Specialty Actives in Personal Care

U.S. Consumers Demand Innovation in Personal Care

Savvy consumers have a sense of how advanced technologies can help attain a better, younger-looking and healthier complexion. End users in the United States consider expensive purchases as an investment in their appearance and self-confidence. As a result, cosmetic products that apply novel solutions with premium pricing are well-accepted, which adds to healthy growth of the U.S. market for active ingredients. According to Kline’s Specialty Actives in Personal Care: Multi-regional Market Analysis and Opportunities report, the market reached USD 365 million in 2016. To meet the demand for effective solutions, the supplier landscape is becoming highly competitive in terms of innovation, from new technologies to new ingredient categories and applications. In this article, we look into the most innovative solutions available on the U.S. active ingredients market.

New application areas, such as neuro-cosmetic application, blue light protection, infrared protection and the “next big thing,” anti-pollution, will drive the market for specialty actives in personal care. Neuro-cosmetic applications are one of the most recent applications in skin care, where botanical actives work at a neurological level to produce a soothing effect by releasing feel-good chemicals, and anti-pollution is the strongest one due to consumers’ growing awareness about the harmful effects of pollution.

Marine ingredients are on the rise because of their functional benefits, particularly in anti-aging, and natural source of origin. Advancements in extraction technologies as well as the introduction of new macroalgal cell culture dramatically increase the efficiency of end-products. New methods, such as freeze-drying, ultrasound-assisted extraction, and enzyme-assisted extraction, help to preserve seaweed nutrients during the exposure to UV rays. The new cell culture CELEBRITY developed by Seppic, in turn, allows the company to grow rare macroalgal cells in the laboratory and explore the benefits of various cell cultures, which are hard to find in the ocean. The company has already introduced two products based on this technology, EMPHER, aimed to reduce wrinkles, and, CONTACTICEL, made from red algae and developed to reduce skin damage caused by pollution in urban areas.

Stem cell-based actives are the fastest growing product catgory in biotechnology, as stem cell-based actives are more sustainable and efficacious in skin care applications. Rich in antioxidants, plant-derived stem cells are proven to increase collagen synthesis and reduce photoaging. The new generation of this method is hyperactive stem cell technology, which enables the production of more concentrated stem cell cultures as compared to standard methods. Evonik’s advanced botanical group pioneers in this category, using this new technology to produce natural actives derived from plant stem cells and planning to release a range of products in 2017.

Ashland used another innovative extraction method in its recently introduced product PhytoRNx Baobab, which is derived from small RNAs of the baobab tree and aims to fight skin aging. This new generation ingredient was developed with Ashland’s new patent pending extraction system, which helps to increase the yield of small RNAs found in plants. Based on efficacy tests, actives made through this method have better collagen synthesis property as compared to a classic extract of the same plant.

Osmolytes, compounds that regulate fluid balance and maintain cell volume, is another product category poised for growth. Designed to protect the skin from damaging external influences, DuPont’s GENEROME OSMS, derived from non-GMO sugar beet, aims to maintain water and oxygen levels within skin cells. This product contains naturally-sourced betaine and inositol and has Ecocert, Cosmos, and Natrue certifications.

Looking ahead, the demand for high efficacy products will continue to grow. Biotechnology is expected to be the fastest growing category in the United States due to endless opportunities in product extraction and formulation, especially in the anti-aging category, which is expected to show the highest growth rate through 2021. More detailed information about the market of active ingredients, supplier profiles, and emerging technologies specific for the U.S. market can be found in Kline’s recently published Specialty Actives in Personal Care: Multi-regional Market Analysis and Opportunities report.

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