New claims in skincare: anti-pollution and probiotic ingredients

With most of the talk lately being around the negative impacts of environmental threats and chemical ingredients on the skin, is not surprising that cosmetics companies have come up with a wide range of protection products and there is no doubt that probiotic and anti-pollution ingredients are a perfect match for this trend.

 

Bacteria as a beauty ingredient

The protection trend is evolving quickly and while anti-pollution claims were at the centre of the radar in 2017, this year the microbiome research will be at the top of the agenda of key beauty players. In fact, advances in the microbiome science have the potential to shake up the entire skin care industry expected to grow globally at a CAGR of 6% in value terms between 2016 and 2021.

Brands are looking at protection claims through different lenses and it is challenging to pinpoint which is the best approach. Obviously, ingredients such as botanicals and vitamins were far more attractive to consumers than bacteria, but the truth is that probiotics present an opportunity to reduce the need for chemical ingredients and promote the skin’s own defence mechanisms.

 

The sooner the better

The future of the microbiome market looks promising and proof of this is in the investment that global companies are making to gain competitive advantage at this early stage. More understanding of the role of microbes in skin health and appearance is needed and cash injection is essential to accelerate the microbiome research.

Key players are using revolutionary start-ups as a vehicle for innovation through strategic partnerships. In 2017, J&J announced its partnership with S-Biomedic, a start-up biotech firm specialising in probiotic cosmetics and the Swiss company Givaudan was the first fragrance company to invest in this rapidly growing niche segment with in-house microbiome research. More recently another big player, Unilever, landed on the probiotic arena with the announcement of the company investing capital in the French probiotic skincare brand Gallinée. As the appetite for probiotic beauty continues to grow, potential investments are being explored by other global companies.

 

Seizing the opportunity

Anti-pollution ingredients are increasingly used across different beauty categories. However, variations in consumer’s preferences along with the specific environmental threats affecting different geographies provide cosmetics companies with a unique set of regional opportunities. In Asia Pacific, where consumers are constantly exposed to dangerous levels of pollutants demand for anti-pollution ingredients in daily facial care products is driving the trend. In contrast, North America present the biggest opportunities for anti-pollution ingredients in sun care, while the Western European market shows exciting opportunities for anti-pollution ingredients in hair care products.

Probiotics claims are mainly found in skin care applications and facial is expected to remain the key market for these ingredients. In fact, the global demand for probiotic ingredients in facial care products accounted for 8,600 tonnes in 2016 and is projected to reach 10,400 tonnes globally by 2021 with an anticipated growth of 4% CAGR in the same period. Asia Pacific is the single largest market for probiotics in beauty products accounting for 90% of the current global demand. However, opportunities are not limited to the skin care category, other applications such as anti-agers, oral and personal care and cosmeceuticals to treat skin issues will also benefit from the microbiome research in the medium to long-term.

 

What’s next?

It is not a secret that trends that fulfil a need are the ones that lasts the longest. While anti-pollution products are expected to be around for some time, probiotics have the potential to shake up the pillars of the beauty industry. The idea of using products that help to build up the skin own defences as an antidote to urban life and premature skin ageing seems to convince consumers. The combination of botanicals, vitamins, and ingredients that support the skin defence appear to be the magical recipe for products carrying “microbiome friendly” claims.

Using live bacteria is far more challenging, unregulated and non-standardised. So far, parameters such as the type of probiotic, the form in which it is added to formulation (alive bacteria, lysates, etc.), as well as the limits for these ingredients to market safe and effective products, is not yet defined by the cosmetics industry. With protection no longer considered a niche opportunity, it is time to standardise definitions, labelling and proof of efficacy protocols.

 

Maria Coronado Robles, senior analyst at Euromonitor International, will be speaking at in-Cosmetics Global on ‘New claims in skincare: anti-pollution and probiotic ingredients’. For more information on her session click here.

Euromonitor will also be giving away a free report and a copy of each presentation from the event. Register to receive your copy here.