Sustainability quotient in personal care ingredients—surfactants to thrive in the mix

11:40 AM, 22nd January 2021
Cosmetic preferences have transcended to green products, given that products with “green labels” have continued to optimize natural ingredients.

The global personal care ingredients industry is changing robustly and creating a new playing field. Cosmetic preferences have transcended to green products, given that products with “green labels” have continued to optimize natural ingredients.

The use of biotechnology will enable the cosmetic industry to streamline sustainable ingredients and reshape the concept of natural cosmetics. Indeed, consumers are in a quest for certified ingredients and sustainable packaging options. With Europe striving to become carbon neutral by 2050, trends and dynamics will witness a seismic shift in the landscape.

Customers have exhibited profound traction for a healthy skin surface showing a soft, smooth and firm appearance. Surfactants have become the go-to-ingredient for the formulation of skincare cosmetics and boost supplier relationship management (SRM). Some of the features such as emulsifying, cleansing, moisturizing and solubilizing have put a premium on surfactants.

From traditional cleansing to the trendiest offerings, formulators are developing optimal products using a slew of surfactants for body care and body cleansing. Technological advancements will help customers stay a notch ahead in innovation.

Eco-friendly surfactant-based products are gaining ground as personal care companies and chemical suppliers gear to stay ahead in the competition. In terms of revenue, personal care ingredients will become a $12 billion industry by 2024, projects Global Market Insights Inc.

Navigating through “green surfactants”

Lately, environmentally friendly surfactant molecules have been dubbed “green surfactants,” “renewable surfactants,” oleochemical-based surfactants,” and “biosurfactants,” to name a few. Sustainable surfactants have become the buzz word on the heels of mounting environmental concerns and growing consumer awareness.

Even though the growth of sustainable surfactants remains bullish, conventional surfactants will remain in the mix in light of proven performance and low cost.

Skin-compatible surfactants tend to act as an emulsifier and stabilize the oil droplets and fine water in thin lotions and creams. It is worth noting that surfactants also leverage the fine dispersion of color pigments in lipstick and make-up; disperse perfumes in aftershaves, toilet waters and hair lotions.

One of the major properties of surfactant molecules that makes them highly desirable in cosmetic ingredients is that they are compatible with both oil and water. Amidst anionic surfactants being used mainly as the primary detergent in cosmetics to remove dirt and oil, amphoteric surfactants are giving tough competition to the former as the latter is less irritating. Besides, amphoterics have become instrumental in thickening a formula and having a positive influence on foam.

Tapping into offerings from betaines

Betaines—a class of amphoteric—exhibits an exceptional skin mildness profile, good foam features and viscosity building properties. Unprecedented demand for surfactants providing efficiency in cosmetic formulations and mildness to skin has prompted ingredient distributors to develop cutting-edge technology. Increased safety, compatibility with an array of surfactant systems and favorable application parameters, including foam formation have made betaines a trendier surfactant.

Inevitably, betaines have forayed into a slew of end-use applications, such as baby shampoo, liquid soap, bubble baths, face cleansing, shaving cream and so on. With hair and skin conditioning and foam boosting effects, cleansing effect, readily biodegradable and compatibility with nonionic surfactant and anionic cationic amphoteric, betaines have added value in the formulation as foam booster, viscosity modifier and co-surfactants.

It is worth noting that the production of long-lasting foam is seen as a sign of cleansing action and is related to the surfactant structure. Besides, the use of secondary surfactant tends to have a synergistic impact on foam stability, foaming and rheology building properties and enhances mildness of the formulation.

Conditioning ingredients—a unique family of product for hair care

Conditioning ingredients—emollients and cationic surfactants—are at the forefront in hair care products. Emollients are said to be invaluable for imparting shine and boosting the way the surface of the skin and hair feel. Meanwhile, cationic surfactants are a top-notch condition ingredient for hair care products. They are also sought-after as an effective mild cleanser in a conditioner and as film-forming conditioning agent.

Consistent demand for rheological agents

Rheology modifiers, often dubbed “thickeners,” have become a ubiquitous ingredient which can considerably impact performance and stability. The innate ability of rheological agents to stabilize suspensions, emulsions; create viscosity to enhance product stability and functionality; and enhance product efficacy has prompted stakeholders to up their R&D activities in personal care ingredients. The use of natural emollient-based materials for thickening shower gels and shampoos will become more noticeable and boost the dynamics in the industry.

Personal care ingredient distributors are assessing consumer perception and customer expectations towards spreadability, texture and the general flow behavior by easily measuring rheological parameters. Rheology modifying agents have become highly sought-after in applications where high viscosity of the formulation is warranted to attain the desired effect.

Strategic approaches of ingredient producers

Who’s who of the industry are pushing to the limit to bolster their position in the ever-evolving personal care ingredients industry. In August 2020, BASF rolled out a product for efficient stabilization of rinse-off formulations (skin and hair cleansing formulations). The company asserts that it will act as a natural structure enhancer in surfactant-based systems, enabling stabilization of wax-based opacifiers in rise-off applications.

Clariant is gearing to propel its mild surfactants capacity in Europe and the US to underpin the expanding traction for mild surfactants among personal care formulators and companies. The company believes that the move will cater to the needs of consumers seeking new mildness and hygiene claims in applications, including body washes, syndet beauty bars and cream shampoos. The additional capacity will purportedly be available from early 2021 as their target markets hover around manufacturing sites in the US and Spain.

Evonic and Unilever joined hands in December 2019 for large-scale production of allegedly the world’s first green biosurfactant. The partnership will translate into the commercialization of a new hand dishwashing liquid based on biosurfactant technology of Evonik. The cutting-edge technology—biosurfactant—will help companies bring a paradigm shift in the way cleaning ingredients are produced.

In May this year, Evonik and Beiersdorf reportedly inked a deal on a research partnership—funded by Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) of Germany—to develop sustainable raw materials for personal care products; using CO2 as the starting material. Beiersdorf is in a quest for new sources of raw materials to reduce its carbon footprint.

The industry is pushing the frontiers of innovation through the adoption of booming technologies previously untapped in personal care landscape. APAC personal care ingredients suppliers are relying on European ingredient manufacturers. Accordingly, European manufacturers are setting up manufacturing units in Asia to provide ingredients at competitive prices.

Green surfactants have upped the sustainability quotient as personal care companies expect consumer demand for natural products to surge. While questions remain lingering over performance and price, these surfactants will continue to gain popularity.

With demand for soaps, hand sanitizer and hand care treatments rising by leaps and bounds, customers—especially women—have shown an inclination towards soft-focus-finish makeup that will give a soft-focus when they talk to kith and kin in a video call.

Browse key industry insights spread across 140 pages with 155 market data tables & 11 figures & charts from the report, “Personal Care Ingredients market size by product (surfactants, conditioning polymers, emollients, rheology control agents, emulsifiers, antimicrobials), by application (skin care, hair care, oral care, cosmetics) industry analysis report, regional outlook, growth potential, price trends, competitive market share & forecast, 2017 – 2024” in detail along with the table of contents:

© Worldofchemicals News

Contact Info:

Arun Hegde
Corporate Sales, USA
Global Market Insights Inc.
Phone: 1-302-846-7766
Toll Free: 1-888-689-0688



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