Medical Cosmeceuticals

An Insider Look

By Dr. Mohamed Sobhi

Innovation ,Development and Future Trends

The cosmetics industry in general and cosmeceuticals one, in particular, is one of the most dependent sectors on scientific research and continuous development, this sector always resorts to extrapolating the opinion of consumers around the world regarding the product, its development and the requirements of the market, these industries study consumer behaviors around the world and the change occurring in it, follow the latest in Medical and biological research dealing with skin, hair and mouth in order to develop products and methods of manufacture and raise the degree of customer satisfaction with the product also  the follow-up and financing of pharmaceutical research carried out by this sector leads to avoiding the use of raw materials that can be harmful to consumers and also benefits in the introduction of innovative more effective and safer new raw materials

Although research and development in this industry is enormous and continuous, this does not mean witnessing  revolutionary changes every year in the products, some development projects may take five full years, yet those who look back twenty years, for example, will realize the magnitude of the change occurring in each sector of the products, such as in sunscreens , which were often oily and heavy in textures or antidandruff products  after the powerful development in its composition  following  the Malassezia fungus revelation which causes  the appearance of hair dandruff

The cosmetic industry in Europe spends about 2.35 billion euros annually to develop the industry, and about 30,000 scientists from many specialties such as physics, chemistry, microbiology, biochemistry, dermatology, dentistry, toxicology, Rheology, analytical chemistry and genetics are working for this purpose. There are at least 77 innovative scientific research centers in Europe working to develop the cosmetics industry, of which only about 40 are in Spain, followed by France with 14 centers, 10 in the Netherlands, four in Croatia, three in Germany and one in each of Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland and Norway.

Number of research centers Country
40 Spain
14 France
10 Netherlands
4 Croatia
3 Germany
1 Belgium
1 Denmark
1 Sweden
1 Slovenia
1 Switzerland
1 Norway
77 Total number of research centers in Europe

There is no doubt that new ideas and innovations are the power source that this industry draws its strength and its leverage from.

Here we need to ask the following question:

How do professionals think about creating new cosmeceutical products?

  1. From the ideas of consumers around the world resulting from a change in the trends or a new need evolved as well as the ideas and suggestions of specialists, experts, doctors, pharmacists and all those who are relevant to that field.
  2. As a result of the new scientific physical, chemical and biotechnological innovations that move into action, especially when it comes to raw materials.
  3. Ideas that arise due to the progress in manufacturing technology, where this sometimes offers the idea of a new pharmaceutical form or the development of an existing pharmaceutical form or a development in the steps of manufacturing a product, which turns some of the dreams in this industry into a reality.
  4. Ideas that generated from alternative or traditional medicine, botany or various natural sources, and there is nothing more endorsing to this fact than the size of the global natural cosmetics industry which will reach about 20 billion dollars a year by 2027, according to the latest reports.
  5. Ideas that origins to develop older products either by adding new features or omitting downsides in these products.
  6. Ideas that origins to solve major problems for consumers around the world, which represent a challenge for them both in the way of usage and the indications entailed.
  7. Need creation based on luxurious attributes and improve the quality of life
  8. Ideas for products dealing with a particular craft, profession or hobby for customers such as products that deal with the problems of sports and athletes or frequent users of electronic devices
  9. Sub-segmentation of the existing products categories addressing consumers of different sex or different age attributes such as products that exist in two forms, one for him and the other for her.
  10. Ideas to diversify the product indications as per its components to address  different types of skin or hair or to accommodate seasonality (summer and winter, day and night )
  11. Targeting new segments through the brand extension of existing products to new segments such as new age demographics and can be applied to new products as well to target new segments
  12. An idea based on creating a new pharmaceutical form or cosmeceutical form to be presented to the public.
  13. Ideas based on changing, developing or innovating a new vehicle  in the product and this  development will support the delivery, release  and effect of active ingredients
  14. Ideas that are generated to create products handling the side effects of other preparations, whether cosmetic or pharmaceutical or the post effect of dermatological procedures such as laser or those for skin rejuvenation post-chemotherapy or radiation.
  15. Ideas that improve the condition of the skin, hair or mouth are associated with chronic diseases (such as thyroid diseases) or some bad habits (such as smoking).
  16. Ideas that take preparations to the stage of personalization) which is when the product is tailored to the skin or hair type of each consumer and it will vary from one person to another, one race to another and one climate to another.
  17. Ideas for the use of innovative, healthy, organic, environmentally friendly or carbon-friendly packaging techniques.
  18. Ideas that take products to a safer formula such as those which protect consumers from the toxicity of preservatives, colors and odors, and 80% of a sample of consumers in the United States stated in a study conducted by the distributive education club of America (DECA)  that they are willing to spend more on safer and less toxic products.
  19. Ideas that alter the perception of routine make-up products into make-up replacement products as Future expectations indicate that the use of certain types of make-up will be reduced for the benefit of skin-specific medicated cosmetics.
  20. Ideas that reduce the use of plastic packaging and reduce the final package volume
New ecofriendly packages
Traditional medicine

