Why is multi-functionality demand rising in the personal care industry

Why is Multi-Functionality Demand Rising in the Personal Care Industry?

Exploring the role of multi-functionality in the personal care market reveals why and how companies and products are evolving.

Demand for multi-functional ingredients is gaining traction among both formulators and consumers for several reasons. Firstly, multi-functional ingredients facilitate easier formulation design and offer a more favorable cost-benefit ratio. They provide benefits such as easy processing, time-saving advantages, cost-effectiveness, and require less coding, making them highly beneficial for formulators in the personal care industry.

Secondly, there is a significant demand for multi-functional ingredients among consumers due to a shift toward products with shorter INCI lists. The “less is more” trend has been boosted by a shift in consumer behavior towards cost-effectiveness and time-saving products. In addition to using fewer products in their skincare routine, consumers are increasingly focused on effective products.

What is a Multi-Functional Ingredient?

Multi-functional ingredients are those that combine two, three, or more properties. They have gained popularity for their ability to serve multiple purposes in personal care formulas. Multi-functionality is considered a competitive criterion in the industry, as it aligns with the Clean Beauty trend and allows brands to optimize formulas and reduce the number of ingredients.

Which Ingredients Are Seeing the Most Growth?

This trend has led to growth in market demand for personal care products that provide various benefits, such as hydration, anti-oxidation, sun protection, etc. This trend is reflected across multiple ingredients. For example, among humectants, lactic acid benefits from its preservative properties, while glycolic acid offers excellent antioxidant properties. Both ingredients also have great exfoliation properties.

Within emulsifiers, ingredients that also provide moisturizing, conditioning, or skin barrier-enhancing benefits are in demand. For instance, lactylate and sorbitan esters are notable examples.

Among antimicrobials, preservative boosters have gained traction in the market, driven by their environmentally friendly profile and supported by initiatives such as the European Green Deal.

Preservative boosters such as caprylyl glycols and ethylhexyl glycerin tend to have moisturizing/humectant properties.

Modified starches, which are rheology modifiers, benefit from their high performance and multi-functional properties, including texturizing, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing boost.

How Does This Reflect in Finished Products?

In terms of finished products, the personal care industry continues to see new products offering various benefits. In the makeup sector, for example, the demand for tinted moisturizer is strong. This can be seen across several product launches in the past year:

  • Laura Mercier launched its new Tinted Moisturizer in 2023, which, in addition to color coverage, also offers hydration, anti-oxidation, and SPF.
  • Similarly, in the same year, R.E.M Beauty launched the Sweetener Foundation, which has hydration properties.
  • In early 2024, Erborian launched the Super BB Concealer Serum, which offers color coverage, in addition to skin imperfection reduction and sun protection.

The rising demand for multi-functional ingredients in the personal care industry underscores a broader shift towards efficiency, sustainability, and simplicity in consumer preferences. As this trend continues to evolve, it presents both challenges and opportunities for companies to innovate and meet the growing expectations for high-performing, multi-benefit products.

Kline is an expert on the intricacies of the personal care ingredients industry. Stay ahead of the competition and on top of market developments with our range of personal care ingredients-focused products, including the Personal Care Ingredients: Global Market Analysis study and Kline’s Ingredients Tracker, the latest innovation in tracking the personal care market at the ingredient level.

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