Although L'Oreal has made a number of major global launches incorporating nanotechnology, its use in cosmetics products for the European and US markets seems to have be somewhat subdued. Last week L'Oreal launched its High Intensity Pigment color cosmetics line - only instead of featuring its nano particle-based formulation, the company shyly refers to it as 'photonics'.
Despite warnings from some scientists and industry bodies that the technology should be tighter regulated because certain fields of scientific research have still not confirmed its safety, the reception of the technology in Asia has been more open.
In recent months there has been a rash of newly launched high-end cosmetic products in Asia that not only include, but positively promote and feature the technology as part of the formulation, according to Mintel's GNPD.
The majority of launches occurred in Japan, where technology- and science-friendly consumers are generally deemed to be more open to the latest that science can offer.
The GNPD reveals four products that have been launched there in recent months, including a lucent facial powder and a moisturizing liquid, both from Ishizawa, as well as a Primordiale Nanolotion from Lancome and a Nano Callogen lip moisturizer from Isehan.
For all the products the stress is on the fact that the nano particles allow them to be spread more evenly over the skin. Ranging in price from $3.50 for the lip moisturizer, to $54 for the Nanolotion, the products focus on combining the technology in the formulas to improve efficacy for the skin care products and to bring about a more eye-catching effect for the color cosmetic product.
Elsewhere in Asia, Doctor Cosmetic Lab is launching a non-chemical sunscreen in Thailand, under the Smooth E brand that also includes a nano complex of T102 and ZnO. A number of global sunscreen launches have recently incorporated nano technology to improve efficacy and this formula is said to help prevent wrinkling caused by sun exposure as well as providing UVA/UVB protection.
Moving back to anti-aging products, Germatika Ageless Cream is a 50 gram pot of anti-aging cream that features nanotechnology. It was launched on the Malaysian market back in October last year and retails at $60.
But nano cosmetic launches have not been totally confined to Asia. In Europe two launches last year included Zepter Cosmetics Soft Touch Eye Care treatment, formulated to help fight crow's feet, together with a Hypoallergenic Wrinkle Nano-Remover cream that is said to smooth out wrinkles for up to eight hours. Indeed the latter product is the most expensive in the selection, being marketed at around $140 for 30 sachets.
Although questions still remain over the proven safety of nano cosmetics, Asian consumers appear to have been quicker to tap to incorporate the science of nanotechnology in to their beauty routine. Whether or not that trend will take off on a large scale, global basis remains to be seen.
This range of products is from a selection contained on Mintel's Global New Products Database.