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How forecasting megatrends led Hallstar to develop a turmeric beauty butter

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The pace of change in the beauty and personal care market is relentless. An idea that captures the attention of consumers one year can be overtaken by a new concept the next, leaving trend followers forever one step behind the market. Hallstar is committed to keeping its customers one step ahead. By monitoring megatrends in and beyond the personal care sector, Hallstar predicts consumer shifts and develops products that drive and capture surges in demand. That model underpins Hallstar’s latest creation: turmeric butter.

Hallstar has already established a broad portfolio of butters featuring citrus fruits, cocoa, aloe, avocado, pomegranate and other ingredients. Always popular with formulators and consumers, butters add immediate sensory appeal to skin care products. Butters also make the benefits of the underlying ingredient available to formulators. Working with lemon oil, for example, facilitates the incorporation of the free radical scavenger limonene into personal care products, while the use of aloe results in butters that melt upon contact with the skin.

Such ingredient-specific characteristics enable companies to meet two distinct consumer demands. Consumers will always desire the core properties butters bring to personal care products but they are also searching for goods tailored specifically to their evolving lifestyles. To develop products that cater to this second, less tangible desire, companies need to get inside the minds of consumers and understand what they will want from their personal care products today, tomorrow and beyond.

Predicting the next big thing

Consumers are paying more attention than ever to what they put inside their bodies. This has led to demand for foods and beverages that are all-natural, sustainably and ethically sourced and promote wellness. There is also a recognition that diet is just one component of a healthy lifestyle. Inspired by traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, consumers are taking a holistic approach to wellness and viewing all the products they use through this lens.

One ingredient sits at the nexus of the culture fusion, wellness and food-to-skin trends identified by Hallstar: turmeric. The turmeric root has been used for centuries in the Ayurvedic medicine practiced in India, where it is drunk with milk to treat colds, applied to wounds to aid healing and put on the skin as part of a beauty ritual for brides-to-be. However, in the West it has long been best known as the spice that gives curries a distinct golden yellow colour.

That is changing, though. Interest in the turmeric root, the spice derived from it and the ingredients that give it antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties have increased sharply in recent years. This shift is underpinned by both interest in the Ayurvedic tradition and scientific studies into the possible health promoting properties of turmeric. 

Consumers are now curious about turmeric and how to incorporate it into their lifestyles. Data gathered by Google show worldwide searches related to the benefits of turmeric have increased by more than 100% over the past year. Food, beverage and nutraceutical companies have responded by incorporating turmeric into a range of products, from lattes to popcorn.

The food-to-skin trend suggests there is scope for further expansion. This suggestion is supported by the data. In the US, interest is starting to spread to the use of the spice in skin care applications, resulting in triple-digit increases in searches related to turmeric face masks over the past year.

These data points may be the early ripples of a wave of interest in the cosmetic use of turmeric. Recognizing the opportunity and need to act quickly to seize it, Hallstar has leveraged its experience in butter development to rapidly create Biochemica Turmeric Butter.

Demonstrating functional properties

Hallstar’s new product incorporates the curcumin and turmerone active ingredients that give turmeric its anti-inflammatory properties, plus an essential oil extracted from chamomile, into an organic butter base. The result is a butter that is suitable for use in face masks, bar soaps and products that care for the body, face, neck, feet, lips, hair and hands. 

To assess its functional properties, Hallstar put Biochemica Turmeric Butter through a series of in vivo ​biophysical skin tests. The first test assessed whether the use of active components designed to moisturise dry skin translated into measurable improvements in skin surface hydration. To do so, Hallstar compared its Biochemica Turmeric Butter to a cocoa butter in a panel test using a MoistureMeterSC.

After two hours, treatment with Biochemica Turmeric Butter resulted in statistically-significant improvement in hydration (40%) compared to cocoa butter (20%). The fast-acting nature of Biochemica Turmeric Butter is important, as consumers want to experience immediate effects when applying skincare products.

A second test assessed the effect of Biochemica Turmeric Butter on transepidermal water loss (TEWL) using a VapoMeter. A reduction in TEWL indicates an increase in barrier function and a retention of water, which aids in the skin’s defense and provides anti-pollution properties.

Pitted against the industry standard for moisture loss, petrolatum, Biochemica Turmeric Butter held its own. Its application resulted in a -6% change in TEWL at the two-hour cutoff point, compared to a -7% change in the petrolatum control group. While performing on a par with petrolatum,  Biochemica Turmeric Butter is designed to absorb faster and provide protection without causing the skin to feel greasy.

Hallstar’s final test assessed free radical scavenging activity using a α, α-diphenyl-β-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) antioxidant assay. Biochemica Turmeric Butter outperformed a butter base (no active package) on this well-established test of antioxidant properties. Addition of Biochemica Turmeric Butter resulted in a 76% decrease in DPPH. In contrast, the test linked the butter base to an only 17% decrease in DPPH levels.

Getting ahead of the trends

Hallstar has emerged from these research, development and testing processes with a product that hits many of the megatrends that may reshape the personal care market.

Hallstar is offering samples of Biochemica Turmeric Butter to formulators interested in exploring its applications. These early adopters will find the butter has many of the sensory and formulation characteristics that attracted them to the class of ingredient in the first place, while also providing a range of novel functional properties.

Companies that incorporate the butter into their products will position themselves for success if, as analysts predict, the skin-to-face, natural sourcing, culture fusion, nutricosmetics and wellness trends continue in the years to come.

Biochemica is a registered trademark of Hallstar Innovations Corp.

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