Future trends reshaping the cosmeceutical  industry:

  • To increase transparency and disclosure regarding materials used in the manufacture of products as well as their effect, impact and side effects, we are therefore waiting for a notable change in the content and shape of labels of cosmeceuticals
  • Recycling by Products  for food and crops to produce new raw materials for cosmeceuticals , maintaining environmental balance and obtaining  safer materials.
  • Expanding the use of bio genetics, micro biomes  and  biotechnology  in introducing new or developed materials to the cosmeceutical world
  • The use of artificial intelligence to discover new types of raw materials and It is expected that  one of the most important objectives of these projects is to discover new and effective types of peptides (Bioactive natural peptides)
  • Interest in cleansing, sterilization and antibacterial products will certainly increase, especially after the covid19 pandemic and this  interest may also extend to the development  of antimicrobial products for hair as there is always contact between hair and hands
  • Increase the use of face and neck care products at the expense of the usual makeup.
  • Interest in products with natural origin and organic materials.
  • Drawing attention to (Vehicle) or (carrier) of active ingredients that increase the absorption of active substances or regulate their release or increase the duration of their contact with the skin, hair and mouth, which may also be useful in masking odors or increase the ability to protect from the sun, for example,  producing deodorants with the carrier playing a new role in delivering active substances where it helps to increase the release as the rate of sweat increases.
  • Increased interest in men and women over the age of 35 to 70 demographic.
  • Attention to high-priced luxury products.
  • Increasing use of biodegradable packaging, as it once occurred in the food and beverage industries before.
  • Reducing the percentage of water in products where the use of large quantities  results in large product volume and thus  increasing transportation and cost, which results in more carbon emissions which are harmful to the environment, and worth mentioning example :

L’Oréal Garnier in November 2020 shampoo bars( Solid Shampoo),  Everist water-free hair concentrate which was launched at the first quarter of 2021, the later presents itself as a company that supports Carbon neutral Brand also other companies provided mouthwashes in the form of water-dispersible tablets for the same aforementioned purpose.

  • Expanding the ability of users for virtual try-on, although it was usually used in make-up, cosmetics  and hair dyes, other companies started to use remote /virtual examination for skin or hair using special software and this has greatly helped consumers to select cosmeceutical products that suit them perfectly.

For example,  in December 2020, Google provided the world with a platform for virtually trying on cosmetics  (AR-Cosmetics try-on tool)  in collaboration with international brands such as Estee  Lauder  and L’Oréal, and similarly, other platforms such as Skin Match Technology emerged in March 2021, as well as  Amirys which introduced an innovative platform in April 2021 to choose the right product for customers of various cosmetics after acquiring beauty labs  which are distinguished in this category, and  no doubt that these trends were strongly enhanced after the Covid-19 pandemic and the stay at home lifestyle that followed

  • Personalization of products, a trend that is increasing globally and relies on the selection of an exact product for a particular consumer after studying the case and needs of this consumer and then selecting and suggesting a specific product for this consumer.

In a study by Forrester,  77% of consumers prefer, buy and are willing to spend more for products tailored for them or specifically prepared for their personal needs  (Personalized), and various technologies and software are used to get consumers skin or hair condition details. Examples include:    What L’Oréal provided this year in 2021 in its product or innovative device  (Perso),  which is (Device)  prepares the product with the specifications required for skin or lips care of the user of the device after using an application on Smart mobile devices to diagnose the condition of the skin as well as the temperature and humidity surrounding the user’s location and then comes out the formula with the personal requirements for the user, which is the first of a kind in the world provided for domestic use, and there is no doubt that this marathon towards the personalization of the product by consumers will continue with other companies and other countries in the future.

  • Relying heavily on social media for marketing.
  • The expansion of online marketing and sales of cosmetics in general through technology giants, as in the case of  Amazon, Facebook and Instagram, amazon even produced its own brand under the name Belie in 2019.

Therefore, after examining the expected future trends of cosmeceuticals, we find that we are facing a new decade of development, improvement and innovation in such a way that the industry becomes safer, more effective, more accurate and more environmentally friendly, and although specialists, doctors and experts will still have the upper hand in evaluating these products and writing their birth certificate in the markets, still we will also witness the growing role of e-commerce platforms and social media in promoting and marketing these products.

Garnier solid shampoo bars
Biodegradable packages
AI bioactive peptides
Skin match platform
Waterless hair concentrate
One of Amazon products
PERSO Device
Google Virtual Try on platform