Innovation in the Cosmetic Industry

Kelly alerted me to this interesting article about some of the more unusual cosmetics launched in 2009.

In it they highlight the following products as examples of what cosmetic companies are doing to create “innovative” products.

1. Soap from a lingerie company
2. Men’s cologne in a bottle shaped like a #1
3. Nanotechnology skin care cream
4. 3D anti-ageing skin mask

The thing I find most interesting is that at least 2 of these products do not require any new cosmetic formulation (the soap & cologne). And the other 2 could also be done without any difficult formulation work.

The basic problem with these new products is that they aren’t solving any consumer problems in a superior way. The new package may make you stand out on the shelf but it is still cologne. Soap from a lingerie company is still soap.

I have no idea what a 3-D face mask but it’s not a stretch to imagine it is just another name for a typical face mask.

The only product that could have some technological innovation is the one based on nanotechnology. Unfortunately, there are no claims given and you could easily make the product by creating a standard skin lotion with added, non-functional nanotechnology.

Solve Consumer Problems

If cosmetic companies really wanted to set their products apart from the competition, they need to create formulas that solve consumer problems in some superior way. Consumers don’t care about how their products work (say nanotechnology), they care about the end results.

So, while you enter the new year and are thinking about projects to work on, start with figuring out which consumer problem you want to solve.

Don’t know what they problems are? We’ve previously written about them.

Top Hair Care consumer problems
Top Skin Care consumer problems

Creating products to solve problems like these is definitely more difficult than package or color/fragrance changes. But ultimately, the products that will be successful are ones that cosmetic chemists create focused on solving real consumer problems.

Happy formulating.

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