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A Tale of Two Consumers at NYSCC’s 2021 Suppliers’ Day

Biotech took the fore as beauty’s biggest suppliers congregated last month, in addition to “clean” and “sustainable” ingredient solutions.

The desire for clean, clinical ingredients across all categories continues unabated.

At the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ annual Suppliers’ Day, held Nov. 10 and 11 in person, the dominant topic was ingredients that tick all the boxes of an increasingly educated — and demanding — consumer base.

Biotechnology was on the minds of many potential customers, said the show’s participants, in addition to ingredients billed as “clean,” and especially those with minimal impacts on the environment.

“We’re seeing the market trend going toward green technology and natural beauty, but there is still very much a need for biotech and active ingredients, such as peptides,” said Susan Sperring, technical director, Symrise AG. “Although the focus is more on natural materials, there’s still a great amount of people looking for peptides.”

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Symrise’s innovations spanned skin and hair care, and even among synthetic materials, sustainability was top of mind. “We had a major launch last year on scalp care, so we have four materials for scalp care. Some are natural,” Sperring said. “We look at market need, and how we can source a material and offer a green and sustainable material when possible. If it’s not possible, we still look at sustainability, even when we look at synthetics.”

Several booths down, Gael Boyenval, Robertet’s business development manager for health and beauty, agreed, adding that clinical backing was becoming table stakes. “The beauty industry is very much about emotion: so you have emotional connections that people gravitate towards,” he said. “Now, people are expecting efficacy, and that’s what we’re trying to corroborate with clinical testing on our ingredients,” which included plant-based actives and natural aromatics, such as essential oils and plant extracts.

Several suppliers also wanted to find a “clean-ical” sweet spot between the two camps, promising efficacy while also taking into account the desire for natural product claims.

“In the middle of a formulation, there are structuring agents, emulsifiers, surfactants. How we can take those from being palm-based and oil-based and instead, making them a natural or a biotech product is what we’re taking steps toward,” said Victor Zubb, head of sales for Givaudan’s active cosmetics ingredient division.

“We’re an active ingredients house within the Givaudan fragrance division, and we’re providing ingredients when brands want to make a claim for antiaging and turning back the clock in skin care. The other part is for hair care, trying to do new things with the scalp or hair care products. We make biotech products for those applications,” he continued.

Finding solutions that would appeal to both ends of the marketing spectrum was a top priority for Lucas Meyer Cosmetics, the IFF-owned supplier. “We’re seeing consumers are equally concerned with both: these launches lean into the more natural side, but as a result of the pandemic, people are searching for science-based efficacy,” said Sophia Bull, Lucas Meyer Cosmetics’ technical marketing manager.

Similarly, Italy-based Roelmi HPC turned their attention to the skin microbiome. “Everyone is looking for natural, but natural with efficacy, and you need to be, beyond that, sustainable,” said Lamberto Anzalone, the company’s area manager for the U.S., Canada and Latin America, adding that the supplier’s newest ingredients have a prebiotic effect to prevent disrupting the skin’s microbiome. “The ‘clean’ part is booming, but there needs to be efficacy. Biotech is still remaining in the game, as there needs to be scientific support.”

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