Cosmetics industry drives growth in marine biotech

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Market research company Marketing

Revenues from marine biotechnology are projected to reach $3.78 bn
by 2012 driven by interest from cosmeceutical, nutraceutical,
medical and pharmaceutical industries.

According to a report published by Global Industry Analysts advancement in scientific disciplines such as molecular biology, bioinformatics and genomics has also contributed to market growth.

However, according to the market research company the industry is still at an early stage of development and accounts for only a small percentage of the overall biotechnology market.

"Given this untapped potential, the marine biotech sector holds promising growth prospects for the future," the report reads.

Biomaterials represent the largest segment of the market including the thickener carrageenan often used in cosmetics products.

Bioactive substances used for their functional properties make up the second largest market segment and would include all algae and seaweed based actives used in the cosmetics, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products.

Anti-aging and anti-cellulite In terms of cosmetics applications, the majority of marine-based bioactive substances appear in anti-aging and anti-cellulite formulations, said Mintel analyst Nica Lewis.

However, although the market segments that use such ingredients remain relatively stable the category is broad and encompasses a wide variety of ingredients, allowing for an almost infinite level of product innovation.

The sea water itself could even be included in the category said Lewis, highlighting an anti-aging range from Carita Paris which contains mineral-rich Polynesian lagoon water.

Established rather emerging These ingredients have been present in such formulations for some time now leading Lewis to refer to the trend as an established rather than emerging trend.

For Lewis the 'untapped potential' for marine-based ingredients in the cosmetics industry relies on the manipulation and targeting of ingredients to fit increasingly niche products specifications.

"Any future developments will centre on finding ways to manipulate these ingredients and combining them with other actives, synthetic or natural, in order to create even more targeted results within the anti-aging and anti-cellulite markets" Lewis told

Similarly the anti-aging market is in itself an established sector where continued strong growth owes much to further segmentation of the market.

Increasing numbers of highly targeted products are hitting the market, from ingredients specifically designed to fight against double chins to products designed for post menopausal skin.

Further segmentation of this market sector will undoubtedly promote ingredients innovation.

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