Posted: August 20, 2018 • Posted in: Premium content
Clean beauty through minimalist formulas first seen in dermocosmetics brands, is now spreading to all segments, including luxury and masstige/mass market. Formulators are looking for multifunctional, ultra-performing and eco-responsible ingredients to overcome this new challenge.
First developed for sensitive skin, minimalist formulas are now expanding to a broader market. Minimalism is a formulation challenge consisting in reducing the number of INCI names used in a product to 10 or less. For consumers, minimalism is a simple and clear formulation approach highlighting the essential properties, origins, benefits, and percentages of the materials as consumers are still demanding maximum efficacy even though the ingredients have been pared down.
This new purchasing behavior is motivated not only by self-care but also by environmental and animal rights causes, as well as the desire to be informed and educated about product purchase. It is driving today’s consumers’ purchase behavior; 56% of US consumers have stopped buying products from a brands/retailers if they believe they are unethical (source: The Ethical Consumer US 2015).
Urban lifestyles lead to an increasing number of people suffering from sensitive skin, sleep deprivation, emotional or physical stress, and travel, pollution and excess sun exposure are affecting the skin. One in two women across the world declares having sensitive skin (source: Mintel). More than 60% of men aged 25-34 in France, Italy, and Spain agree the effects of pollution on the skin are worrying and sensitizing ingredients in personal care formulas can worsen the situation. The more elements added, the higher the risk for sensitive skin to react. Therefore, this consumer group is looking for minimalist and efficient products to get the best of both worlds.
These consumers are also increasingly striving for more simplicity on a global scale: a simple lifestyle, clean packaging, straightforward claims, and uncomplicated ingredient names for better clarity and understanding. Mintel research shows that 58% of French female facial product users usually follow a simple skincare regime so that their skin is not overwhelmed. Consumers are moving from over-complicated routines to more curated beauty and are looking for easy and efficient products that align with their overall focus on health. They would also prefer to have to have a better understanding of the ingredient list and their overall role in the formula.
Self-education on formulations, ingredients, and their benefits are all supported by access to fast technology making knowledge, once reserved for “industry experts,” accessible to all. For instance, smartphone applications now allow consumers to scan product bar-codes and obtain formula content in real-time as well as the role of each ingredient. These apps also rate the “perceived and trending” health impact of each component. One of the most noted smartphone applications reported 6,180,473 unique product scans in 2016 alone. New technologies build awareness in personal care through an easy understanding of the formula; nonetheless, the information is not always accurate. This new era of open-information is undoubtedly a challenge for producers; however, these new technologies could also be used as an opportunity to engage and connect with consumers, to build trust and brand commitment through an authentic and honest exchange.
The food industry has paved the way and pioneered this movement with a strong focus on health and well-being; although consumers still challenge brands for more transparency. For instance, 74% of US consumers want more clarity in food and drink ingredients (source: Lightspeed/Mintel). Clean labeling is a significant part of this evolution and consists in prioritizing food products with simple and recognizable ingredients and more than a third of the population in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Poland regularly check the product composition on the pack (source: Lightspeed/Mintel). “Free-from” claims supporting clean label positioning are used to state what ingredients or additives are not used. However, today, food producers have to look beyond the natural claims and include information about how the product is made, incorporating allegations on ethics, environment, process, sourcing, and packaging. These demands ring true for beauty care as well and brands will need to justify the claims they make by providing truthful proofs. Food manufacturers are required to look beyond the regulation and current consumers’ demand to be ahead of tomorrow’s market requirements as will the beauty and personal care sector.
Use of preservatives declined in the food & drinks industry, but not in beauty; the number of food products launched containing preservatives decreased from 36% to 33% in the five last years, while it remained steady at an average rate of 72% for personal care products (source: Lightspeed/Mintel). Ingredient safety is now critical in the beauty industry too as it is heavily influenced from the food market. More than 78% of personal care consumers in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain interviewed by Lightspeed state that brands should make it clearer how safe their ingredients are. It is essential for cosmetics and personal care manufacturers to endorse this trend and offer full transparency to their customers. They have the knowledge and expertise to share and promote the right information about our industry, and it is still time to take the lead in the era of full-truth.
