that the recession has put a damper on
cosmetic sales. But ultimately, anti-aging products could prove to be the most recession-resist-ant category in the industry. After all, what 40-
something year-old doesn’t want to look younger
if she’s hunting for a new job?
Prestige beauty sales declined 3.3% last year in
the U.S., according to The NPD Group. However,
the Port Washington, NY research firm noted,
“skin care may be an area in which opportunity exists. While
overall growth in skin care remained flat in the U.S., it is
anti-aging products that continue to show promise.”
While not exactly a glowing endorsement, it underscores the
fact that sales of anti-aging skin care products may stand the
best chance of surviving when consumers begin to cut discretionary spending.
It’s no wonder why marketers tell HAPPI that despite cutbacks in other areas, there is no slowdown in the search for
“We are constantly looking for innovative ingredients;
whether they are used internally or topically,” explained
Barbara Salomone, founder and president of Bioelements,
Chicago. “We don’t limit ourselves or the aesthetician to one
set of ingredients. You get the best results when you take
advantage of everything that’s available to help the skin
Dr. Daniel Maes, senior vice president, Estée Lauder told
HAPPI that there has been a tremendous change in cosmetic
research in recent years.”
“Suppliers are doing excellent work these days and spend-
Recession. What recession? Despite an
economic slowdown, cosmetic R&D labs
continue to roll out an array of products
based on a wide range of new chemistries.
ing tons of money to do research,” he observed. “Sometimes,
we are even learning from them.”
Ms. Salomone noted that suppliers continue to improve the
quality of their raw materials and, at the same time, keep
expanding their ranges.
“When I first started there was a limited number of raw
materials and nothing was really high-tech,” she recalled.
“Today, the variety is mind-boggling and keeps getting better
and better. Suppliers are discovering botanicals that have
never been used before in cosmetics.”
Dr. Maes noted, however, that regardless of an ingredient’s
potency, much of its efficacy depends on delivery.
“We must make sure that the molecules penetrate slowly,”
he said. “Biology works at its own speed; if the molecule is
transferred too fast, it will never find the binding site to activate the biological process.”
A New Age for Cosmetics?
While some critics may insist that stimulating collagen synthesis is all hype, industry experts insist that cosmetic chemistry has come a long way in the past two decades.
“We are in a totally new era where we treat the issue of
genetic aging now,” said Dr. Maes. “In the past we always
dealt with premature aging caused by environment.”
He pointed toward recent research conducted at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard linking
sirtuins and the aging process.
Estée Lauder’s new Time Zone line and wrinkle reducing
crème contains Sirtuin EX1 technology that is said to support skin’s natural stimulation of proteins.