A Vision of Utopia Greets Visitors at In-Cosmetics
In-Cosmetics is primarily a platform for ingredient suppliers to showcase new ingredients and technologies in cosmetics and toiletries. Recently, it has become much more since the introduction of its In-Focus feature which each year invites suppliers to interpret trends and turn them into reality.
By Imogen Matthews
Consultant to In-Cosmetics
Utopia was the theme of this year’s In-Focus feature at In-Cosmetics Amsterdam (April 15-17) and occupied a prominent position in the center of the RAI venue. Jacques Sebag, director and founder of consulting and communication agency Re-Source!, who collaborated with In-Cosmetics on the Utopia concept, comments: “These days, beauty brands should have some kind of ethics or responsibility towards what they do. There is also the moral issue. It shouldn’t only be about words but formulations, too.”
There was considerable interest in the Utopia concept by companies looking for new ways to work at the In-Cosmetics show.
“Instead of only showing a new molecule, they had the opportunity to reveal the creativeness of the company,” explains Mr. Sebag. “Utopia attracted a lot of visitors in charge of marketing and consulting firms who come to In-Focus to explore new trends. This doesn’t happen on the stands,” he affirms.
A conference program ran alongside In-Focus Utopia and included insights from Mintel on future trends in beauty. Nica Lewis, head consultant for Mintel GNPD Cosmetic Research, argued: “The quest for the ultimate beauty product is taking us further and further into new territories—literally. Whether exploring pristine corners of the globe or the frontiers of cellular biology, ingredients in beauty and personal care products are forcing us to question our ethics.”
She contrasted two polarizing trends: “faux genomics” and “the Garden of Eden.”
According to Mintel, Faux Genomics focuses on the supremacy of science where we are seeing frontier ingredients such as stem cells, EGF, peptides and even bodily fluids used in formulations. The Garden of Eden is about the harmony of nature that has resulted in many new and unusual plant ingredients, sometimes obtained from fragile environments.
“There are ethical implications,” maintained Ms. Lewis in her presentation. “How much can we take from nature before destroying it?”
New beauty products making ethical claims to be eco-friendly or operating under fair trade conditions must address this question, she told the audience.
A Variety of Concepts from Suppliers
Creative concepts from industry suppliers were on display throughout the show. Key highlights of In-Focus Utopia are detailed below:
B&T Company is bringing liquid crystal technology into the field of cosmetics. Liquid crystals are skin-compatible as they are present in cell membranes, making them suited for skin care products. The technology is used in electronic devices, such as TV screens and watches, and B&T Company is looking at electro-magnetic skin care, products which would rely on electro-magnetic fields to analyze the state of the skin, regulate its metabolism or regulate the properties of its active ingredients. Liquid crystals could be used in makeup, skin care, sun care and hair care.
Cognis GmbH and Laboratoires Sérobiologiques examined a range of applications designed to express emotions, such as Anger (a gel that defines the shape of the hair), Peace (a hair mask that takes time to use), Sadness (an undereye healing serum), Pride (a luxurious cashmere-like texture for long, luscious locks) and Love (a melting body butter).
Records Fall at In-Cosmetics
More than 450 exhibitors showcase their products and services to over 5000 unique visitors at In-Cosmetics Amsterdam. If there were any doubt that In-Cosmetics is the biggest ingredients trade show in the global cosmetics industry, the recently concluded event certainly dispelled them. In-Cosmetics Amsterdam, held April 15-17, was the biggest yet, with 467 exhibitors from 40 countries and 8,400 square meters, a 6% increase on In-Cosmetics 2007 in Paris. More than 5000 unique visitors flocked to Amsterdam with a total visitor attendance of 9,743 over the three days. Organizers were obviously pleased with the show.
“Our challenge was to bring international visitors to the Netherlands, which has virtually no local cosmetics industry—the results exceeded all expectations,” commented Lucy Gillam, exhibition manager. “A staggering 88% of the visitors were international—a 16% increase on 2007—hailing from 90 countries.”
Visitors were up mainly from Germany, the UK, Eastern Europe and Asia, particularly China, India, Thailand and Malaysia. More than 40% were first-time visitors.
The two-day Cosmetic Science Conference included presentations devoted to naturals and skin aging and was the best-attended conference ever, with over 170 delegates.
Among the new features was the Innovation Zone, a brand new feature in association with Mintel highlighting some of the hundreds of new ingredients launched by exhibitors as well as over 40 cutting-edge beauty products. Stephen Block, events manager at Mintel, commented “The show has been brilliant. We have been involved in the Innovation Zone and our tasting sessions have been very popular. We have set up a lot of follow up meetings with some very interesting people. It has been well worth the Mintel global team attending the show. We have seen people from across the globe. We will be attending the show in Munich next year!”
In-Cosmetics 2009 will take place April 21-23 in Munich, and show organizers note that the show is already bigger than Amsterdam, with more than 8,500 square meters of stand space already booked. In-Cosmetics 2010, the 20th anniversary of the show, will be held in Paris.
Cosmetochem partnered with an Australian company, Outback Spirit, to present Outback Spirit Botanicals, a range of exotic Australian fruits and plants for use in personal care. These natural products are redolent of the wild Australian outback and based on the sustainable harvest of Australian plants from pristine wilderness regions in an ethical partnership with indigenous Australian people. The plants are sourced from the wisdom and active involvement of these people and on-going research is being conducted to ensure a “never-ending” supply of new and exciting products. Through this approach, Cosmetochem expects to find new active substances and to develop an inspirational approach to well-being.
Croda Group (including Sederma) launched its Skin on Skin concept at In-Cosmetics Paris last year and this year translated it into the BeaUty (“be you”) collection. These skin and hair care products allow the user to select the texture, extract and active ingredients to achieve their idea of beauty. The idea is that in the future there will be no one defined concept of beauty and that customers will be able to mix their own products at the counter.
Jan Dekker presented a finished product concept called Harmony, a three-step skin care ritual designed to achieve an ideal balance within the skin. Japanese traditions are combined with breakthrough formulation techniques and new molecules are inspired by ancient wisdom. The three skin care steps are Detox, Re-balance, where the cream becomes like water on the skin and Awake, whose baby skin care smell symbolizes the rebirth of the skin.
Rhodia Personal Care and Alpol Cosmétique dreamed up the concept of Cosmetic Jewels, a series of products using rubies, emeralds, pearls and sapphires in high feel textures and sheen. Mirasheen Star technology delivers shine and opacity at low inclusion levels across a broad range of surfactant systems and claims to be the most versatile pearlizing agent on the market today.
SkinEthic Laboratories/L’Oréal Recherche showed, with the help of videos, how skin cells can be used to rebuild skin for science and how this is helping scientists understand issues such as ageing and tanning. The technology is also being used to test the efficiency of products, that cannot be done on humans. The Episkin model replaces animal testing. L’Oréal has made this technology available to share with other cosmetic or chemical companies.
Symrise has worked on different concepts across all its divisions to come up with innovative and experimental formulations yet to be found in personal care and fragrance products. Beauty from inside was a breath freshener with antioxidant benefits derived from strawberry in a gelatine capsule. Lipdust comes in an innovative powder form that transforms into a gloss on contact with the lips. The “next generation” of perfumes was presented as a water, rather than alcohol-based, formulation that can be used in the sun, during sports and has hydrating skin benefits.
For more information on In-Focus Utopia, visit www.in-cosmetics.com