Part 2 of 2

Where makeup meets sweat, the science of active beauty

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Sweat Cosmetics twist-brush and refill (image courtesy of the brand)
Sweat Cosmetics twist-brush and refill (image courtesy of the brand)

Related tags Sweat cosmetics Cosmetics

For the second in this two-part article, Cosmetics Design looks at the new category from a cosmetic chemist’s perspective. Valerie George explains the nuances of beauty product formulations that go from the gym to the office and aren’t undone by a bit of heat or sweat. 

In the first installment, Sweat Cosmetics CEO Courtney Jones Louks spoke with Cosmetics Design​ about the inspiration behind the brand and how relevant the category is in the marketplace now and for the foreseeable future.

So long as the formulations keep coming, Jones Louks sees a lot of white space in the active category. “Brands have come out with waterproof cosmetics, but most are geared towards features (eyes, lips, and cheeks) rather than your base: your face! This is why we wanted to start with base products, because it was a way we could differentiate quickly,” ​she explains.

“Aside from that, our goal is to create simple, easy to use products, that bring a women from work to the gym and vice versa, and we plan to extend our brand to all types of beauty products.”

Chemistry and strategy

It’s not just what goes into active cosmetics that differentiate them from conventional formulations, it’s how they are made and sometimes how they are applied that matters. “Active beauty products are not ordinary beauty products,” ​affirms Valerie George, a cosmetic chemist familiar with the Sweat brand.

Active beauty products are “formulated with ingredients that can withstand the rigors of heat and sweat,” ​George explains, adding that the right manufacturing techniques are essential too.

And, “Sweat Cosmetics uses a brush that self-dispenses the product directly through the brush to more effectively buff the powder onto the skin. Additionally, their product contains…ingredients that help the powder adhere to the skin for better coverage and wearability,” ​she tells Cosmetics Design.

Multitasking beauty

George believes that a thorough understanding of the end consumer is crucial to effective cosmetic product design. “Products designed for active beauty must be comfortable enough to wear on the go, yet hold up on the skin through sweat and heat,” ​she says. “Also, the product needs to be convenient.”

Convenience encompasses many things, from portability to ease of application and more. Multifunction beauty products are increasingly in demand and seen as convenient, time-saving options by many consumers.

“Powdered cosmetics have an intrinsic SPF value because the pigments and colorants used to create the formulation physically block the skin from the sun, thereby providing an SPF value,” ​notes George. “In addition to SPF 30, Sweat Cosmetics' formulation also provides 40 minutes of water resistance….[And,] their formula incorporates rhodiola rosea and milk thistle. Milk thistle contains silymarin, a chemical that, in studies, has shown to reduce UVB damage from the sun.”

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