Innovation.... like a needle in a haystack

Angelika Meiss, COSSMA, 08 November 2010 09:30

Recently COSSMA carried out a survey amongst cosmetics developers, asking the question "What do you consider to be the most innovative active ingredients at the moment?"

For Dr. Thomas Förster of Henkel the following actives are setting the trend: hair-identical keratins that penetrate deep into the hair and significantly slow down its ageing process; proteolipids that renew the damaged surface of the hair; super-fruits and new plant oils (such as grape oil obtained from renewable sources) because of their high level of hair-care performance, silver lactate with its antimicrobial action; a complex based on an extract of apple stem cells that has a positive effect on the activity of human stem cells in the process of skin regeneration; and new types of  collagen derivatives that can be applied via a hairspray and which enhance hair volume.

He sums up the position as follows, "Hair care actives are becoming more and more specific, as can be seen in the example of the hair-identical keratins. Biological actions, such as activating the stem cells, are also on the increase, and the whole area of sustainability and natural origin is taking a firm hold as one of the criteria for selecting a particular active ingredient.“

Andrea Weber, head of development at Dr. Babor, sees actives that stimulate the skin's own natural substances, that boost the synthesis of hyaluronic acid or other important components of the skin, as exciting developments.

With regard to the "natural" megatrend Imke Schmidt, development and production director at Haka Kunz, points out that there have never been so many PEG-free emulsifiers and preservatives of natural origin. Today it is much, much easier to formulate sustainable, active cosmetics".

However: before a new product concept is fully developed and brought to market one should always bear in mind that, according to Wolfgang Twardawa of the GfK, 70 percent of all innovations are flops! But why? Because they are recognised by the consumer as no more than superficial innovations, and are mercilessly dumped.

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