Award-winning company Elementis sees Asian market as a source of inspiration

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Award-winning company Elementis sees Asian market as a source of inspiration
Elementis says it is looking to Asia for inspiration while engaging in collaborative efforts with its customers.

The specialty chemicals company was at in-Cosmetics Asia in Bangkok to showcase its Sensory Bar Gold Award-winners BENTONE LUXE and RHEOLUXE rheology modifiers.

“This major industry event serves as an excellent opportunity to share our extensive Personal Care product portfolio and experience directly with the rapidly growing Asian market where we know there is a serious need for new approaches and effective solutions for addressing consumers’ needs for high quality, specialty products,”​ said Kimberly Burch, global technical director for the consumer group of elementis.

Importance of sensory elements

Sensorial elements of beauty products is becoming more significant to its customers and the end consumer, believes Burch.

“We like to give a qualitative measurement of sensory and how the customer reacts to that. It’s not just about new sensory [products], but what it does to the consumer and how they can benefit. Sometimes how product flows is important in conveying moisturisation and anti-acne as much as the other aspects of a product.”

Its sensory product, BENTONE LUXE, said Burch, is the “most special”​ for the Asian market. “It is really critical to a market where sensitive skin and ease of use is crucial. It gives rheology and emulsification in one product that allows you to use less of a surfactant, so there’s less potential for irritation. It also gives complex systems a special light touch ideal for high-humidity conditions.”

Burch believes it is “critical” ​to use existing knowledge to create new solutions. For example, the company utilised its expertise in clay in order to create a foaming mask. “With our clay, it helped to create the basis that holds the air in the mask until it’s released into the skin.”

As a big, global company with many divisions, Burch said sometimes swapping notes with others can lead to surprising results. “The idea for RHEOLUXE was serendipitous. We fell into it when we did a technology transfer with our coding division. We started playing with materials – that’s what it’s about, trying a new ingredient, playing and changing it so it’s natural and safe for cosmetics – and [RHEOLUXE] happened, just a tech transfer from a different industry.”

Collaborative process

The biggest challenge in creating such innovative sensorial products admitted Burch, is the pressure to make existing products feel new. “The biggest challenge is how to take standard ingredients, the standard tool box and really innovate and make it new.”

In order to do just that, collaboration between the team and the customers, said Burch. “We have labs around the world on almost every continent where we are working on our next innovations any everyone gets interaction with the customers.”

Burch said this team effort is extremely key to the firm’s creative process, “We don’t have an ‘invented here’ thought process, and we collaborate with our customers by listening to their needs and bringing in our ideas to create things special for them.”

Wacky and wonderful

Even with all the innovative sensorial products coming out of Asia, Burch said she does not see the firm’s Asian counterparts as competitors, but as inspirations.

“Of all the markets in the world, Asia tends to be the most creative in bringing new texture and product forms to market. I feel like they are inspiring us and pushing us to be more creative,” ​she said. “These jelly textures and cheese creams are things that as a Westerner, I would never expect.”

She added, “We all copy what happens in Asia, because it’s the Asian formulator that comes up with all these newest ideas. And it’s that conversation that gives us the ideas of how to help solve stability and rheology problems.”

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