From synthetic to active
The business consultancy reveals that in recent years there has been an international move away from synthetic ingredients to natural and active elements. These results, which emanate from Frost & Sullivan's Global Personal Care Active Ingredients Market, covers ingredients that focus on moisturising, ultraviolet (UV) filters, anti-ageing, exfoliating, conditioning and antimicrobial ingredients.
This shift, which has resulted from the added interest and emphasis on individual health, wellbeing and the environment, creates considerable interest for the personal care active ingredients market.
At present, the natural active ingredients segment has a total market share of 25% to 30%. By 2023, however, this is expected to double. In preparation for this increasingly popular trend, therefore, manufacturers and formulators are developing technological innovations to overcome the current instability of biological ingredients.
Biological ingredient stability
By reducing the volatility and vulnerability of demanding biological ingredients, brands can leverage the growing natural active segment in the personal care industry, while simultaneously improving the efficacy and performance of product launches.
Currently, for example, natural ingredients are at risk of microbial contamination and incompatibility with other ingredients. It is these debilitating and ineffective susceptibilities that are causing manufacturers to invest R&D endeavours in encapsulation and controlled release technologies.
Controlled release technologies, for instance, aim to boost the success of natural ingredients and increase margins by enabling formulators to access specialised active ingredients that have been proven to be effective, rather than utilising their commodities.
APAC natural ingredient drive
"The preference for natural ingredients is particularly strong among consumers from India and China, who have been exposed to traditional Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines," said Raghu Tantry, Visionary Science Principal Analyst, Frost & Sullivan.
"Although personal care companies such as Natura Cosméticos and the L'Oréal Groupe offering natural products have reported a significant increase in sales, companies need to be prudent when making claims on the labels as they are closely watched by regulators," Tantry also noted.
Today, moisturising and sun protection in body, anti-pollutant items and antioxidant protection in hair care are not the only products that contain active ingredients applications.
Multicultural and ethnic-based collections such as halal items and skin whitening goods in Asia-Pacific (APAC) are also on the rise, proposing new opportunities for cosmetics manufacturers to use active ingredients.
"The market is witnessing the rise of several regional players; however, most of them are looking to compete against the majors on price rather than innovation," emphasised Tantry.
There are a number of strategic measures that manufacturers must adopt, Tantry highlighted: "To stay afloat in such a competitive market, active ingredient manufacturers have to focus on R&D, establish effective distribution channels, and collaborate with personal care product manufacturers to better understand their pipeline of new products."
Price is an ongoing strain for manufacturers, yet reliable R&D procedures and results, as well as on-trend formulations, are vital. As a result, manufacturers must be aware of costs relating to innovation, diversification and leadership in their strategies.
With these technologies, manufacturers can evolve their existing packaging claims and labelling to ensure these contain information on the natural nature of the active ingredients used.
As a result, this may help to build reliability, credibility and trust with consumers, who through these advanced technologies, can utilise high-performing and high-quality ingredients that are natural.