Natural-based hair and skin oils create a buzz
Since Estée Lauder's was the first significant M&A movement in this category, which now sees it as the owner of a line comprising high grade luxury skin oils that was founded by stylist Lina Rodin in 2007.
At the time, Estée Lauder said it had targeted the company because it specifically taps into the fast-growing sub category of luxury skin care oils, a category that has become popular worldwide because such products are natural-based and deemed to be effective.
The highlight of the Rodin skin care line is its luxury face oil, which is formulated with a combination of 11 different oils, derived from both flowers and botanicals.
Move towards increasingly exotic oils
As part of the trend for these oils, there has been a move towards increasingly unusual oils, many of which have never before been seen in commercially produced cosmetic lines.
An example of this can be seen from US-based Maya Chia and its eponymously-named skin care line which has taken chia oil beyond the soups, salads and dressing where it has traditionally been found, and platformed it as a key beauty ingredient.
The oil is extracted from chia seeds, which is derived from the salvia hispanica, a flowering plant native to Southern Mexico and Guatemala.
An oil rich in nutrients and antioxidants
When pressed, the oil from the seed is said to contain high amounts of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, making it a nutrient rich food.
However, the development team at Maya Chia say that the supercritical extraction method it uses for the oil in its skin care line helps to give it enhanced purity, stability, concentration and bio-availability that all serve to enhance its effect on dry skin and fine lines.
The company was founded by Susanne Norwitz, a former speechwriter for NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani, who has pledged to donate a portion of all the Maya Chia sales to help underprivileged Maya people in Central and South America.
Ingredients players also getting in on the act
A number of ingredients players have also been tapping into the trend, evinced by Swiss-based fine chemicals player Clairant, which launched Plantasens Abyssinian Oil for both hair and skin applications back in October.
The natural ingredient is extracted from the seeds of Crambe Abyssinica, which is a plant native to the rich soil of the African highlands and can grow at elevations of more than 2,500 meters.
Clariant says that it came across Crambe Abyssinica in response to the growing demand for effective natural ingredients in personal care, which is now clearly extending into oils. Tapping into the natural aspect of the ingredient, the vegetable-based oil is extracted by cold-pressing Crambe Abyssinica seeds without any solvents.
Like chial oil, Plantasens Abyssinian Oil can take advantage of a unique composition of Omegas 6 and 9 and long-chain triglycerides which help to provide hair and skin benefits.