Ideas sharing between industries is where beauty innovation is going

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Ideas sharing evolves beauty packaging and formulation solutions

Related tags Cosmetics

The choice of packaging materials and formulation solutions available to beauty professionals is mind boggling, and undoubtedly it is the work the Material ConneXion library in New York City that has been the trigger for much of the innovation.

Cosmetics Design spoke to Dr. Andrew Dent, the Vice President of Library & Materials Research at the organization to find out more about how ideas for new packaging materials and solutions are developed for both the cosmetics and personal care industry as shared solutions from a plethora of other industries.

In a presentation titled “Material Insight: Cross-Pollination and Knowledge-Sharing in the Packaging Industry and Beyond”, given at the ADF and PCD event in New York City earlier this month, Dr. Dent went into detail about the type of packaging materials that are coming to the fore as well as giving the interesting background stories on how they evolved.

During the discussion we asked Dr. Dent about specific examples relating to how these materials, often first used in completely different industries, end up in the beauty domain.

From NASA to the beauty world...

One example he pointed to is the use of Aerogels which were first devised for NASA space exploration, but are also used in cosmetics as mattifiers.

“Hair care treatments that derive their effectiveness from the Lotus effect, originally a biomimetic concept but actually used in glazing and wall paint are also examples, while there is also Aveda packaging that used natural fiber reinforced PP originally used in outdoor decking,”​ Dr. Dent said.

The recycling and sustainability of materials has also become a crucial element in the type of packaging materials used in the beauty space, which he also went into detail about, while providing a number of examples for applications.

Fujitsu PU Linen Inlay (003)
Fujitsu PU Linen Inlay

Recycled and reused materials offer a great way to present a lower impact solution and to tell a unique story, especially if the reuse is from an interesting source,”​ explained Dr. Dent.

“Maybe product that uses marine-based ingredients - with chitosan as an example - could be packaged using a material sourced from plastic that has been gathered as used fishing nets, for example.

“Companies like Pangea use highly recycled papers and virtually no glue; Method, Aveda and others are utilizing 100% PCR PET, and SGD has evolved its Infinite Glass formula (100% recycled glass) to be brighter and more transparent.”  

How the concept extends into formulation

Drilling down further on the specific concept of cross-pollination, we asked how else it is incorporated into the various beauty categories and discovered more about how it can be adapted to ingredients and formulation.

For us, it is always about the packaging, though we have done work with clients who are looking for cross-pollination for their ingredients also,”​ Dr. Dent explained.

“For the ingredients, hair care that reduces the impact of moisture and humidity is a plus, and there are many solutions out there in home products, sportswear, aerospace and other industries that are focused on moisture management. For packaging, solutions from the world of mobile electronics and automotive that include embedded electronics and aesthetic surfaces are ripe for cross-pollination.” 

What about the future?

So where does Dr. Dent see the trend for materials ideas sharing going in the future? How will it impact the beauty products of tomorrow?

“Beauty packaging is getting smarter, more responsive, better able to tailor itself to MY needs. So we can expect to see more electronics, such asLEDs, touch surfaces, voice activated, connected to our smartphones, timed application, as well as greater longevity of freshness of products, more controlled dosages and combinations of reactive ingredients to give us improved performance.

“The use of recycled or used products will continue as we get better at sourcing, cleaning and repurposing them, and I think the stigma of ‘used’ can be overcome by good storytelling and a considered explanation of environmental impact whilst guaranteeing sterility and performance.“

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