Univar Solutions looks to 'speed up time to market' with BeautyLAB launch

By Cassandra Stern

- Last updated on GMT

"Any brands making beauty products with an SPF will benefit from this edition of BeautyLAB, [and] that's one reason we launched the program," shared Arnita Wofford, Marketing and Technical Director, Beauty and Personal Care, Univar Solutions. © Mykola Sosiukin Getty Images
"Any brands making beauty products with an SPF will benefit from this edition of BeautyLAB, [and] that's one reason we launched the program," shared Arnita Wofford, Marketing and Technical Director, Beauty and Personal Care, Univar Solutions. © Mykola Sosiukin Getty Images

Related tags Sun care Product development ingredient technology

The program, which focuses on sun care formulation and product development challenges, offers cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers access to 'video content, downloadable formulations, and ingredient highlights.'

Global chemical and ingredients distributor Univar Solutions Inc. has recently launched a lab-focused global initiative to meet better meet the needs of product formulators in the cosmetic and personal care product spaces. Univar Solutions' BeautyLAB is "a technical-based, lab-focused global program that was developed to help our customers tackle formulation and product development challenges, serving to speed up their time to market​," shared Arnita Wofford, Marketing and Technical Director, Beauty and Personal Care, Univar Solutions. Its inaugural edition, which is comprised of a video series and prototype formulations, is focused on sun care.

To learn more about Univar Solutions' BeautyLAB product development system, including the background behind its conceptualization and development, its operation, and its potential impact on cosmetics and personal care product manufacturers and suppliers, CosmeticsDesign spoke to Wofford for her insights.

BeautyLAB concept and development

To develop the inaugural edition of BeautyLAB, "our Solution Centers surveyed our suppliers, customers, and our internal sales and marketing teams to identify the key pain points when working on sun care products, including identifying concerns from a regulatory, sustainability, naturality, stability, etc. standpoint​," explained Wofford. From there, the program was developed with the "goal to help our customers enrich or reimagine formulations that help beauty consumers feel satisfied with every use​," she said.

There were, however, difficulties that needed to be overcome to launch the system. "The main challenge we faced when establishing the program​," shared Wofford, "was addressing all the different geographic regulatory constraints via a global program without being repetitive in each region​." This was particularly important, especially for the inaugural edition of BeautyLAB, as "we wanted to deliver content that would solve problems, but in order to do that you need to be very regionally focused when it comes to sun care​," she explained.

Further, she added, "a lot of formulation issues are the same across each region, but the filters, use levels, solvents, or testing methods may vary, so we had to be mindful of that​."

Program launch and benefits

The launch of the completed BeautyLAB system means that "customers and formulators can now access the full BeautyLAB program filled with video content, downloadable formulations, and ingredient highlights all focused on sun care​," said Wofford. This means that "any brands making beauty products with an SPF will benefit from this edition of BeautyLAB, [and] that's one reason we launched the program​," she added.

Further, the sun care edition of BeautyLAB confirms that for cosmetic and personal care product manufacturers, suppliers, and formulators, "sun care is no longer confined to summer beach formulations, [as] we find SPF in skin, hair, and color cosmetics and each segment presents its own challenges when it comes to formulating​," she stated. Therefore, she continued, "through BeautyLAB, the expertise in our Solution Centers allow our customers to be better informed on how to create the most effective formulations in the sun care market with the right products out there​."

Specifically, "in this edition of BeautyLAB, there are 23 formulations and nine educational videos created for our customers across the globe that cover a wide variety of challenges for sun care formulations​," she said. For example, she illustrated, "we are strong at creating formats for sunscreens, [and] we offer sticks, powders, creams, and lotions – formats with hybrid applications​."

Further, she explained, "When working with UV filters in sunscreen, we ensure stability and solubility are at the core of the formulations.​" Therefore, BeautyLAB's "goal is for the sunscreens to work safely and effectively while making them better for all consumers​," she stated.

A look ahead

Univar Solutions already has plans for further innovation and development through BeautyLAB. The system "enhances our ability to serve diverse markets and our goal is to build on the program with additional product segments​," shared Wofford, potentially including "hair, skin, body, and color​." Ultimately, "as long as there are technical challenges to solve, we will keep exploring solutions​," she concluded.

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