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Formulating with active ingredients: mixing together excitement and headaches in the best ratio for a successful product!


Mauro Bleve
Principal Technology Chemist
Oriflame Research and Development Ltd, Bray Business Park, Kilruddery, Bray, Co.Wicklow, Ireland


Learning about new powerful active ingredients is always so exciting that we cannot wait to add them in our formulations to achieve the latest ultra-performing anti-ageing face cream. However, frustration could arise soon after, due to unexpected formulation challenges and stability issues. Understanding deeply the chemistry of the active ingredients, investigating their compatibility and solubility profiles, supported by a constant and vital collaboration with the suppliers, are the key factors to achieve that successful (and so much desired) ultra-performing formulation.


Many new actives, with different properties and activities, are launched every year, claiming astonishing results and showing amazing clinical performance, in a relatively short term.

During exhibitions, conferences and industry events for cosmetic ingredients around the world, all professionals gather together, under the same roof. The aim is to find and catch the latest launch, the most innovative peptide, the most novel standardised extract from the rarest plant or the most hidden microalgae, that unique ingredient which will add a miraculous power to their cosmetic product or the whole product range, to tackle and correct a specific skin concern.

Returning back to the laboratory, with all these insights and with the excitement of having found the most amazing active that will add that uniqueness to our formulation, it is hard not to think and to ideate a great base where to include our dream ingredient.

Contacting the supplier and requesting a sample with technical documentation is the next step. Excitement is building up. We are almost there, we have to wait, just for a few days, for that little parcel, co ...

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