Cosmetics and Personal care – 2021 Key formulation Trends

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Health & safety, simplicity, and sustainability have been a trending cosmetics topic for many years. The events of 2020 shifted their direction and accelerated their importance across cosmetic segments. Senior Industry professional Puja Agarwal talks about formulation trends and Inolex offerings to cosmetic chemists to help rise up to the challenge.


The global pandemic shifted consumers’ focus on cosmetics safety to new categories. Hygiene products demand rose with increased consumer use, resulting in opportunities to meet new needs in these categories. Hand hygiene formats lead to dryness and irritation to the skin prompting a search for milder chemistries. A shift in the focus of consumers for avoiding all the negative claims from ingredients leads to shifts for formulators designing the next generation of sophisticated formulations. Polyesteramine technology, such as Kerazyne™ MB, and sustainably designed Brassica-origin ProCondition™ 22 are ready-for-market solutions to solve the rapidly evolving consumer mildness concerns by reducing surfactant irritation and conditioning skin. Both technologies give quat-free and silicone-free claims and match post-wash sensory desired for the South Asian skin.

A minimalist-maximalist approach to formulation development became prevalent in 2020 as consumers searched for products with few ingredients and multiple benefits or applications from one product. Multi-benefit, natural ingredients with maximum performance became must-have ingredients for formulation innovation. For example, 100% biobased and quat-free AminoSensyl™ SC is a lamellar gel network emulsion base capable of emulsifying high oil loads with a superior skin safety profile. The emulsions produced glide easily on the skin, moisturize with a soft, non-greasy sensory, and have no irritation. This makes them ideal for combination skincare products like a 2- in-1 shave cream and lotion.

The importance of sustainability rose exponentially in 2020 as climate change predictions gained public awareness. Within the cosmetics industry, the impending EU microplastics ban accelerated focus on biodegradable ingredients, particularly polymer technologies. The INOLEX approach to sustainability uses life-cycle thinking and green chemistry principles to design ingredients with a sustainable value chain from the feedstock sourcing through end-of-life environmental impacts. Traditional film-forming polymers face scrutiny because they are not biodegradable. Readily biodegradable film formers, like LexFilm™ Sun Natural MB, provide equivalent sun protection benefits to current non-biodegradable technologies and comply with the proposed EU regulation without sacrificing consumer health or aesthetics experience. Readily biodegradable moisture-locking flexible film formers, like Vellaplex™ MB, protect the skin barrier for long-lasting moisturization benefits.


Author : Puja Agrawal

Puja Agrawal is a Senior professional in personal and home care Industry. Presently she is the Regional Business Director (South Asia, SEA, Oceania and Japan) of INOLEX a US-based global manufacturer of speciality ingredients for the personal care and cosmetic industries.


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