Minimalist positioning is one answer to the customers’ demand. It will also help manufacturers with economic gain thanks to a rationalization of raw materials and inventory, but also to a shorter production process reducing the environmental impact.
Beauty brands and ingredient producers are now internally challenging their own brands or expanding through acquisition and investment to ensure they have something to offer, therefore striping products back to their essentials and leaving out superfluous ingredients to focus on just a few hero products.
Today, cosmopolitan women and men are looking for a responsible and educated way to consume, in general, they are searching for:
Univar, a specialty ingredient distributor, is constantly adding to its eco-responsible portfolio in anticipation of growing market demand. The range of responsible ingredients includes products from Hallstar, Cargill Beauty, Elevance, Dow Organics and KAO. The recent investments in both technical and marketing capabilities demonstrate how they are striving to deliver not only exceptional ingredients but accompany clients with their innovations through illustrative formulation concepts and on-demand technical support. The Technical Excellence Centers, located in Versailles, France, and Milan, Italy, partner with industry leading suppliers to help brands create truly unique products.
The Univar innovation platform, SIM (Strategic Ingredient Marketing Campaigns), include formulas in line with market trends showcasing new and hero ingredients from their curated portfolio. The SIM SEVEN focuses on minimalist beauty routines of formulas with less than 10 INCI names, efficient processes to win time and conserve energy and highlights authentic claims that can be easily added into any beauty kit. Two examples are below.
Beauty sleep in a bottle! Inspired by Korean sleeping packs, this peachy water gel follows tradition and revives your skin with a rich cocktail of actives all night long. Apply on your face right before going to bed and enjoy your dewy, plumped skin and refreshed glow in the morning. This cold process formula yields a fluid light pink gel.
Dow ACULYN™ 38 Polymer is a rheology modifier that gives a smooth and soft jelly texture. It also has good suspension properties to stabilize the oil and the clay. You can create a texture from fluid and smooth to rich and tacky according to the pH of the formula. It is supplied as a white liquid dispersion.
Don’t waste time at night, be NIGHT ACTIVE. Apply this luxurious overnight hair mask from root to tip before bed. It works while you rest… absolutely genius. It is a simple, smart and efficient hair routine for busy modern women and men living an urban lifestyle and looking for some “me-time”. Its treatment properties via an active system both repair and revitalize the hair. It is made with a hot process.
More than a trend, minimalism is a movement and Univar is investing in developing formulations that will support brands in their go to market strategy. The most recent SIM campaigns also include minimalist formulas: Fitspiration, focused on wellness, fitness and beauty, and #univarevolution, focused on green’ethic cosmetics.
All about texture, this super fluid, stable, silicone free, long-lasting and water-based formula provides natural sheer coverage with no transfer. You are ready to sweat it out in any situation without ruining your look. Game Face ON. The challenge was to formulate and stabilize a silicone-free ultra-fluid formula with water dispersible pigments and a high amount of water. The aim was also to develop a formula with a good skin feel and sweat-proof long lasting properties compatible with active consumer lifestyles. This formula is made with a hot process.
This is the new edition of micellar water! Responsible, effective and relaxing. Formulated with green, eco-friendly and very mild surfactants, this micellar water is extremely gentle on your skin and removes all traces of makeup and impurities. Challenge test results show the efficacy of the preservative system. Enriched with lemon myrtle extract, its soft fragrance will help you to relax at any moment of the day. One pot, cold process. Transparent, liquid micellar water with flower petals and light fresh smell.
The 9th edition of SIM, #univarevolution, launched during in-cosmetics Global 2018, was focused on natural beauty, green’ethic consumers, and responsible personal care. Each one of the 13 formulas features the functionality of the focus sustainable ingredients and offers a unique sensorial experience. In an effort to boost innovation and time to market in the natural cleansing and toiletries segments, this campaign focused on rinse-off products for hair, skin and face as well as makeup. For more information visit www.personal-care-univar.com.