Beauty industry celebrates innovation at in-cosmetics North America

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  • Education program hailed a huge success, with almost every Marketing Trends session a packed house
  • in-cosmetics North America attracted 6% more professionals this year, with a total of 2,670 unique visitors attending the event one in 10 were from indie brands
  • Shiseido was crowned Formulation Challenge champion, with 145 industry professionals watching the competition unfold

With an action-packed program of interactive activities and an increased focus on helping indie brands create innovative new products, the third edition of in-cosmetics North America was a huge success according to the region’s beauty marketers and cosmetic chemists.


Billed as the most interactive exhibition dedicated to personal care ingredients, in-cosmetics North America’s Formulation Lab, Sensory Bar, Focus on Marketing Tours and Speed Networking sessions put innovation in the spotlight, providing attendees with a unique opportunity to connect with the world’s leading suppliers.


Jean McCormack, Technology Manager at Vantage Speciality Ingredients, commented: “We found in-cosmetics North America to be brilliant for our needs and sourced great new potential from being present at the show. We also took part in the Speed Networking event, which was absolutely excellent. It revealed multiple business leads for us and we loved it – a great initiative from in-cosmetics.”


Not only that, in-cosmetics North America’s renowned education program brought together international experts who delivered exclusive information on the trends set to shape the North American beauty market. Conference attendees remarked that the show had its finger on the pulse, with more than 55 sessions dedicated to key topics such as the skin microbiome, sustainable cosmetics, J-beauty and vibrational cosmetics.


Varada Sulakhe, Formulation Chemist at Intercos America, said: “I have attended in-cosmetics North America three times and it is perfect for me, as a formulation chemist, to meet people and be introduced to new ideas. The show is amazing in its innovation and inspiration.”


A unique opportunity to interact with ingredients

Supported by the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors association (ICMAD) and Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), this year’s event which returned to the Javits Center in New York City from 17-18 October was designed to help cosmetic manufacturers identify the world’s most exciting ingredients. However, in-cosmetics North America went one step further than other traditional exhibitions, enabling marketers and chemists to get hands on with materials and uncover the stories behind the science.


A series of Focus on Marketing Tours, hosted by leading beauty consultant Cherie Buziak, ran throughout the event, with marketers and brand specialists battling for the limited places. In total, 74 participants were given an exclusive guided tour around the show, enabling them to identify new technologies and textures, designed specifically for product development.


Cherie Buziak, founder of Beauty Edge, commented: “This year we were inundated with requests to join the tours. Marketers play a pivotal role in the new product development process here in the US and it’s imperative that they are able to understand how new ingredients can create a more impactful marketing story. in-cosmetics North America has fully grasped that concept which is why the event is becoming so valuable to the region’s beauty industry.”


Demonstrating the show’s commitment to providing the premier platform for R&D professionals and indie brand owners to connect with suppliers, in-cosmetics North America featured a brand-new Speed Networking session. An air of excitement filled the room as dozens of suppliers braced themselves to meet representatives from some of the North America’s most innovative cosmetic/contract manufacturers. And with just five minutes to establish whether there was going to be a long-term relationship, the meetings were intense but hugely valuable.


Monica Lira, Chemist at indie brand Dermologica, said: “The sessions were extremely useful and I met with several different suppliers many of whom I had not heard of before.”


The event’s Formulation Lab was another interactive area of in-cosmetics North America that was curated to inspire cosmetic chemists. Run by Belinda Carli, Director of the renowned Institute of Personal Care Science, leading ingredient suppliers – including Kobo Products, Sensient Cosmetic Technologies, Univar and EMD Performance Materials – gave exclusive practical advice to help brands develop unique products.

Over two days, 146 formulators and R&D professionals joined the lab sessions. One of the best attended this year was Sensient Cosmetic Technologies’ demonstration of how to create natural foundations. The company’s expert formulators explained how chemists can use natural surface treatments, such as HLC (Hydrogenated Lecithin), to easily formulate cold processed W/O foundations while decreasing development times and costs.


Belinda Carli said: “The Formulation Lab gives chemists a unique opportunity to learn about the intricacies of ingredients directly from the suppliers. This year’s sessions were incredibly well attended and focused on solving specific formulation challenges, such as enhancing the process of creating innovative, personalised beauty products.”


