The move gives it the ability to determine the performance of its ingredients portfolio on the different populations in major markets, as well as taking into account specific environmental influences.
This falls in line with the move towards personal care products that are designed around specific consumer needs as well the growing trend for products that meet the specific hair and skin care requirements of different ethnicities.
It's taken five years to get testing to this spot
“Moving clinical testing to the areas consumers will use our ingredients has been a priority for Ashland for more than five years,” said Linda Foltis, vice president of care specialties research and development (R&D), Ashland Specialty Ingredients.
“Consumer and clinical panels can now be based on a true representation of the population using prototype formulations that contain our ingredients.”
This falls in line with consumer demands for products that meet specific climate conditions – including very cold or humid weather, which requires personal care products to perform in a certain way or have specific active attributes.
Environmental conditions mean different requirements
Likewise environmental conditions are also having a specific impact on personal care requirements, particularly in urban areas of China and India where a growing problem of pollution is leading consumers to demand products, particularly in the skin care category, that tackle this problem.
The Ashland consumer panel and clinical testing abilities now extend to capabilities in Shanghai and China, Mumbai. India, as well as the United States and the Netherlands.
These testing capabilities mean that it can offer its customers profiles for the performance of any given ingredient in any of these far-reaching and diverse geographic locations, and in turn almost any market in the world.
To demonstrate its capabilities, Ashland says it has conducted trials to determine the skin toning capabilities of its Dermostatyl IS biofunctional formula on individuals living in Shanghai, as well as testing its AquaStyle SH-100 polymer to determine how the ingredient would stand up in hair care formulations under the humid conditions found in Mumbai.
“By establishing quantifiable benchmarks in the laboratory, Ashland can correlate consumer and clinical evaluation programs to account for real-life conditions and to establish links to consumer preferences,” stated Foltis.