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The Blossoming of Naturals

By: Rachel Chapman
Posted: June 11, 2008, from the November 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Natural ingredients are beginning to prove more effective, which only leaves consumers wanting more. So what is the next level of efficacy for ingredients? The answer moves from the physical to the emotional.

The latest concept being explored is the mind-spirit connection to beauty. Several recently launched ingredients claim to possess these feel-good elements and contain interesting properties. Many companies are selling “happy” toiletries derived from mood-elevating molecules. The specialty chemical manufacturer Croda, for instance, has promoted a blend consisting of butylene glycol (and) water (aqua) (and) laureth-3 (and) lydroethylcellulouse (and) acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester that, according to the company, is based on a peptide found in the body that promotes the natural release of messengers to trigger happiness and feelings of well-being.

The trend in beauty of treating from the inside out also relates to this concept. Terms such as “holistic,” “chi,” “increased skin energy” and “euphorialike feelings” are new buzzwords in products and raw materials today. Therefore, along with the physical benefits of a product, consumers can expect psychological ones, as well.

Environmentally sound

The wellness concept is not limited to the body or the mind—it also can pertain to the soul and the wallet. Consumers feel good about buying products from sustainable resources—believing that they are giving back to the planet by supporting the reharvesting of crops and often by assisting local economies of impoverished countries. For example, Brazil-based Beraca Ingredients has developed a Rain Forest Specialties line of ingredients that contains a series of fruits, nuts, butters and vegetable oils; the applications are for dandruff, anti-acne and hair care products. But along with touting the benefits and properties of these ingredients, the company also prides itself on receiving certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and for Good Manufacturing Practices from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—both environmental seals of approval. Several other companies have jumped on board with harvesting sustainable resources that enrich the indigenous cultures affected in those regions.

Hot launches

Several recently launched ingredients not only are natural and offer feel-good benefits, but also have an interesting story to tell. Following are a few substances that are growing in popularity.