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Chemical suppliers can ride out recession by tapping into cosmetic trends

By Simon Pitman , 17-Jun-2009
Last updated on 17-Jun-2009 at 17:08 GMT2009-06-17T17:08:23Z

Maintaining investment in the research and development of innovative ingredients that tap into key cosmetics trends can help chemical companies survive the downturn.

This is being driven by the fact that consumers are still buying into cosmetics and personal care products, often as a means of trying to boost their employment prospects during the tough times, a Kline Group study underlines.

It is for this very reason that there is still a significant demand for increasingly effective and multifunctional cosmetic and personal care products that stay one step ahead of competitor brands, says Kline’s Anna Ibbotson, industry manager and author of the study.

Specialty active and delivery systems

Because of this, personal care formulators are looking for specialty actives and delivery systems that can add new functionality to products that can also serve to back up manufacturer’s claims.

“Staying ahead of the curve will remain critical: developing exciting new products, working with customers to devise strategic ‘packaging’ and marketing initiatives, as well as leveraging the at-home-treatment trend, can all help to drive growth for companies with the right approach to the market,” stated Ibbotson.

Specific chemicals and ingredients that Kline is tipping for particular success, despite the economic conditions, include anti-aging focused chemicals such as synthetic peptides, which claim to bring pharmaceutical strength to non-prescription products.

Pharma grade anti-aging ingredients

The anti-aging phenomenon has been the key driver behind growth in the skin care segment in recent years, and in turn has led to the development of a plethora of innovative chemicals.

But Ibbotson suggests that sitting back on laurels would be the worst thing that chemical suppliers can do right now.

“To take a lesson from history, continued investment in research and development to develop actives with heightened and specific efficacy will pay off for future growth,” she states.

Delivery systems spells microcapsulates

Likewise, delivery systems with improved penetration, including microcapsulates such as retinol, retynil palmitate and vitamin E acetate are also being targeted primarily for anti-aging formulations.

In particular the growth of microcapsulates is likely to be further driven in the wake of consumer fears over nanoparticle delivery system, Ibbotson says.

Closely linked with the anti-aging trend, the naturals trend is also providing significant opportunities for chemical suppliers.

Although chemical players are often not the first port of call for natural-based ingredients, their know-how is in demand, with natural ingredients suppliers asking chemicals experts to help devise the most effective extraction methods for fruit- and plant-based ingredients.

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