An Introduction to Facial Skin Care Part II

The facial care market is diverse and ranges from economy materials featuring commodity ingredients to high end premium cosmetics that contain cutting edge technological developments

James Hodgkinson, Technical Development Manager, Surfachem


Across Europe Anti-Ageing, Moisturising / Hydrating and Cleansing claims dominate a facial care market worth over $10 billion in 2014.1 Whilst the popularity of each claim does vary slightly depending on a country they remain extremely popular throughout.

The facial care market is diverse and ranges from economy materials featuring commodity ingredients to high end premium cosmetics that contain cutting edge technological developments.

These premium formulations are heavily led by trends with manufacturers striving to follow market demands whilst still pursuing a degree of novelty to make their brand stand out.

In this article we look at some of current focus areas for facial care and what ingredients can be used.


Using cosmetics to slow the ageing process of the skin is set to remain extremely popular. There are a wide range of materials available utilising different chemistries that aim to reduce wrinkles in the skin and provide a more youthful appearance.

Viamerine from Aldivia is a clinically proven anti-ageing active. It works due to its inherently hygroscopic nature. Once applied to the skin Viamerine actively absorbs water causing it to swell, resulting in a visible reduction in the size and depth of wrinkles.

Figure 1: Skin image analyser before and after 5% Viamerine application:

Before application (left image) and 1hr after application (right image)

Peptides including Tego Pep 4-17 and Tego Pep 4-Even from Evonik Industries are also widely used. Peptides actively restore the structure of the skin giving it a youthful and more even appearance.

Natural Focus:

Synthetics are out and naturals are in! Formulations with natural claims have dominated new products launched in the past 5 years particularly in premium cosmetics. The main driver behind this appears to be a general feeling from the public that chemicals are dangerous and natural derived materials are safer. Whilst scientifically speaking this is not completely accurate the customer always knows best and the market has responded by dramatically shifting its focus into the production of consumer goods derived from naturally occurring materials. A consequence of this is that the number of raw material ingredients manufactured from natural sources has significantly increased.

The TEGOCARE and ISOLAN emulsifiers from Evonik Industries are a good example of the scope of natural technologies now available. Using Evonik’s emulsifier’s formulators can create both oil in water (O/W) or water in oil (W/O) emulsions. Evonik Industries range also allow for hot or cold processing to provide greater formulation flexibility.

In addition to emulsifiers developments have also been made in natural emollients, solvents, preservatives, fragrances and surfactants.

Ingredient manufacturers will continue to source natural materials with rarer, more exotic plants proving a touch of exclusivity for consumer goods.

Organically certified cosmetics are also becoming more prominent. In the year up to July 2014 18% of launches in Europe were organic, compared to 12% globally. The popularity of organic products is even higher in France, where over a quarter (26%) of new products are organically-sourced.

Moisturising / Hydrating:

Moisturising is an extremely popular and desired property for skincare. Mintel reports that for all skincare products launched between February and July 2015 57.27% had a moisturising / hydrating claims.2

Despite trying to accomplish similar pack claims formulators and brand owners are always looking for something to make their product stand out. In a skin care market with so much competition having a unique selling point is vital, but is becoming increasingly more difficult to achieve.

Utilising emollients is an excellent way to differentiate skin care products as they are able to dramatically change the feel of a formulation depending on which specific ingredient is used. The TEGOSOFT range from Evonik Industries are emollients that offer a broad variety of sensorial perceptions depending on the viscosity and volatility of the grade used.

Vegetable oils are also widely used as emollients to condition the skin. Ubuntu Oils from Aldivia are a perfect addition to any formulation as they offer excellent skin feel and are materials that are exotic and ethically sourced.

Active ingredients like Ceramides are also widely used as they mimic the skins natural hydrating process and help to restore dry or damaged skin.

New studies by Evonik Industries have found new moisturising benefits for Lactil and Tego Natural Betaine. Lactil works to increase the skins natural Moisturising factor (NMF) by binding and keeping water locked within the skin. Tego Natural Betaine is an immediate hydro-regulator offering quick acting moisturising benefits.

Lip Care:

Lip care is an extremely popular segment of personal care. In 2014 66% of women surveyed in the UK used lip care cosmetics. The demands for lip care are very similar to that of general skin care in that hydration is the most crucial property. The preferred feel for lip care is however quite different where typically a heavier, more noticeable after feel is desired. Providing gloss is also a key factor for lip care formulations.

Viamerine from Aldivia is ideal for lip care applications as it has excellent moisturising benefits and due to a high refractive index also offers high gloss.

Viamerine is available in both liquid and paste forms allowing for stick application or balms with a variety of spreading temperatures. Viamerine is also extremely hygroscopic and absorbs water into the lips to give a plumper more full appearance without the need for surgical procedures like botox injection.

UV Protection:

Consumers are the driving force behind innovation in sun care. How a sunscreen feels on the skin is one of the key aspects that consumers cite as contributing to their reluctance to use either a sunscreen product outright or to use sufficient amounts to provide adequate protection. Traditionally sunscreens can have a very oily feel and depending on the UV filters used can leave a whitening effect or cause skin irritation.

As consumers become more aware of the long term effects of UV radiation there is a growing trend towards incorporating SPF protection into everyday skin care products.

The skin feel and protection of sun care products is even more important when used regularly. If a formulation feels too greasy or causes any irritation it is going to be immediately noticeable and can have a direct effect on its commercial success.

SunCat MTA from Bio-Nest is a next generation sunscreen that provides all of the benefits, none of the negatives.

SunCat MTA is an encapsulated blend of organic chemical filters that provide high UV protection, is non-irritating to the skin and is very easy to formulate with.

It is the encapsulation process that makes SunCat MTA so unique. The organic filters are wrapped within a double sphere system that provides a range of benefits. These benefits include:

  • Better protection. The particles of SunCat MTA repel each other which leads to an even coating on the skin with no agglomeration providing a better barrier against UV radiation.
  • Safer on the skin. The particles of SunCat MTA are over a micron in size. This means they cannot penetrate the skin, reducing the potential for irritation.
  • Easier to formulate with. The particles of SunCat MTA are dispersible in water without the need for solubilisers or emulsifiers allowing for extremely easy processing. Just stir in!


1. Mintel Market Sizes, August 2015
2. Mintel GNPD, July 2015

Featured Companies

Surfachem (more information, website)