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Zenspiration: when Japanese beauty inspires minimalistic formulations

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Fast beauty in the recent years has led consumers to over-purchase in order to satisfy their craving for new, entertaining and efficient beauty products. The most notable example is the K-Beauty routine that includes up to 11 steps of cleansing and moisturizing the skin to achieve the desired glass-like texture. But as they are becoming more and more aware of the impact of this behavior on the planet as well as on their budget, consumers are moving towards high-quality, high-performing products in a newly found “less is more approach”. They are looking for the best possible care in simpler ways.

Current market research shows that in the US[1]​, under 35s use half the numbers of products as in other countries, and that French women mainly follow a simple facial routine[2]​ in order to preserve their skin from being overwhelmed.

Also motivated by the rise of concerns on naturality and safety, consumers worldwide are seeking high quality and well-known ingredients as alternatives to cheaper ingredients with controversial claims and efficacy. Attracted by streamlined formulations highlighting key functional ingredients, natural or made by scientists, they are looking at traditional practices to find the right products. With a steep rise of the claim “traditional” over the last three years, beauty care users are keen to reconnect with authenticity.

Japanese skincare has been renowned for decades throughout the world for highlighting clean ingredients and a preventive approach to skin issues. As one of the most technologically advanced country in the world, Japan is also the world’s second largest beauty market. Following traditions formed several centuries ago, the rise of J-beauty products amongst personal care consumers is a strong response to their new aspirations for beauty authentic elegance and simplicity.

J-beauty standards emphasize fresh, youthful complexions through deep hydration proven by research in skin health. The “Shittori” skin, with a soft dewy colour and a plump texture, is the new skin goal to reach.

Japanese beauty is also recognized to follow principles of Japanese zen aesthetics. Complex and allowing multiple layers of meanings, zen aesthetics are a deep source of inspiration. One principle is more relevant than ever: Wabi-Sabi.

Roughly translating into « wisdom in natural simplicity », this concept calls for minimalistic aesthetics and a search for singularity.

By taking Japanese zen aesthetics principles into account, simple and efficient formulations can be created, with high sensory and safety standards in mind.

Clariant Active Ingredients was inspired to create Zenspiration, a concept built around sensorial excellence and Japanese zen principles in mind. It is composed of three formulations, each illustrating a different principle of Japanese zen while inviting the senses to rise above the ordinary and to reinforce natural beauty. These formulations come under the Sc[ai]turalist brand recently launched by Clariant.

Datsuzoku is the first principle illustrated in this concept by the Energizing Water Cream formulation. The word describes the feeling of serenity and happiness when one realizes the daily stresses of life are irrelevant to one’s true self.

Clariant Active Ingredients captures this principle in the “Energizing Water Cream,” a formulation featuring Rootness Energize. Extracted from the roots of Luffa Cylindrica, cultivated in aeroponic conditions and stimulated thanks to the Plant Milking technology, the newly launched ingredient contains up to 10 times the amount of bryonolic acid usually found in those roots. This active boosts all the steps of the biological processes leading to energy and metabolites production and transport in the cells, thus increasing the production of matrix core elements: collagen IV and elastic fibers, to preserve skin elasticity and firmness.

The Energizing Water Cream also supports hydration with Waterin Plus and guards the skin to help prevent premature aging with Epseama and HerbCool. Designed to provide an indulging creamy appearance, its texture is very light when applied on skin and leaves a silky soft finish.

Kanso is the second zen principle illustrated in this concept by the Simply Rebalancing Scalp Toner formulation. The word relates to the concepts of basic simplicity and the elimination of the ornate. Things expressing simplicity are by nature truthful and reserved.

The “Kanso” Simply Rebalancing Scalp Toner is a minimalistic formula containing only 16 necessary ingredients to create a light sensation on application. This toner is built around EquiScalp, a newly developed Fuji Apple extract enriched in phloridzin using plant stem cells technology. Through this process, it is possible to produce an extract that uses only a small quantity of plant material and therefore significantly reduces the environmental impact of plant extraction. EquiScalp was designed to support the scalp microbiome and the scalp’s wellbeing to provide relief and comfort from irritation.
This formula also combines the soothing benefits of Eosidin, the resynchronising properties of B-Circadin and the refreshing touch of Actience ​Fresh.

Shibui is the third zen principle illustrated by the On-the-Glow Solid Serum formulation. The word is an adjective used to describe the beautiful simplicity perceivable through time and experience. One does not tire of a Shibui object but constantly finds new meanings and enriched beauty that cause its aesthetic value to grow over the years.

Clariant Active Ingredients translates this into a solid serum formulated in a practical stick format. Conscious of the lack of water and the lack of time for long routines, this serum is able to travel wherever you are. It soothes the skin with CalmYang Wax, a traditional optimized mix of seven plants known for their soothing and anti-oxidant benefits blended together in a shea butter carrier to be available even in waterless systems.

The serum also contributes to reducing the melanin production in age spots with Alpha-Melight, natural Bisabolol found in Brazilian biodiversity for a uniform and dewy complexion.
It also brings balance to the skin surface with Bifida, a post-biotic extract supporting the local microbiota for a healthy looking skin.
Shibui On-the-Glow Solid Serum formulation brings newly-found appreciation for natural beauty, perfecting skin’s healthy glow on the go.

While the world of Beauty Care is moving towards high-quality, high-performing products in a “less is more” approach, Clariant Active Ingredients infused J-beauty principles into Zenspiration formulations. Emphasizing on fresh and youthful complexion delivered by simple yet efficient high-end products, Clariant Active Ingredients is supporting you with our products inspired by nature and advanced with science.

To download the details of the Zenspiration formulations, click here​. 

[1]​ Source: Mintel: US women aged 35 and younger typically use 1-2 products a day   compared to the overall average of 3-4**

[2]​ Source Mintel: 58% of French female facial skincare users follow a simple skincare routine so their skin isn’t overwhelmed*

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