Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, said Plato. Perhaps nowadays we can apply it to “Clean Beauty” too, since it means different things to different people. All-natural, organic, vegan, no-nasties, cruelty-free, green… with many terms bandied about, often interchangeably, little wonder these trend followers can get confused when it comes making informed product choices.
As consumer calls for more transparency on ingredient information and labeling get louder and stronger, Clariant Active Ingredients is on a mission to make a positive difference and equip formulators and brands with sustainable active ingredients that get what consumers want. It’s an approach that’s attracting wide industry praise. Sustainable ingredient sourcing, greater extract efficiency and a customer-oriented approach were key factors in Frost & Sullivan’s decision to award its 2020 European New Product Innovation Award to natural anti-aging active Prenylium™, for example. One award of many in 2020.
We asked Clariant Active Ingredient’s Head of Marketing, Alexandre Lapeyre for some quick insight and how successfully answering growing customer demands goes beyond efficacy alone for modern skincare.
Alexandre, the beauty industry has always relied on building loyalty between brand and consumer. Trust is central to that. How do today’s active ingredients fit in to the picture?
Active ingredients are crucial to bringing care-related performance to a skin care formulation mix. Ideally, delivering a benefit consumers are after, such as anti-aging properties, from plant-based extracts. And with proven efficacy through evidence-based results. Skincare consumers the world over now expect proof of promises. It’s vital to the trust building process.
Today’s active ingredients however have the chance to do more than just being effective at doing a job. They present an opportunity to deliver transparency when it comes to ingredient sourcing and compliancy with ethical labels. Filling the demand gap here as well, can give a brand a credible trust-building differentiator for developing stand-out products.
What are the challenges to producing such active ingredients?
The Personal Care industry may be experiencing momentous growth, but stringent regulation procedures and fast-paced shifts in consumer preferences mean that maintaining a price/performance balance while developing natural active ingredients is a challenge. It’s restricting the innovation rate and market growth.
It takes significant expertise and capabilities to overcome the cost- and time-intensive challenges of getting a new ingredient on the approved list, complying with strict regional regulations, surviving potential raw ingredient shortages, and ensuring full traceability, from cultivation right up to when the extract finally gets added to the mix. In the current climate, that’s an uphill struggle for many active ingredient producers.
What’s Clariant Active Ingredients’ award-winning approach?
We made a conscious decision to cut through the noise with strong, clear positioning - trend-setting nature-derived solutions that target and match growing beauty performance needs with proven quality and reliability and full traceability.
We offer robust clarity on efficacy and responsible sourcing to support our customers in making clearer claims. Whether they are going 100% “Clean Beauty” with their product or taking steps in that direction. We even suggest formulation concepts via our Sc[ai]turalist brand for formulators, to inspire them to combine actives in a recipe that meet with consumer requirements, demands and trends. Get inspired by our latest RetroFuture formulations.
We’re very committed to filling demand gaps and improving the whole customer experience. And are proud to be receiving recognition from the industry for our prominence as a customer-oriented brand. Our focus on delivering innovative, consumer- and trend-oriented products with substantiated claims is helping us to stand out from our peers. And was fundamental in Frost & Sullivan’s decision to place us Best-in-Class with their 2020 New Product Innovation Award in the European sustainable anti-aging active ingredient industry.
What’s the secret?
In the spirit of transparency, we’re proactively open. We use the science of technologically-advanced sustainable cultivation and extraction techniques to empower nature’s own regenerative and protective active compounds found in plants. Many of which have been used for centuries in plant-based Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and other traditional uses in Asia and the Americas. And create unique extracts rich in beneficial molecules that in turn empower formulators and brands in developing superior products.
Like catering to the growing demand for anti-aging, natural and sustainable products with well-aging skincare award-winners Prenylium, Rootness Energize and Epseama. Or addressing hormonal aging with highly-sustainable skin sensitivity fighter Eosidin and many more.
All with a keen eye on balancing economic and performance value and sustainability commitments.
How can customers be sure of your claims, be that efficacy, origins or traceability?
Scientifically-backed evidence and engagement are key. We use many platforms to engage with the industry and communicate an ingredient’s effectiveness, proven using multiple in-vitro, ex-vivo and clinical tests, as well as the origins.
We ensure full traceability from seed to active, sharing details on cultivation and extraction processes designed to reduce waste, limit environmental impact and be non-food competitive. Plus we’ll always give clear guidance on label or protocol compliancy. Whether it’s a stem cell extract or plant culture-derived. Like our premium root power labeled products for skincare trends based on our partnership with French PAT. Here too, we bring clarity. A dedicated label helps customers recognize and easily find the products.
At the end of the day, we want formulators and brands to create trend-setting solutions to consumer needs. The best way to do that is for us to enhance our own customers’ experience. Give them the actives they need to stand up to consumer scrutiny on traceability and efficacy. To help build that trust.