After over 40 years as a product formulator, I realize that one of the most important factors in being highly successful in the personal care and cosmetics industry is identifying and staying on top of trends. Yet it’s also one of the hardest to accomplish due to the time constraints that most product developers face in the formulation process.
I’ve compiled the following list of the current leading personal care and cosmetic industry trends as a reference to make your job a little easier. Some of these warrant an entire article, so stay tuned! I will circle back around in the coming months to cover some of the topics in more depth. If there is a particular trend that interests you, feel free to post in the comments section, and I’ll put it at the top of my list.
1. Sulfate-free surfactants in shampoos.
Sulfate-free shampoos are heavily advertised at present. The background on this trend is the perception that alkyl sulfates are overly harsh and strip lipids from hair. Although I’m not aware of the evidence to support that, we do know that Alkyl sulfate-based shampoos cause dyed hair to fade faster than non-sulfate based shampoos.It’s important to remember that alternative surfactants will likely cost more and provide less conditioning with cationic polymers. Plus, many non-sulfate formulations are more difficult to thicken than their sulfate counterparts.If you’re looking for alternative mild surfactants, here are some suggestions:
- Sodium Lauryl Sarcosinate
- Sodium Cocoyl Glycinate, such as Galsoft SCG by Tri-K Industries
- Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, such as Hostapon® KCG by Clariant
- Sodium Lauroyl Methyl Isethionate, such as Iselux® LQ-CLR by Innospec Performance Chemicals
- Potassium Laureth Phosphate, such as Dermalcare® MAP L-213K by SolvayNovecare
2. Non-silicone, reduced-silicone and silicone-free conditioning shampoos.
Growing concern that silicone ingredients are harmful to the environment has driven the trend towards silicone alternatives. Although silicones remain popular for their performance in sensorial and conditioning properties, as consumer tastes lean towards environmentally friendly products, formulators are on the hunt for effective non-silicone or reduced silicone ingredients.
Here are the silicone alternatives I recommend:
- Lamesoft® Care by BASF (PEG-4 Distearyl Ether, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Distearyl Ether, Dicaprylyl Ether) is a wax dispersion that matches the performance of silicone based shampoos in performance testing when used at 2-5% in formulations. Other applications include body washes, shaving creams and facial cleansers.
- EcoSmooth™ Silk by Dow (Ethylene/Octene Copolymer, Ethylene/Sodium Acrylate Copolymer) is an ionic hair conditioning polymer comprised of 40-44% ethylene copolymers dispersed in water at a PH of 9.5-10. Consumer testing has demonstrated that EcoSmooth Silk (all prototypes also contain .25% cationic guar) has improved hair volume vs. silicone and matches silicone conditioning performance among Asian virgin and bleached hair. It also provided equal wet comb force reduction vs. silicone and provides equal protection against hair breakage vs. silicone for bleached brown European hair.
- Luviquat Sensation (Polyquaternium 87-BASF, 26% solids in water) Outperforms Polyquaternium 10 and Hydroxypropyltrimonium Guar for wet comb force reduction with or without silicone at .2% solids.
3. Non-ethylene oxide-based emulsifiers and solubilizers.
Ethylene oxide based emulsifiers have a long history of use in personal care. They however can make formulations more difficult to preserve due to complexation and do not have a very green foot print. If not properly stabilized, they can also oxidize over time causing deterioration in performance and the formation of pungent smelling aldehydes. Good alternatives include phospholipids, polyglyceryl esters, sucrose esters, and alkyl polyglucosides.
4. Increasing cosmetic regulations in China and Europe.
Increased regulations around the world, such as the ban on animal testing in Europe and increasing registration requirements in China, may reduce the development of new innovative materials in the future. This suggests that looking at new applications for existing ingredients and reapplication from other industries may be a more cost effective alternative to developing new materials. It also means that new materials need to provide a higher level of benefit to justify the needed investment.
SymSave® H (Hydroxyacetophenone-Symrise) is an excellent example of a newly launched value added cosmetic ingredient that complies with cosmetic regulations in the USA, Europe and Japan. It is nature identical with anti-oxidant and soothing characteristics. It also boosts the efficacy of various preservatives and has excellent stability at high/low pH and temperatures.
5. Antimicrobial potentiators and paraben-free preservatives.
As consumers pay closer attention to the ingredients listed on their household and personal care products, demand for natural preservatives is growing. Despite the absence of regulatory enforcement, parabens are increasingly black-listed by consumers, mostly in Europe and Asia, and therefore formulators.Finding effective natural preservatives can be challenging. One solution may be coupling antimicrobial potentiators with natural preservatives, which can significantly increase the antimicrobial activity of the preservative. Potentiators have little or no activity when used alone.Solvents and chelators are commonly used paraben-free preservatives. Here are a few examples from each group:
- 1, 2 Hexanediol, such as Hydrolite® 6 by Symrise
- Ethylhexyl, such as Sensiva® SC 50 by Schülke Inc.
- Caprylyl Glycol, such as Purolan® OD from Lanxess Distribution Chelators
- Disodium EDTA, such as Edeta® BD by BASF
- Glutamic acid N.N-Diacetic acid Tetra Sodium salt, such as Dissolvine G-47S by Akzo Nobel
6. Expanded use of peptides.
No longer just for anti-aging products, peptides are being used in other benefit areas, like skin lightening, acne and antimicrobial treatment and tan enhancing.
View peptides in Prospector.
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