Why Brands Are Rethinking How They Formulate Skin Care Products

April 2017

New skin care expectations

Looking back at the sales of makeup and skin care products in 2016, it’s easy to see a shift in customer expectations when it comes to cosmetics. In the US, the Nielsen Group reported that skin care sales have only grown 2%, while makeup has enjoyed double digit growth during the same time. Looking closer at skin care sales, part of the growth actually came from makeup inspired formulations, while traditional anti-aging treatments stagnated.


In the US, the Nielsen Group reported that skin care sales have only grown 2%, while makeup has enjoyed double digit growth during the same time.

This shift may reflect a new mindset for skin care consumers. While anti-aging benefits are still strongly sought after, there’s a new appetite for claims such as “healthier looking skin”, “glowing complexion” and “pro-aging.” This shift reflects the overall positive lifestyles and habits of consumers.

The other main drawback of traditional skin care is its delayed efficacy. Most skin care treatments require multiple daily applications and will take a few weeks or months before demonstrating any visible effect. This doesn’t sit well with Millennials who have grown impatient with tedious, long-term results. In a world of binge-consumption and drone-deliveries, instant gratification is the name of the game, and new cosmetic formulations should reflect this new paradigm.

To address these new expectations, brands will have to rethink how they approach skin care in general. A fruitful strategy is to create cross-over skin care that borrows the immediate efficacy of the makeup world and combines it with the visible long-term effects that have made skin care the dominant category thus far.

Makeup inspired skin care for instant gratification

Understanding that skin care brands will need groundbreaking solutions to address the changing consumer expectations, we brought together Sensient’s skin care and makeup experts. In this collaboration, our experts worked to identify and design new solutions for innovative skin care with immediate transforming effect. We have worked on four skin care benefits that particularly resonate with consumers worldwide:

Glowing skin with Covabead® Velvet 20

INCI: polymethylmethacrylate

These uniquely monodispersed beads provide a perfectly uniform skin coverage that softly reflects light and transforms the face to give a vibrant glowing complexion.

Comparison of polydispersed PMMA beads (left) vs. monodispersed Covabead® Velvet beads (right) on skin improvement:

Perfect skin texture with Covabead® Crystal

INCI: Calcium Sodium Borosilicate

These highly transparent beads are the perfect ingredient to immediately blur skin imperfection and hide fine lines, thus visibly perfecting skin’s texture.


Fair complexion with Sensibright® Dual White WD

INCI: CI 77891 (and) Synthetic Fluorphlogopite (and) PEG-32 (and) Alpha arbutin (and) Aqua (and) Glycerin (and) Glycyrrizha Glabra Root extract

An ultra-white titanium dioxide coated with encapsulated alpha arbutin and licorice extracts. While the TiO2 pigment provides immediate whitening of the complexion, the progressive release of the encapsulated active ingredients leads to long term skin illumination over time. Tests on reconstructed epidermis demonstrated a reduction of 30% of the melanin in only 9 days.


Healthy look with Covalumine AS

INCI: Color Index (and) alumina (and) triethoxycaprylylsilane

These composite pigments combine the light reflection properties of the alumina with the color effect of pigments. The result is a light diffusing colored pigment that instantly restores the healthy
complexion and restores skin radiance.

As consumers grow more demanding and lines between product categories blur, it’s time to rethink how we formulate skin care and how we can create better performing cosmetic products. As we move into 2017, Sensient will keep on introducing new skin care ingredients that address these emerging needs.