10 May 2004 00:01 [Source: ICB Americas]
Skin care technology and consumer sophistication are driving each other to new heights where ingredient suppliers find fertile ground for innovation. Clay Boswell reports.
Although expanding regulation is making genuine innovation increasingly difficult, the skin care market still demands new benefits and improved performance, and ingredients manufacturers are doing their best to oblige. New actives, emollients, emulsifiers and other materials offer formulators a means to satisfy more sophisticated consumers with increasingly individualized expectations.
As always, disguising, eliminating or preventing the signs of aging are the primary objectives. “The market opportunity for skin care products is growing,” says Ellen Werner, growth business marketing manager, Nafta, at Ciba Specialty Chemicals. “Everyone is trying to turn back the hands of time, and with the aging of the population the number of consumers, and therefore the market for skin care products, is growing and will continue to do so, mid to long term.”
Not only older consumers, but also the young are giving more attention to the aging of skin. “More products are coming out now that are targeting the 20 to 30 year-olds [with the message], ‘Make your skin better now so you don’t have a problem when you get older,’” says Jan Kosiek, marketing manager, Personal Care, North America for Degussa. “A lot of these things we see for aging populations are starting to transfer down to a younger population.”
Ms. Werner agrees. “The younger generation is starting their skin care regimen earlier than previous generations, which has also increased the demand for skin care products.” For today’s consumers, however, skin care is not only about maintaining a youthful appearance, she adds. “Well-being and wellness become more and more important to individual consumers, increasing the potential market for skin care products.”
Ingredient suppliers are addressing the market by appealing to the growing sophistication of consumers. “Skin care customers are demanding highly functional actives that provide noticeable consumer benefit in their cosmetic formulations,” observes Patrick Bowers, director, global skin care at ISP. He points to ISP’s Bio-Functionals as a product line that explicitly responds to this trend.
ISP is not the only supplier expanding its offering of actives. Degussa, for example, recently introduced Tegocosmo C 100, a version of the food supplement creatine, that “gives excellent skin soothing and revitalizing,” says Ms. Kosiek. Another Degussa product, phytosphingosine, “soothes the skin and helps to minimize redness.” Developed to even skin tone, it is not only useful for adult acne, or rosacea, it is also beneficial on normal skin. “The more we work with these things, the more we find different applications and ways you can use them that make sense,” she says. Scientific backing is key. “We demonstrate the cosmetic claims we can make. The data sheets are phenomenal.”
Degussa’s line of actives also includes ceramides. “As you age, the ceramide content of the skin declines,” explains Ms. Kosiek. “We’ve been able to produce skin-identical ceramides that actually revitalize the skin.” By reinforcing the natural skin barrier, ceramides minimize the effects of the skin’s thinning, she says, making skin less susceptible to the effect of detergents and other external insults.
Other suppliers also offer actives that protect skin from damage. Arch Personal Care Products, a division of Arch Chemicals, recently introduced the Zymbiozome Fermentum product line based on a plant globin molecule (leghemoglobin) that scavenges the free radical nitric oxide (NO). NO induces a range of biochemical reactions associated with UV-induced skin aging. “The Zymbiozome technology addresses the market trend of prevention rather then just looking at curative effects,” notes Lisa Lods, director of technical marketing at Arch. Peptamide-6, a new hexapeptide produced using yeast fermentation, addresses the trend toward alternatives to dermatalogical procedures that tighten the skin or remove wrinkles. “While our product does not claim to have immediate wrinkle reducing effects, it does work effectively to increase the elasticity of the skin over time,” Ms. Lods says.
Cognis recently an alternative to the injection of botulinum toxin, which is used to prevent the appearance of lines resulting from facial expressions by inhibiting the contraction of facial muscles. “There is a growing interest in safer actives that would offer an equivalent mechanism of action, yet via topical application, not injections,” says Isabelle Benoit, global marketing manager at Laboratoires Serobiologiques. “In response to this need, Cognis recently introduced Myoxinol LS 9736, a patented active ingredient from our subsidiary Laboratoires Sérobiologiques in France. Myoxinol LS 9736 is a natural peptide complex, extracted from the seeds of the hibiscus plant, which reduces the contraction of muscle cells and thus prevents the appearance of expression lines.”
