In an era where information about advancements in the skincare industry is instantly available to consumers and industry members alike, transparency in product development can be a significant determining factor in purchasing decisions. Enriched with 99% synthetic niacinamide and amino acid peptides, OLAY’s latest product launch incorporates some of the trendiest skincare ingredients of 2023 and was designed and created in direct response to extensive research into current consumer demands.
To learn more about how consumer input influenced the development and launch of OLAY’s latest niacinamide moisturizer, CosmeticsDesign spoke with Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson, Senior Director in Beauty Care at OLAY and principal scientist on the R&D team.
Consumer demand drives innovation
Every product launch begins with an idea, and this one was no exception, says Wilkerson. “Everything we do starts with understanding the consumer and their needs,” she explains, and the niacinamide moisturizer, like other OLAY products, “started first with consumer research and knowing that more is needed.”
A significant aspect of research and development at OLAY considers consumer opinion when making decisions to gain the best understanding, which guides the entire product development process. “We talk to consumers,” says Wilkerson, to “see and understand what their needs are. The consumer 100% demands what they want and what they need. That demand then dictates the formulation, and the ingredients that can deliver upon their needs.”
Wilkerson concludes that consumer demand “plays a role throughout the beginning, when we are in the early stages of development of a product, and then all the way through to ensure that it’s providing the benefits.”
Without insight into consumer demand, skin care and cosmetics companies might instead deliver a product that misses the mark with customers. For example, Wilkerson illustrates, “if we’re making up a consumer need, and then we’re saying, there’s this ingredient that we can deliver on this made-up consumer need, then they might not ever see a need to purchase the product.”
Instead, she offers, “we have to 100% make sure that we are connected to our consumers, connected to the vast areas and ranges and different lifestyles that they might have, so that we can make sure we have different products to deliver different needs.”
Digging into the “ingredient heritage”
When the OLAY team approached consumers looking to develop their newest product, consumer response confirmed concerns of weakened or dry skin, wrinkles, and fine lines. With the experience of having led the beauty industry in the research, development, and publication of over 25 patents related to niacinamide, the next logical step was for the OLAY team to dig into the “ingredient heritage” and focus efforts on delivering improved results and user experience for OLAY consumers with the new product.
“We formulated with our most potent 99% pure niacinamide in combination with amino peptides,” explains Wilkerson, before subjecting the product to “a 28-day niacinamide clinical study, in addition to a two-week consumer test to really understand the benefits from a clinical perspective.”
The results? Scientists “demonstrated that niacinamide plus amino peptides, which we formulated more into this product and are also proven to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, provide an elevated benefit with our most potent niacinamide.”
The newly released OLAY Niacinamide + Peptide 24 Face Moisturizer intends to provide user benefits that can appear in as little as one week, including improvements to overall skin complexion and the appearance of fine lines, which improve over time with consistent use.
Described as a “powerhouse ingredient,” this is not the first time OLAY has formulated with niacinamide, but only time will tell if or when the brand will do so again.
“As a beauty care company, we’ve formulated with niacinamide before,” says Wilkerson, “and what this particular formula gives us is the boosted benefits in a product form that has aesthetic appeal for a wider audience.” OLAY has “plans to share additional research later this year which will inform new technologies to come,” she adds.
Excitement for things to come
It’s always of interest when a major cosmetics and personal care company releases a new product, particularly one that was “years in the making” and “the culmination of years of research.” Niacinamide has received much consumer attention recently, and this release fits neatly into the trend.
As 2023 progresses, it will be interesting to see if other skincare brands follow suit with research into similar formularies incorporating niacinamide, as well as to monitor the consumer response to new releases like OLAY’s moisturizer.
“More people are paying attention to the care and well-being of their skin,” says Wilkerson, and “fine lines are more evident to people before.” These issues will likely continue to drive demand for wrinkle-reducing skin care products in the coming months, but only time will tell.