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Source of Innovation: The Story of Ingredients

By: Sara Mason
Posted: July 31, 2014, from the August 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Buriti fruit

Buriti fruit

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Continuing in the trend of innovation based on tradition, Cobiosa also launched Cobiolive, a natural liquid olive extract. A symbol of the Mediterranean culture, the olive tree is extremely long-living due to its content of potent antioxidant compounds. Cobiolive 20 is characterized by its high content of hydroxytyrosol (20%), tyrosol and other polyphenols. Hydroxytyrosol is reported to perform several biological activities and is a powerful scavenger. “This combination produces positive, synergistic effects resulting in highly antioxidant properties,” notes Sánchez.

Outside the box

Simply gaining a new perspective with some out-of-the-box thinking can be the key to finding solutions, as well. “The market demands both innovation and functionality,” says Liki von Oppen-Bezalel, vice president of business development and marketing, IBR Ltd. “Sometimes you can find that by combining simple observation with a new way of thinking.”

IBR-Gapture is uniquely sourced from a desert plant that has capabilities to resist the harsh environment—the jojoba tree. “It provides a twist and a sustainable angle to jojoba as a source of raw materials, since it is made from the leaf,” von Oppen-Bezalel explains. The jojoba leaf provides the tree protection in dry desert conditions. The harsh environment in which the plant thrives and the leaf’s role is what piqued IBR’s interest. “The trees are being trimmed annually, and we basically use the waste for our production,” von Oppen-Bezalel notes. The harvest is done under controlled conditions to allow reproducibility of the extract content, and the extract itself is environmentally friendly, because it is without organic solvents and is water-based. The activities of the product are unique, as well, providing the skin with strength and smoothness through the stimulation of the expression of proteins, such as keratins, fibronectin and reducing water loss.

For unique ingredient innovations or beneficial combinations, patents also can play an important role. Patented ingredients and formulations give brands an edge, some of which may be based on the claims put into the patent or the viability of the patents being unique to the formulation, which competitors may not be able to claim. “Innovations that are not easily copied allow brands the top shot for exclusivity, whereby they would enjoy first-to-market rights on that particular formula,” explains Shaheen Majeed, marketing director, Sabinsa. Such early adapters would differentiate themselves from their competitors.

The majority of Sabinsa patents—which recently grew to 87—have been ingredient-based, looking at their composition, process for development and for their use. Innovation hardly stands still, and sometimes companies push forward a simple process patent while the clinical work is underway to effectively apply for a patent on that product’s use. “In many cases, we’re able to apply for both, including the composition, at the same time,” says Majeed.