Like Degussa, Uniqema has taken on the problem of blotchy skin with its own product, Arlatone Dioic DCA, a mild, vegetable-derived ingredient. “Arlatone Dioic DCA offers a high degree of efficacy, extending well beyond the capability of other mild skin evening ingredients,” says Mary Clarke, sales development director at Uniqema. “Mild ingredients such as Arlatone Dioic DCA allow for their use in a range of skin care products, such as foundation creams and powders, concealers, day and night creams, moisturizers, skin treatment systems and more.”
Whereas these actives address skin damage from various directions, the desire for lighter-colored skin in the Asia Pacific region has driven growth for skin lighteners. One-third of women in Taiwan, one-half of women in Thailand and roughly two-thirds of women in Japan use a skin-lightening product on a regular basis, according to Michael E. Crane, market development manager, cosmetic and personal care ingredients, at Eastman Chemical. “Eastman hopes to capitalize on this trend with our USP and European pharma grades of hydroquinone,” he notes.
Even as formulators ask their suppliers for ingredients with new properties, they are also asking them for ingredients that combine properties in one multifunctional molecule, observes Mr. Crane. Eastman is addressing that trend with its Vitamin E TPGS, he says. A natural source vitamin E, it serves as both skin nutrient and antioxidant.
Lubrizol has a line multifunctional ingredients with three different properties, according to Jeff Carey, technology and new developments manager at Chemron, a Lubrizol subsidiary. These Chemccinate emulsifiers provide film forming, skin conditioning and long shelf-life by virtue of their superior stability, he says. Lubrizol’s methyl glucoside ingredients are also multifunctional because they contain both emollients and humectants, says Mr. Carey, but they offer yet another advantage in that they address the ongoing preference for ingredients that are both natural and mild.
The breadth of the palette available to formulators today is translating to a proliferation of more individualized skin care systems, observes Degussa’s Ms. Kosiek. “Even within one brand you’ll see a variety of different product types,” she says. “It may be for dry skin, dry skin with a T-zone, acne-prone adult skin, acne-prone teenage skin—so people are looking for things targeted specifically toward them.”
A related development is the greater willingness of consumers to pay premium prices for skin care products, even in mass-market stores, long appreciated for the discount prices they offered. “Now you’re seeing a lot more high end, even in the discounts,” Ms Kosiek says. “People are willing to pay more, which is something that they hadn’t done in the past.” The difference today is the efficacy of the products, which is supported by the more advanced ingredients comprising them. “As long as people can get out of the product what’s on the label, what’s promised, they’re going to go back and buy it again,” she explains. “A few years ago, they used to talk about this as the industry of hopes and dreams. I think we’re so far beyond that now. Science and reality have changed it completely.”
The need to put these and other new ingredients together while improving on more traditional considerations such as moisturizing, texture and appearance is driving additional innovation that may not be highlighted on a product label, but which nevertheless plays a crucial role in product success. “Light” and “silky” seem to be bywords.
Degussa, for example, recently introduced Tegosoft DEC (diethylhexyl carbonate), an emollient with “an unusually light feeling” useful in sun care, skin lotions and make-up, says Ms. Kosiek. The company has also brought to market another new emollient, Axol C 62. An edible citrate derivative, it answers growing interest in vegetable-based raw materials.
Bettina Jackwerth, global marketing director, skin care at Cognis, says the company’s light emollient Cetiol CC (dicaprylyl carbonate) has found great acceptance in the market. Similarly, Cognis’s multifunctional ingredients Cosmedia SP (sodium polyacrylate) is a thickening and emulsifying polymer with specific sensorial advantages, she adds.
