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Ingredients & formulation

“The ability to explore new synergies between existing ingredients is a form of innovation”, Flávia Zanella, BASF

Lightness, freshness, new food-inspired textures and products that allow for customization are some of the trends currently shaping the skin care market in Brazil and elsewhere. But to Flávia Zanella, marketing manager for BASF’s skin care and sun care division in South America, innovation is not only about deploying new technologies, but also finding new applications and combinations for existing ingredients.

In an exclusive interview for Brazil Beauty News, Zanella talks about the functionalities and solutions the industry has been developing lately to meet the consumers’ demand for innovation during rough economic times.

Flávia Zanella, marketing manager for BASF's skin care and sun care division...

Flávia Zanella, marketing manager for BASF’s skin care and sun care division in South America. CREDIT João Athaíde

Brazil Beauty News - What are the main trends emerging in the U.S., Europe and Asia these days?

Flávia Zanella - Each of these markets has unique aspects that ultimately influence local trends in cosmetics. For Asian women, having good-looking skin and hair is a cultural need. The skin has to look both flawless and natural. Drawing an analogy with art, they consider a perfect canvas to be more important than a beautiful painting. Their beauty rituals include several steps, each with a particular set of products. And their demand for improved solutions drives trends that inspire different markets, including the U.S. European women also care deeply for their skin. They search for products that cover imperfections and restore luminosity and radiance to the skin, as well as providing an anti-aging effect.

Brazil Beauty News - Which of these trends have been adopted by the Brazilian industry in the development of new products as of late?

Flávia Zanella - Brazilian consumers prefer light-textured products that are quickly absorbed by the skin and have a smooth, non-oily feel. This bias is influenced by the country’s weather and the population’s most prevalent skin type – over half of Brazilian women have combination or oily skin, according to data from ABIHPEC. The trends that are most likely to loom large in Brazil are those that take into account the lightness demanded by consumers, including frothy textures (foam, mousse and soufflé) and refreshing textures (sorbet, jelly, fizzy and cooling), just to name a few.

Brazil Beauty News - Are there any other innovations in skin and body care that deserve mention?

Flávia Zanella - The serum texture, which is already a favorite in skin care, is expanding to body care products – particularly those with a high concentration of active ingredients. The industry is also placing its bets on luxurious textures which, when combined with exotic fragrances, add extra glamour to products.

Brazil Beauty News - What features and functionalities have consumers been looking for in the skin care aisle?

Flávia Zanella - The main drive is still fragrance, followed by texture and sensory attributes. Consumers are increasingly more conscious of the impact of their lifestyle and habits on their bodies, including how their food choices affect their health and appearance. Food-inspired textures are on the rise, now paired with different applications such as moisturizing mousses, conditioning jellies and powder conditioners. Oils are also gaining traction for their nourishing and intensive care properties. They have started to be used in different rituals such as cleansing, which unveils a new consumer experience. The DIY trend has reached a new high over the past years. It originally started with premium products and later expanded to mass-market channel. In a hyperconnected and diverse world, it’s only natural that people want to find a way to express their individuality. Creating or customizing their own products serves this purpose.

Brazil Beauty News - What’s the importance of investing in innovation to get a head start on the competition and develop the industry as a whole in the current economic scenario?

Flávia Zanella - The market is adapting to the present financial landscape and all sectors are searching for solutions that balance costs and consumer demands. However, innovation is not necessarily about using the latest technology. It is also about finding new paths with the assets we have in hand. Finding new combinations and synergies between existing ingredients and exploring new features not yet promoted are just some of the strategies that can be put in place. Creativity is also a form of innovation – and that is something Brazilians are very good at, especially in tough economic times.

Fernanda Bonifacio

© 2017 - Brazil Beauty News -

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