March 22nd, 2022
4 Ingredients Worth Watching
With decades of experience in the industry, Prime Matter Labs incoming Chief Science Officer Jennifer Hurtikant is able to spot (from her Torrance, California base) ingredient trends that are shaping the beauty business, often long before they boom. “We’ve been working with a mix of old faithfuls and new ingredients that are the basis of some innovative new brand products,” she shares.
Often, the first to market for innovative solutions and ingredient formulations has an edge, and this speed is a welcome advantage for indie brands. “Many new brands today are doing their own research and setting the trends by going to market two to three times faster than larger conglomerates,” says Hurtikant. “They are testing new products in the market within six to twelve months, where larger brands take eighteen to thirty-six months from concept to launch.”
Customers are more educated and have more of an influence than they ever have in dictating the trends because of social media. “Consumers are more focused on key claims of cruelty-free, gluten-free and vegan seem to be table-stakes, and naturally derived ingredients are standard for most brands now,” says Hurtikant. As more responsible, conscious sourcing is in demand, “It’s critical that we understand the quality of the ingredients we’re using; how it was harvested, ensuring that they contain no impurities, and that properties are consistent.” she notes.
Below, four ingredients Hurtikant is watching, and their potential to shape what’s next.
Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the skin and draws in hydration to plump up your skin and give it a glow. We’ve been using this ingredient for a while, but as the ‘porpoise’ or dewy glow look has grown in popularity, so has the use of Hyaluronic Acid in skin serums, moisturizers and lip treatments. As HA is used in dermatological treatments like injectables, we’re seeing that consumers continue to want to use this ingredient for their own products and at-home treatments. As the skinification of hair becomes normalized, we’ll see HA used in scalp treatments, too.
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that is the basis for protecting and rebuilding the skin’s lipid layer and strengthening the skin barrier. Consumers are starting to look at their skin through a wellness trend, so instead of just treating a condition like acne and fine lines, they are looking to care and protect their skin—taking a preventative approach—thus focusing on skin barrier. We’re looking to protect ourselves from UV. Blue light, pollution and stress. Niacinamide has been prevalent in skin care serums, and now we’ll start seeing it in scalp care and body care as well.
This spongy, squishy mushroom goes by a few names, including ‘snow mushroom’ and ‘silver ear mushroom,’ with the key benefit of hydration, like HA. However, Tremella particles are even smaller than those of Hyaluronic Acid, allowing it to be more readily absorbed into skin. It pulls water into the skin, and its fatty acids potentially help hold onto that moisture. It also is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, proving to protect as well as hydrate the skin. We are using these snow mushrooms in serums, moisturizers and spray gels. Again, with hydration a need for summer and winter temperatures, we see this ingredient becoming a critical part of the skin care routine.
Fermented Oils are lighter than regular oils and absorb into the skin much faster. Most of the fermented oils are coming from Korea with great clinicals to support specific skin care benefits for age support. We have started using them for hair serums for their light, non-greasy texture. They have also been proven to repair and strengthen hair and restore luster.
Brands should collaborate to create formulations that best incorporate tried and true beauty staples alongside ingredients that acknowledge consumer driven trends. Hurtikant explains, “It’s important for brands to create strong relationships with their customers —and also their manufacturers and raw material suppliers— to stay up to date on new ways to use faithful ingredients as well as discovering ingredients that provide innovative solutions.”
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