Crompton has responded with Protoline, a new petrolatum product that has improved aesthetics, says Rich Callahan, global marketing director at Crompton’s Witco Refined Products. “It is the nature of a petrolatum to possess a greasy feel,” He notes. “However we have made progress in overcoming this drawback via the use of alternative hydrocarbon feedstocks. The initial feedback has been quite positive.” Crompton also recently introduced what it calls the highest-viscosity USP white mineral oil on the market, Hydrobrite 1000. A 1000 SUS (Saybolt universal seconds) white oil, Hydrobrite 1000 provides the moisturizing attributes of a petrolatum in a liquid form. “Crompton is constantly evaluating potential hydrocarbon feedstocks in an effort to not only enhance the performance of our finished products, but to also maintain the tremendous value that our products offer,” he adds. “Furthermore, our technical service group works closely with skin care formulators to develop products that deliver the specific performance characteristics that are desired.”
Mr. Callahan acknowledges that petrolatums have been pressured by the trend toward “natural” ingredients,. “During this time, petroleum-derived ingredients have sometimes come under scrutiny. However, we have found that skin care formulators have been staunch supporters of our products based on their time-tested performance and their cost-effectiveness versus non-petroleum-derived ingredients.”
Penreco, another producer of petrolatums, recently introduced Super Soft Petrolatum, USP, specifically developed for formulations that require a low melt temperature and increased fluidity at skin temperature. “Good applications for the product are in creams and lotions and in all personal care applications where high moisturization and improved skin feel are desired,” says Doug Reynolds, general sales manager, domestic.
In August of last year, Penreco introduced Versagel MN, the first in a series of “crystal clear” ester-based gels designed to give formulators greater versatility and performance in color cosmetics and sun care products. Making ester-based gels is a much greater technical challenge than producing our traditional hydrocarbon-based gels,” says Lin Healy, senior research associate at Penreco. “Our breakthrough in this arena provides more choices of ingredients to formulators trying to differentiate their products from everyone elses.
A new low-molecular weight, low-viscosity ester called Ceraphyl SLK was introduced in April by ISP to help formulators reduce the oily or heavy feeling caused by components such as UV absorbers and pigments. “Ceraphyl SLK addresses the perennial consumer desire for a silky-feeling emollient without any drag or tack,” says Mr. Bowers. “It is well positioned to satisfy the trend for light, moisturizing body and face care products, and additionally positioned for use in color cosmetics and sun care products requiring an elegant skin feel.” The company simultaneously introduced Optiphen, a liquid preservative formulation consisting of phenoxyethanol and an emollient base that provides “optimized protection against microbial growth from bacteria and yeast while giving the finished product exceptional feel,” he says. “Optiphen addresses the need that many customers are expressing for globally approved preservative systems that are parabens and formaldehyde free.”
Another supplier, Ciba, offers ingredients that protect cosmetic formulations from light damage. “In late 2003, we introduced Ciba Tinogard Q Excited State Quencher (ESQ), which helps protect the color of products like facial toners and cleansers from fading,” says Ms. Werner. “Excited State Quencher technology blocks light-induced degradation of cosmetic and household products. It outperforms existing technology as a stand-alone stabilizer and shows exceptional boosting effects when used with UV-absorbers.”
Interest in the use of polymers for skin care is growing, Mr. Bowers says, especially in the delivery of actives, skin tightening and color cosmetics. “ISP continues to build upon its expertise in novel polymer development and application to serve this trend.”
In December, National Starch Personal Care introduced Hydrovance. James Mish, global marketing director, personal care, says the moisturizing agent is comparable to the industry’s benchmark, glycerin, with the added benefit of a more pleasing afterfeel. “Hydrovance moisturizing agent fits in well within the spectrum of commercial moisturizing ingredients, and [it] should find a place as a partial replacement for glycerin in certain formulations and as a method of reducing cost of high-end ingredients,” he states. National Starch has also launched Dermacryl AQF, a new film-forming polymer designed to provide water resistance and maintain high SPF in emulsion sun care products.