With it becoming increasingly important for beauty brands to incorporate multi-sensory experiences in their products, in-cosmetics North America also gave marketers and chemists the chance to get hands on with new formulations that will tease the senses of their customers. The Sensory Bar showcased innovations from nine suppliers that demonstrated new textures and sensations, symbolic fragrances and novel tastes for oral care products, all to help brands capture the consumer’s attention.


Alessia Pernarella, Cosmetics Chemist at Cosmo International, said: “I loved the Sensory Bar It is so beneficial to be able to feel and experience the textures and smells, rather than simply read about them. It is a great initiative and an incredibly useful tool.”


The Sensory Bar was perfectly complemented by the show’s Make-Up Bar that allowed attendees to sample a diverse array of innovative pigments. And with the North American colour cosmetics market expected to grow by 8.1% CAGR between 2018-2024, there was no better place for beauty brands and contract manufacturers to get hands on with the technologies that will deliver captivating and trend-setting colour cosmetics products.


During the event’s Awards ceremony, a host of prizes were presented to the most innovative personal care ingredients suppliers. Picking up the Sensory Bar Award was Sumitomo Seika Chemicals for AQUPEC, while the Make-Up Bar Award went to Sandream Impact for its hydrating, plumping, brightening facial mist.


Helping indie brands thrive

As the status-quo of the beauty industry continues to be shaken by the inexorable rise of indie brands, in-cosmetics North America also introduced a program dedicated to helping niche, highly innovative businesses grab a piece of the action.


Indie brand owners were drawn to dedicated, valuable educational sessions, which provided founders with guidance on issues like marketing, establishing a brand and how to take a concept to inception. Hosted by Pam Busiek, President & CEO of ICMAD, the invaluable sessions concluded with speakers delivering up-to-date legal advice on FDA registration requirements, regulations and labelling.


Donna Pace, Owner of Jade Holistic Spa, said: “It was the focus on indie brands that attracted me the show. I attended many of the indie-focused sessions and found them to be really useful and informative.”


Innovation in the spotlight

The in-cosmetics North America Innovation Zone brought together 20 novel active and functional ingredients that have been launched in the last eight months, providing R&D teams with a time efficient way of identifying innovative solutions. Visitors poured over the area to learn more about the raw materials and technologies that will help inspire a new generation of beauty products.


Among the suppliers showcasing their products was Mibelle Biochemistry, who presented their incredible MossCellTec No.1 an active to enhance the cell nucleus function to fortify the skin. With chemists paying particular attention to the ingredient, it was no surprise that the Swiss-based company scooped the in-cosmetics North America’s Innovation Zone Gold Award on the evening of the first day of the show.


Fred Zülli, Head of Business Unit at Mibelle Biochemistry, said: “We were very happy to receive this top award and a win here is highly regarded across the industry. I believe we won as our ingredient is unique and the result of much hard work!”


This year the Innovation Zone also featured unique formulations developed by ingredient suppliers, enabling visitors to test a product for its effectiveness, while leading trend forecaster Mintel ran regular Live Demonstrations that enabled marketers and chemists to touch and feel some of the world’s most innovative finished products.


The only place to expand your industry and technical knowledge

The in-cosmetics Group’s free-to-attend educational program saw trend forecasters, skincare experts, sustainability leaders and regulation gurus all came together to help R&D teams and brand owners grasp the opportunities and navigate the challenges presented by the ever-evolving beauty industry.


Christopher Chew, Product Manager at Modern Meadow, was one of the 2,700 industry professionals that attended the sessions. He said: “The content of the Marketing Trends sessions was great. Most valuable and interesting to me were the insights around market research I will definitely attend the show next year.”


With sustainability very much in the spotlight, one of the most eagerly anticipated sessions at in-cosmetics North America focused on formulating and manufacturing natural cosmetics. One of the world’s leading commentators on sustainable cosmetics, Dr. Barbara Olioso, Founder of The Green Chemist Consultancy, urged chemists to make positive changes to their formulation processes, such as using more concentrated products to reduce water use; minimise waste and transport; and utilise solar and wind energy in their work.


