10 May 2004 00:01 [Source: ICB Americas]
For specialty chemical companies supplying the cosmetic/personal care market, the key challenge is to respond to product manufacturers’ ongoing demand for high-performance and multi-functional ingredients that meet changing consumer preferences.
“Fashion, changing consumer tastes, differences among target markets and, in some cases, external factors, are driving the markets for personal care products,” observes Alyson Emanuel, director for BASF’s cosmetic ingredients business in North America. “For example, manufacturers of hair care products are contending with low product loyalty in younger generations, environmental concerns, government regulations (low volatile organic compounds), an aging baby boomer segment, and new demands caused by faster-paced life styles. Manufacturers of skin care products are trying to meet the diverse needs of baby boomers, Generation X (late 20s to 30s) and Y (early 20s) and teens. There is also a growing trend for natural ingredients that appeal to a large portion of the market.” She says that the focus is still on healthy appearance and youthful looking skin, multi-functional products, ease of use, new claims to solve specific problems and products that prevent the early signs of aging. “In the sun care products sector, there is more emphasis on providing broad-spectrum protection as well as increased demand for new products for children and infants and hair care products that provide ultraviolet protection,” she adds. “Regulatory issues are also a concern with the Food and Drug Administration, particularly increasing regulation of claims for products that provide ultraviolet A protection and for new delivery systems.”
In response to these trends, raw material suppliers are placing emphasis on developing products that can offer the performance and functionality to meet the changing needs of the market place. In the area of hair care, for example, BASF is responding to demand for products with low volatile organic compound (VOC) content with a new hair styling polymer, Luvimer Pro55 (acrylates co-polymer). The product, which is being launched this week at Suppliers’ Day, can be used in 55 percent VOC formulations in volumizing, styling or finishing sprays.
Luvimer Pro 55 is the third hair care product to be launched by BASF in the last six months. The others are Luviquat UltraCare conditioning polymer and Luviset Clear styling polymer, which were both launched in the US in late 2003. Luviset Clear, which is a terpolymer of vinyl pyrrolidone, methylacrylamide and vinylimidazole, was launched in response to growing demand for hair gel products, particularly among younger consumers, such as teenagers, who use gels for hair styling but want a product that is still transparent, says Ms. Emanuel. Luviset Clear is used in hair gels or mousses and offers transparency with strong holding properties.
In the area of sun care, BASF is planning to launch Uvinul T 150 (ethylhexyl triazone), an ultraviolet B absorber (UVB) in the US market in 2005. Uvinul T 150, which has been approved and sold in many countries since 1988, is awaiting final registration through the Food and Drug Administration’s new Time and Extent application registration process. The product works synergistically with other inorganic sunscreen ingredients.
Sun care is an important growth area for BASF. “We see increased use of sun protection products,” says BASF’s Ms. Emanuel. “This includes increased use of sunscreen products among consumers, including children and adults, who use sunscreen products regularly as protection against the sun. We also see increased use in daily wear products, such as color cosmetics, where consumers are seeking sun protection in those products.”
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