Natural ingredients’ susceptibility to microbial contamination and incompatibility with other ingredients compel manufacturers to employ technologies such as encapsulation. Controlled release technologies are also popular since they enhance the effectiveness of natural ingredients and widen margins by using highly effective, specialized active ingredients rather than commodities.
“The preference for natural ingredients is particularly strong among consumers from India and China, who have been exposed to traditional ayurvedic and Chinese medicines,” said Frost & Sullivan visionary science principal analyst Raghu Tantry. “Although personal care companies such as Natura Cosméticos and the L’Oréal Group offering natural products have reported a significant increase in sales, companies need to be prudent when making claims on the labels as they are closely watched by regulators.”
Active ingredients application in personal care is expanding beyond moisturizing and sun protection in body care to anti-pollutant and antioxidant protection in hair care. Furthermore, ethnically diverse regions are presenting new opportunities to active ingredients and cosmetic manufacturers; for example, there is a huge market for halal beauty products in the Middle East and skin whitening ingredients in Asia-Pacific.
“The market is witnessing the rise of several regional players; however, most of them are looking to compete against the majors on price rather than innovation,” continued Tantry. “To stay afloat in such a competitive market, active ingredient manufacturers have to focus on R&D, establish effective distribution channels, and collaborate with personal care product manufacturers to better understand their pipeline of new products.”
As price pressures are high, participants need to arrive at the optimum mix of cost leadership, innovation and diversification in their strategies. Lastly, they have to support their customers with credible research and track markets to make the most of the abundant opportunities, according to Frost & Sullivan.
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