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Skin Care Thinks Small to Deliver Big

Leslie Benson

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  • R&D will borrow ideas from the medical field, materials science, food and environmental industries for future skin care ingredients and delivery system innovations.
  • It will be much more difficult to introduce a new ingredient to the market, due to growing global regulations, so companies will look much closer at how the “old” ingredients could work better.
  • Similar metal or polymer microneedles being researched in the U.S. and Europe for use in cost-effective, mass immunizations may enable new delivery methods for antiaging skin care actives and other ingredients.

Fowl” analogies such as the chicken and the egg question—Which came first?—stumped several interviewees recently when GCI magazine asked skin care brand owners, research scientists, ingredients suppliers and distributors: Which comes first—active ingredients or their delivery systems? In most cases, responses were all-encompassing, indicating the importance of each component in its own right, sometimes independent but always reliant on the other to uphold a product’s efficacy and, therefore, its marketing claims.

But from GCI magazine’s more than 17 in-depth interviews about the subject, four major factors made their presence known—the “4Rs of delivery—right chemical, right site, right concentration, right period of time,” as noted by Johann Wiechers, PhD, president of the International Federation of the Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC).1 These 4Rs define the future of skin care, encompassing most of the marketing claims consumers encounter, as well as outlining the importance of actives and their delivery systems, simultaneously. Like the chicken and egg cycle, you really can’t have one without the other.

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