Cosmetics set to boost market for natural polymers

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Polymer

The market for natural polymer ingredients is set to grow at market-leading rates as applications grow for a variety of cosmetic applications.

The global market for natural polymers is forecast to grow by 7.1 per cent annually until 2012, giving it an estimated value of $4bn, according to a market research report from the Freedonia Group.

The report highlights how a range of polymer-based ingredients, particularly those used in anti-aging applications, are helping to drive the market, while polymers are also being increasingly used for a variety of packaging applications.

Natural polymers are also playing an increasingly important role in the formulation of cosmetics, including gums and starches such as hyaluronic acid, as well as protein-based polymers such as collagen – with collagen and hyaluronic acid both becoming leading ingredients in the fast growing anti-aging category.

Threats to growth

Citing general trends, the report highlights how future of the natural polymers market may be threatened by climatic and political uncertainties for products such as guar gum and arabic gum, as well as competition from synthetic alternatives.

Likewise, the report also highlights the fact that the nature of sourcing natural polymers – traditionally from offshore – means that the market will continue to predominantly be an import industry.

Turning to starch and fermentation-derived polymer cosmetics ingredients, the report highlights how better production methods from polymers such as PLA has boosted supplies of products such as hyaluronic acid, which is proving popular for anti-aging creams and injection treatments.

Protein-based polymers

Protein-based polymers are also expected to play an important role, particularly collagen, which is rapidly becoming a buzz word for the new generation of anti-aging creams, although future growth maybe eclipsed by hyaluronic acid.

Likewise, the Freedonia report points to the fact that increasing availability and cost competitiveness means that novel polymers such as polylactic acid are increasingly being used in a variety of packaging applications, especially those for fast moving consumer goods.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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