Is the microbiome the next big thing in skincare?


Element 44 Inc, Chicago, USA


One of the most challenging things about being a formulator in the cosmetic industry is that you are constantly required to come up with new products. This is due to the fact that many consumers are on a hedonic treadmill that leads to dissatisfaction with their current products and an unquenchable desire for new ones. This in turn means beauty product marketers always have an opportunity to capture new users so there is pressure to launch something new every year.


What makes this problematic is that the technology of beauty products doesn’t improve nearly as fast as the marketer demands. While thousands of patents are applied for and granted each year, the reality is that this has little impact on the products that are actually sold. 

In fact, if you look at what is on the market now they are still employing the same raw materials used decades ago. And in the cases where they aren’t, the performance of new products is inferior to the ones they replace.


Since technology doesn’t change much, beauty brands are left to rely on marketing stories to differentiate their new products. This puts formulators and marketers on a constant hunt for new, exciting technologies that can support whatever story they want to tell. Unfortunately, the speed of research is not nearly as fast as required for product innovation so cosmetic marketers are left to run with new product ideas that are not yet supported by the available science.


This has led to the launch of new products based on technolog ...