Naturality and multifunctionality of materials are emerging as important purchase factors for personal care products all over the world. The increased desire for a natural and healthy lifestyle has intensified customer demand for biocompatible, cost-effective cosmetics with extended shelf life. Synthetic ingredients’ harmful effects on the environment as well as undesirable side effects such as allergies, skin irritations and skin reddening are hastening this switch to natural materials.
“Material suppliers’ primary area of focus is providing natural compositions using natural active ingredients such as vegetable oils,” noted Frost & Sullivan TechVision Research Analyst Marta Serafin. “Consequently, there is intense focus on nanomaterials and antimicrobials, called preservatives, which ensure the stabilization of these highly reactive ingredients and extend their shelf life. Vehicle systems that deliver active ingredients deep into the skin, enabling treatment of only the targeted areas, and dermal fillers for smooth and supple texture as an alternative to dermal surgeries, are also vital research areas.”
Advances in Material Technologies for Personal Care, a part of Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision (Chemicals and Advanced Materials) Growth Partnership Service programme, finds that large chemical corporates are already trying to improve the sustainability of their products. For instance, in April 2016, BASF presented its new products in line with its motto,“All about tomorrow,” to promote green chemistry in personal care products.
The voice of the customer is the biggest influencer of the personal care industry and this compels material manufacturers to invest significantly in research and development (R&D). Additionally, the industry is beset by the lack of uniform legislation, which challenges global handling; for example, while the Chinese market requires animal testing, the European and U.S. markets forbid it.
“The U.S. is currently leading the personal care industry in terms of market participation and the number of patents obtained,” noted Serafin. “The strongest market adoption and innovations will be from Asia, especially Japan and South Korea. The highly developed online sales channel is further aiding the expansion of Asian cosmetics into the European and U.S. markets, connecting consumers directly with producers.”
Frost & Sullivan's global TechVision practice is focused on innovation, disruption and convergence, and provides a variety of technology-based alerts, newsletters and research services as well as growth consulting services. Its premier offering, the TechVision programme, identifies and evaluates the most valuable emerging and disruptive technologies enabling products with near-term potential. A unique feature of the TechVision programme is an annual selection of 50 technologies that can generate convergence scenarios, possibly disrupt the innovation landscape, and drive transformational growth.
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