in the cosmetics and personal hygiene industry, corresponding to the main category of the Brazilian market of ingredients for personal care, with more than 50% of market share in volume. Coronavirus prevention procedures involve frequent handwashing, and this stimulates the surfactant market, as surfactants are the ingredients used in soaps and cleansers. The drop in the consumption of shampoos during quarantine will be offset by the growth of surfactant consumption in the hygiene category. The Brazilian consumer associates the product's foaming with its cleaning potential, and this can affect the market by leading the consumer's preference to products that contain stronger surfactants and, hence, have greater foaming potential.

Preservatives: This category has been questioned in recent years due to concerns about the health impacts of some synthetic preservatives. The replacement of parabens in cosmetics formulations with milder options was then encouraged. With the new routine, the topic of microbiological contamination becomes even more sensitive, especially because packaging can be a vector of contamination for several types of microorganisms if care is not taken with its disinfection. In this way, the consumer will give priority to brands that guarantee the safety of their products, protecting against contaminants; this involves the use of more potent preservatives. Parabens are not expected to return to products, but formulations will continue to use synthetic options such as phenoxyethanol, since it has a greater spectrum of effectiveness compared to more natural, milder options. However, it is known that a high concentration of strong preservatives can generate adverse health reactions. In this way, the ideal ratio would be preservatives with less aggressiveness in the appropriate amount so that antimicrobial activity can be maintained. Therefore, blends between synthetic (more potent) and natural preservatives (less allergenic) will remain even stronger.

Emollients: Widely used in formulations to promote hydration, emollients will benefit from the increased demand for products that restore the skin barrier as the continued use of sanitizers causes dry hands. Pre-COVID, the market was facing a transition from synthetic products, such as mineral oil, to vegetable options. It is expected that this transition will continue, but at a slower pace, as companies seek to reduce their costs and, therefore, do not seek to bet on very innovative reformulations or launches in the short or medium term.

Rheology Modifiers: These are widely used in the most varied types of products; therefore, the drop in demand in some categories will not impact the category as a whole, as it will be offset by the expressive growth in others. It is important to highlight the case of carbomers, thickening agents traditionally used in the manufacture of alcohol in gel. With the strong demand for this type of product, in addition to the reduction of industrial activities, the carbomers market started to show shortages in the first months of the pandemic. This led the market to test alternatives such as acrylates, HPMC, HEC, CMC, and guar, taram and xanthan gums to supply the demand, and these ingredients also started to gain strength.

Most vulnerable categories

Conditioning Polymers: Widely used in hair conditioners, these are suffering a decline in consumption due to reduced hair washing during social isolation.

Emulsifiers: Mainly used in facial care formulations, these will be affected by the drop in demand for premium products and their replacement by masstige and mass options.

Pigments: Several formulations use pigments to give a specific shade to the final product. However, the makeup market is the one that uses this type of ingredient often, and since the makeup market is expected to decline during and after the pandemic, the pigment market will be directly affected. This segment has been undergoing a slow transformation, with the substitution of conventional pigments for pigments with a treated surface, which brought additional benefits to the formulation such as greater stability and improvements in dispersion, in addition to greater quality, plus better durability and spreadability. Even before the pandemic, this substitution was still incipient in Brazil due to the price barrier; treated pigments are much more expensive than traditional options. With the current economic crisis due to social isolation, it is possible that this replacement will be reversed as brands try to reduce their costs and consumers will look for cheaper options.

Fragrances: The Brazilian consumer highly values fragrance in the formulations of any cosmetic, and that is the reason this ingredient is widely used throughout the personal care market. However, the largest volume of this market goes to perfumes and colognes, and therefore it will suffer the impacts of the decline in demand during social isolation and subsequent consumer preferences for masstige and more economical products. Thus, it is expected that this market will be largely impacted in value in the coming years.

UV absorbers: The sun protection market, which uses this type of ingredient the most, has been strongly impacted by social isolation; this is directly reflected in the UV absorber market.

Hair Fixing Polymers: This market will follow the decline of the hairstyling products segment. As it is a market that was already in decline due to consumer preferences for a more natural look, it is expected that this type of ingredient will be even more impacted by social isolation.

It is worth mentioning that, for all categories, a reduction in the added value of the ingredients is expected. Given the economic crisis, it is estimated for the post-COVID scenario and the consequent reduction in consumer purchasing power that there will be greater preference for masstige and mass products over premium products. With this, it is possible to design which cheaper ingredients will be used more in formulations in the short and medium term, while formulas that use more innovative ingredients will be on standby.


The actives market will also feel specific impacts. As actives have added value and are used more widely in premium products, it is expected that the market will be negatively affected by the economic crisis in the post-COVID scenario.

On the other hand, actives that are already well-known in the market and improve skin hydration and recovery, such as ceramides, lipids, and aloe vera, may be able to maintain demand. In addition, given the trend toward greater appreciation of local industries, it is possible that actives of local origin will gain more prominence in formulations.

In the categories of botanical actives and marine ingredients, there may be a greater preference for unsubstantiated actives (with no proven efficacy and lower prices) to be used “just for claim” and to maintain the lowest price of products. Categories that involve higher added value actives, such as biotechnology and peptides, will suffer more from price sensitivity, and demand for this type of actives may decrease in the short and medium term. The categories of enzymes, coenzymes, proteins, and synthetic actives are already relatively mature in Brazil and are likely to recover post-COVID.

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