PLMA 2023: Private label cosmetic innovators exhibit functional botanicals and upcycled skin care
24 May 2023 --- Plant-origin and organic sourcing are in focus at the ongoing PLMA 2023 trade show. Live at the event, Allison by Nopa Nordic, Nature & Stratégie, DS Tech and Cosmewax speak with PersonalCareInsights about the role of traditional botanicals and seaweed in modern cosmetics, alongside developments in upcycling, sun care innovation, petroleum alternatives and new processing techniques.
“We work a lot with natural, new ingredients. For example, we have ‘fair for life’ ingredients and we have upcycled ingredients and we actually do nearly all categories in personal care. We work a lot with clean perfumes and natural ingredients and that’s the most important for us,” says Mette Kolling Rothmann, group chief commercial officer at Nopa Nordic Denmark, purveyor of private label Allison.
The company has a new product range focused on refreshing new mothers’ skin after childbirth.
“Some of the new stuff we’re doing is our ‘Mom and Me’ concept. Before there was a focus on personal care for the baby; now we also include the mother so the mother can take care of her skin, refresh herself and use good creams for stretch marks and so on,” says Kolling Rothmann.
The range features natural oils such as seed and sunflower oils. The company aims to grow beyond its home markets of Denmark, Sweden and Norway to Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and other parts of Europe.
Going back to tradition
In line with green lifestyle demands, cosmetic companies are simplifying ingredient lists and using local, traditional plants and ingredients to formulate the next generation of products.
For example, Nature & Stratégie uses the burnet plant, traditionally used in medicinal applications in Europe, which staunches the flow of blood. It can also be used to treat burns and insect bites.
“[The production site] is in the Loire Valley [France], which is famous for its castles and wineries but also for medicinal plants. We have our own farm growing organic plants that we use for our research and development department,” explains Nathalie Renaudier, international export manager at Nature & Stratégie.
“For the R&D experiment, I won’t get into it but the latest we grew was burnet. Burnet is an old plant. We are using it in a formula dedicated to babies.”
Nature & Stratégie was founded to help the owner find a remedy for her allergy to petroleum-derived ingredients in cosmetics.
“That’s why she made her own products. And also, she was the wife of a farmer and believes in what’s natural and that’s strong in our DNA,” says Renaudier.
The company has a strong base in France and Europe, mainly organic supermarkets and is now expanding to Asia and the Middle East.
Allison also focuses on traditional methods and concepts for cosmetics. “The most traditional for us is very low on perfume, rich in natural ingredients, that’s more the Nordic. Then of course there are a few Nordic seaweed species. That’s very big and we have a range with seaweed,” says Kolling Rothmann.
The company is focusing on its sun care range which it claims is “more natural than you see elsewhere in the market.” “We see sun care is growing. People are much more concerned about their skin and the harm they can get from the sun,” says Kolling Rothmann.
“In many other countries where there’s a lot of sun they don’t use sun care on a regular basis because they’re not used to it. Sun care will grow but also the need for sun care which is good for your skin.”
Solidified hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid has held a starring role in cosmetics for a while now. Advancing this hydrating ingredient, DS Tech based in South Korea has developed solidified hyaluronic acid patches using dissolving microstructure technology that are larger than most formats on the market.
These bigger patches can be used on areas of the face where they could previously not be applied such as the forehead and cheeks.
“Dissolving microstructure technology is our technology. That is the technical name and we have a patent as well,” says Jiyoung Park, manager at DS Tech.
“We did the clinical test which shows that after two or four weeks a difference can be seen, and the wrinkle is gone. We already registered our products in Europe and have a CCMP (Certified Change Management Professional), a good start to our business in the Euro market.”
DS Tech, which started out creating medical devices branched out into cosmetic aesthetics after COVID-19 when consumers felt more comfortable doing beauty treatments in the comfort of their homes. They are actively looking to enter European markets and the Middle East.
“The main reason women have wrinkles is lack of moisture and all the products are based on hyaluronic chips which help with moisturizing and elasticity. While the products are made with hyaluronic acid customers can add other effective ingredients such as vitamin A, salicylic for acne or beta carotene or even collagen. Anything they want to add is available,” Park explains.
Upcycling tightens grip on market
Roughly one year ago upcycling was more of a fringe concept in fragrance and cosmetics but has experienced steady growth since. Cosmewax is one such company showcasing its upcycled product range at PLMA.
The company uses industrial wastes as active ingredients in its formulations in skin care such as its Clean Conscience Serum, included in PLMA New Products Expo and Beyond Moisturizing Serum. The range is vegan and silicone-free.
Pink pomelo extract is a key ingredient derived from fruit juice production waste. The ingredient increases cell turnover, exfoliates dead skin cells and enhances skin radiance.
Upcycling continues to prove scalable in commercial production, as researchers in Italy recently presented Royal Gala apple pomace as an alternative to microplastic-based thickening agents used in cosmetics or nutraceuticals.
Among other recent developments, upcycled food-grade ingredients such as coffee, tea, olives and a variety of fruit are proving functional in skin care. Coffee, in particular, is fast becoming a champion in the space as its byproducts can be used in an array of beauty products with photo-protecting, anti-aging and lipolytic action properties, according to a study published in MDPI journal.
By Inga de Jong, reporting live from PLMA 2023 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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