Across the globe, skincare product claims focusing on skin microbiome are mushrooming and many beauty brands are attempting to develop innovative new products in this area. With a packed auditorium of 95 professional, one of the world’s leading authorities on skincare research, Nava Dayan Ph. D led a session on making use of skin microbiome research in cosmetic product development. The panel including representatives from the National Advertising Division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, Amway Corporation and Medler Ferro Woodhouse & Mills gave invaluable advice on protecting the intellectual property of the skin microbiome and highlighted potential paths to market.


The show’s Asian influence was brought to life with a special spotlight on J-Beauty. With beauty rituals from Japan becoming increasingly popular in the west, Florence Bernardin, Founder of Information and Inspiration and a renowned expert on the Asian cosmetics industry, explained to a captivated audience of US-based manufacturers how they can tap into this growing trend.


Focusing on the importance of regulations, J M Ansell, PhD, DABT, Vice President of the Personal Care Products Council, reviewed the history of ISO, the standard writing process and offered insights into a number of key standards explicitly or implicitly referenced by regulatory authorities, including ISO 22716, ISO 24444 and ISO 16128. He told R&D teams that industry legislation is constantly evolving and, as the world becomes more accessible, he highlighted the importance of understanding the differences in regulation between countries.


Meanwhile, the Technical Seminars provided another exclusive opportunity for visitors to familiarise themselves new materials and technologies as suppliers shared insights on innovative concepts. Using ingredients to meet specific consumer demands was the overriding theme for sessions this year’s program, with Charles River consultant Donald English delving into new ways of conducting microbial testing and quality control. Howard Epstein, Ph.D, Director Technical Service Cosmetics at EMD Performance Materials, also gave a fascinating insight into the science behind antioxidants, while Alexander Lorestani, CEO of Geltor Inc, highlighted novel ways that animal-free collagen can be utilised in formulations.


The creative juices were flowing at in-cosmetics

Since it was first launched in 2016, the in-cosmetics North America Formulation Challenge has become a key date in the industry calendar as brands and contract manufacturers attempt to create a new beauty product from a mystery box of ingredients in just 90 minutes. And this year visitors to the show were able to watch the action unfold, with 145 people gathering to watch six teams battle to be crowned the region’s most creative R&D team.


This year, the Masterchef-esque challenge took a twist with judge Belinda Carli informing participants from Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, Shiseido, Estee Lauder and Swiss American CDMO that they were not allowed to create a water-based product. Despite many of the teams practising in the lead up to the event, the announcement visibly raised the stress levels and placed the teams under even more pressure.


After an intense 90 minutes and a scrupulous judging process – conducted by Belinda Carli and Sarah Jindal from Mintel – team Shiseido were revealed as winners with a Triple P Primer wowing the judges with an impeccable technical process and marketing story. Unilever, runner up in the previous two years, again picked up second prize with its Urban Eco-defense Eco Mist product.

Belinda Carli commented: “We decided to shake up the Formulation Challenge a bit this year and put the teams under more pressure, and it worked! This challenge really tests a chemist’s technical ability and requires the formulators and marketers to work together to create a product that is market-ready. Shiseido was a clear winner, but ultimately we were astounded by the quality of the concepts, which demonstrated the fantastic creativity and expertise we have in this industry.”


Mohammad Aziz, an Associate Chemist for Shiseido, said: “When we first heard the challenge rules no water-based formulations allowed – we thought it sounded really difficult, so we spent the first 10 minutes strategizing our game plan. It was very high pressure to begin with, but we all pulled together to create a winning formulation. We are a very happy team!”

Returning for 2019

With the curtains drawn on another successful edition of in-cosmetics North America, the dates for next year’s event have been announced. R&D professionals and marketers will be able to join the region’s most interactive personal care ingredients event from October 23-24 2019 at the Javits Center in New York City.


Daniel Zanetti, Exhibition Director of in-cosmetics North America, concluded: “We’ve already had lots of positive feedback that business was brisk for ingredients suppliers, while formulators have told us that they’ve filled their contacts books with the names of potential new suppliers to help them create the formulations of tomorrow. We are already looking forward to providing an even more interactive experience for our visitors in 2019.”


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