Personal Care Ingredients – Trends driving the market


Personal Care Ingredients – Trends driving the market

Based on the article by Nikola Matic published on COSSMA Magazine Volume 16 – 10/2015

Alongside with the growth in the personal care market, the personal care ingredients market is blooming and gaining notoriety amongst speciality chemicals suppliers. What are the most important categories in the market and which are the most promising for the future?


Over the last five years there has been a significant growth in several ingredient categories, including conditioning polymers, antimicrobials and emulsifiers. Traditional surfactants remain the largest category but conditioning polymers are expected to have the most dynamic growth India is expected to display the highest growth rate for conditioning polymers, closely followed by South-east Asia. In Europe, US, Japan and Chine this growth will be more modest.

Looking at the total ingredient share, Europe and the US have been on the lead of speciality ingredients consumption, with China recently assuming the third position.

Active Ingredients – The specialities among specialities

Consumer´s expectations for visible results are driving innovation in this growing segment, with Europe and US remaining its largest markets, but new markets are emerging as more high-end brands are formulated locally.

The split of sales of specialty actives by functionality reflects local specificities: anti-ageing functionality is very low in Brazil, where the hair care segment leads by a large amount, anti-inflammatory is high in the US unlike other region and skin lightening is high in Asia.

Consumers are now more aware of the efficacy of certain actives and the market has reacted by incorporating them in a diversity of products and categories, such as hair care, male grooming, slimming and sun protection. Despite the variety of active ingredients and their widely targeted performance benefits, the anti-ageing functionality is the main one within personal care.

Youthfulness craze drives anti-ageing segment

Active ingredients trends are inevitably affected by consumer trends. The anti-ageing segment has been growing as a response to an ageing population in search for a youthful appearance. It remains the main booster of the global personal care industry, with half of all facial care products making anti-ageing claims in 2013. The increasing demand for less invasive procedures has led to the use of ingredients like collagen and hyaluronic acid – used in invasive procedures and perceived as powerful actives by consumers – in personal care products. Natural trends have led botanical actives to be the most consumed actives in Europe and the US, followed by advanced biotechnology products and synthetic peptydes.

Increased awareness of sustainability

Consumers are becoming more conscious of health, environmental and sustainability issues and this “green” trend has been reflected in the active ingredients market for over a decade, with natural personal care products showing a double digit increase since 2006, decreasing only slightly under 10% in 2014. Suppliers are responding to this trend by developing natural-sourced actives and eco-certifying some of their products to respond to fulfil the needs of fully natural brands. As a consequence, the segment of botanical actives has shown a rapid growth in Europe and the US, with sales expected to continue to grow through 2018.

Consumers seek multifunctional products

Promising future for high-tech ingredients

The consumption of biotechnology products is forecast to grow in Europe and the US through 2018, as a result of an increasing demand for high activity products and the growth in new concepts, such as stem cell-derived actives. The use of synthetic peptides is expected to grow through 2018, driving the growth of the proteins and peptides segment. The marine ingredients segment – seen as an interesting and new alternative to botanicals – is also expected to grow at a high rate.

The specialty actives market is expected to benefit from the general growth observed in the personal care industry. The rising demand for high efficacy products, particularly in the anti-ageing segment will also contribute for this growth. High-priced anti-ageing speciality actives will command a fast growth on a value basis, particularly in China where consumers are more inclined to pay higher prices cosmetic products with proven efficacy. Consequently, the active specialities market is expected to slightly outgrow the personal care market.

by Ana Filipa Calado