Beauty needs ‘complete mindset’ change in formula protection: Symrise

By Kacey Culliney

- Last updated on GMT

Multifunctional ingredients offer strong promise in not only protecting formulas but boosting properties within, including texture and actives, according to the supplier [Getty Images]
Multifunctional ingredients offer strong promise in not only protecting formulas but boosting properties within, including texture and actives, according to the supplier [Getty Images]

Related tags Symrise Formulation Protection multifunctional active beauty Cosmetics Ingredients green beauty Sustainability Personal care

Cosmetic formulators must start thinking more holistically about the wider potential of multifunctional ingredients that can offer product protection and more, says Symrise.

Preservation and protection of cosmetic formulas remained a top priority in beauty, but German-headquartered supplier Symrise said a significant shift in thinking was now warranted, given how ingredient opportunities had widened.

Multifunctionals ‘really powerful’ alternatives

Cosmetic product protection had historically been left to preservatives, but as ingredient innovation had advanced and consumer demand shifted, multifunctionals were now in the spotlight as an alternative.

“What we are trying to do is really educate the consumer, but first the formulators and our customers, to think differently about formulating with these ingredients,”​ said Yohanna Sander, category director for product protection in cosmetics at Symrise.

Speaking to CosmeticsDesign-Europe in April at in-Cosmetics Global in Paris, Sander said formulators had traditionally considered ingredients that offered cosmetic formula protection towards the end of the product development process, looking for simple add-ins, but Symrise wanted to change this. Instead, the company wanted formulators to think “from the beginning”​ about how multifunctional ingredients could be integrated, not only to protect, but also optimise sensorial properties like texture, boost solubility or even improve active ingredient performance in the formulation, she said.

“There is a complete mindset to change to review the way to formulate products.”

Multifunctional ingredients could be “really powerful”​ in cosmetic formulations, she said, because they not only offered an alternative tool to protect the formula but could also improve performance and efficacy in some instances.

Tapping into beauty wider beauty trends

And if the beauty industry started to think differently about the potential of multifunctionals, Sander said brands would be able to play into rising trends, including minimalism.

“Minimalist formulations are the key point. This is a clear trend, and this is what we are trying to focus on now; how to really use these ingredients to minimise the number of ingredients in the formula,”​ she said.

Use of multifunctionals could also be used to tap into the skin microbiome trend, she said, given Symrise’s offering had been proven to be mild, with no impact on the microbiome.

But moving forward, Sander said use of multifunctionals could also plug wider green goals. Symrise was working on gathering data about the environmental impact of these ingredients – CO2 emissions, water use etc. – to widen this opportunity.

“The main problem of cosmetics today, I would say, is sustainability. And I think we are late compared to some industries,”​ she said. “…And in terms of suppliers, at the beginning of the chain, we have a real responsibility here.”

Earlier this month, Symrise announced its partnership with German biotech firm evoxx technologies​ to co-create more sustainable cosmetic ingredients. The deal aimed to develop biotechnological processes and advance natural and green offerings, using the know-how of evoxx in industrial enzymes and biocatalytic processes.

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