In April at In-Cosmetics, Uniqema introduced Arlatone LC, a patented combination of sorbitan stearate and sorbityl laurate designed to deliver highly stable emulsions with a virtually unlimited set of ingredients easily and quickly, according to Ms. Clarke. She envisions one benefit being the expanded use of difficult to formulate natural oils. “Traditional concerns about the hydrophilic/lipophilic balance values of oils used in formulating are unnecessary with Arlatone LC, meaning more rapid formulation development on the bench and easier manufacturing,” he asserts. “In addition, because Arlatone LC promotes the formation of ‘hydrosomes,’ or liquid crystals, in a skin care product, formulators will be able to produce a wide variety of benefits from the system alone, such as prolonged hydration, controlled release of actives, effective control of transepidermal water loss and a light, pleasant skin feel—even with traditionally greasy or heavy oils.” Primary applications for Arlatone LC will include moisturizing lotions and creams, sunscreen and after-sun products, and a range of products that can carry preservative-free or emulsifier-free claims on their labels.
Last year Cognis launched a new solubilizer, Eumulgin HPS, that is not only suitable for skin care applications, but also for surfactant-based systems carrying a high load of essential, perfume or other oils, according to Ms. Jackwerth. Cosmedia SPL was launched as the liquid version of the emulsifying polymer Cosmedia SP. Laboratoire Sérobiologiques launched two further actives, Purisoft and Puricare,that protect skin or hair from UV stress and environmental pollution such as exhaust gas or dust. Each of these products addresses the wellness trend, she says. “Eumulgin HPS, for example, is a perfect solution for popular aromatherapeutic concepts, which can provide stress relief and relaxation to the consumer.” Cosmedia SP and SPL also provide opportunities for differentiation by answering the demand for new textures and sensory experiences, she adds.
Clariant recently introduced Aristoflex HMB, a hydrophobically modified sulfonic acid polymer that, like Aristoflex AVC, addresses the trend towards light and fresh-feeling emulsions not easily achieved with classical emulsifiers, says Peter Klug, global R&D manager personal care at Clariant. “Aristoflex polymers are easy-to-use, preneutralized, non-tacky thickener polymers, which work throughout the full pH-range.”
Eastman’s Mr. Crane says the company will be launching Sustane SAIB MCT (sucrose acetate isobutyrate blended with medium chain triglycerides) at the Society of Cosmetic Chemists Suppliers Day, being held in Secaucus, N.J., this week. “The 80/20 SAIB MCT blend delivers the historical benefits of SAIB at a significantly reduced viscosity,” he says. “The reduced viscosity eliminates heating and handling complications for SAIB customers, creating potential cost reductions. It also opens doors to applications like skin care that were previously not available to us.” Eastman plans to introduce a novel skin cream ingredient derived from a natural plant extract in the third quarter, positioning it in the rapidly growing moisture-retention and anti-aging markets.
Silicones are finding increasing and diverse applications in skin care products as alternatives to organic compounds. The leader in silicones for the personal care market is Dow Corning, which offers 12 different families. Among the newest and most successful are six elastomers and an ultra-high molecular weight fluid emulsion, says Myriam Delvaux, global market manager for skin care and underarm. The elastomers bring to formulations a feel that Ms. Delvaux characterizes as smooth, silky, light, dry and powdery. The emulsion, HMW 2200, is richer and provides long-lasting, nourishing emollience, and it is showing significant successes in skin care and body wash applications, says Ms. Delvaux.
Three new silicones were introduced last year. In July, Dow Corning introduced BY 11-030, a high concentration (50 percent) emulsifier that has a more pleasant skin feel than organic alternatives, according to Ms. Delvaux. It also allows for the formulation of transparent gels with high oil content. The same month, the company brought out 555 Cosmetic Fluid, a high refractive index phenyl fluid used for several different applications. As a specialty material, it is used in premium skin care and cosmetics to add shine and gloss while providing non-oily, rich skin feel and excellent spreadability. In September, Dow Corning introduced six HIP (high internal phase) Emulsions, a new line of pre-emulsified concentrates of emollient and moisturizer. They give a unique skin feel and look, and they are highly flexible, says Ms. Delvaux. “Sometimes some silicones are not so easy to formulate,” she notes. “This gives flexibility and ease of use.” Formulators using the HIP Emulsions can increase speed to market and put less capital into their manufacturing facilities, she adds.
