With a focus on consumers in Latin America (Brazil in particular) as well as in Asia, Ashland’s preliminary findings are already informing the company’s ingredient development and marketing.
“Our global technical and marketing teams now have a range of qualitative and empirical data that help Ashland tap into consumer thinking and ingredient preferences in particular markets,” says Linda Foltis, vice president of care specialties research and development for the company, in a press release about how Ashland looks at “the cultural dimension” of personal care.
The company believes that consumers in emerging economies appreciate new products and new formats and that the industry must advance accordingly. “Surveying consumers in Asia and Latin America, it is increasingly clear that the tendency toward specific hair care practices, and preferences toward actives of local origin, and next-generation ingredients, serve as essential areas of consideration in new product formulations,” says Foltis.
“Bioavailability and actives delivery is a core scientific competency within Ashland,” she adds. So it’s no surprise that the company is ready to help formulators address the challenge of making products that will effectively deliver those locally derived actives.
Among the company’s ingredients and technologies that align with this latest research initiative are Polyelectrolyte Complex Three (PEC3) and the proprietary Zeta Fraction technology platform.
Ashland has filed a patent for its PEC3 ingredient, which—when incorporated in hair styling formulations—is said to create a heat-activated film that delvers smoothing, anti-frizz, and shine. “PEC technology has allowed us to solve challenging consumer benefits, notably in the areas of hair repair and durable heat activated smoothing,” affirms Allwyn Colaco, senior team leader at Ashland, in the press release.
Another highlight of the company’s current portfolio is Zeta Fraction technology. It’s a chemical/mechanical tool for working with biological actives. According to Ashland, “this novel technology separates intracellular bioactives into various ‘fractions’ while protecting the integrity of molecular architecture that exists in these cells.”