At In-Cosmetics, Dow Corning introduced a completely new and patented chemistry, the Carbinol Fluid, for a new generation of cosmetic products. It is versatile and multifunctional, and it provides broad compatibility with many different ingredients widely used in skin and cosmetic formulations, says Ms. Delvaux. Carbinol Fluid is a unique silicone that easily binds, disperses and helps to suspend pigments, has good wetting properties, and enhances fragrance release. It also moisturizes.
Degussa’s Ms. Kosiek says that it is important to help formulators use the advanced ingredients now coming to market. “We’ve developed programs to look for applications and ways of optimizing performance with our products and some of the other ones on the market place,” she points out. “We supply materials going into cationic emulsions, a developing area in the US, a technology that is getting popular because it allows you to incorporate more oils and oily feeling materials into skin care products without having them feel greasy on the skin.” Such a capability is particularly advantageous for products targeting an aging population, which requires more effective skin moisturizers and treatments that tend to be oily. “We’ve also recently introduced foaming lotion technology,” she notes. If a lotion can be made to foam, like a mousse, it is easier to spread on and get effective delivery of the active materials, she explains. Degussa also, like Dow Corning, provides a pre-compounded form of its actives called Skin Flux. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in that,” says Ms. Kosiek. A combination of ceramides, phytosphingosine, cholesterol and sodium lauryl lactolate, the product was developed to deliver all the benefits of the skin care active ingredients in a more convenient form.
The size of the market for these ingredients is large. According to Lubrizol’s Mr. Carey, the global market for all personal care ingredients, including skin care, is about $7 billion, growing at 3 to 5 percent annually, although he puts growth at the Chemron subsidiary above 10 percent per year. Growth in developing countries such as China, South East Asia and Brazil is also higher, say industry participants.
Several companies have made capital investments and acquisitions that bolster their position in skin care. In March, ISP acquired UK-based Hallcrest Ltd. and Biochema Schwaben, based in Germany. ISP Hallcrest is a manufacturer and marketer of custom microencapsulation and liquid crystal technologies for the skin care and other industries, while ISP Biochema Schwaben is a formulator of preservatives and biocides for industrial and personal care applications. “Both acquisitions are exciting additions to ISP’s skin care business,” states Mr. Bowers.
In April, Arch Chemicals completed the $215 million acquisition of Avecia’s Biocides business, notes Ms. Lods. “While the majority of the business will positively affect Arch’s Industrial Biocides group, there will be preservative products applicable to the personal care business to help enhance Arch’s portfolio of preservation materials.”
Lubrizol’s move to acquire Noveon International for $1.84 billion presents numerous opportunities in personal care. For instance, Noveon’s Carbopol acrylic thickeners will expand Lubrizol’s application base.
Uniqema is now expanding manufacturing at Atlas Point in New Castle, Del. “The Atlas Point plant is one of Uniqema’s key manufacturing operations producing a wide range of products for numerous global markets,” Ms. Clarke points out. Products to be produced at the facility include the Arlasilk Phospholipid series of multifunctional biomimetic ingredients, the Monamid series of surfactants based on fatty acid alkanolamides, the Arlatone MAP series of mild, high-performing surfactants, the Monateric series of amphoteric surfactants and the Monasil series of organosilicones. “The Atlas Point site is strategically located next to Uniqema’s regional research and development facilities, as well as its Americas headquarters,” he adds. “This significant investment underscores the strategic importance of the former Mona technologies in Uniqema’s portfolio.”
For its part, Degussa recently completed the expansion of its Hopewell, Va., facility. The 33,000 square-foot addition includes 8,000 square feet dedicated to new product applications laboratories.
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