DSM supports its customers at every stage of the product development process: from evaluating promising skin care, hair care and sun care ingredients, to testing, through to delivery, at production scale, of market relevant formulations. We have the scientific and technological competence to provide supporting analyses and data for all areas applicable to our industry, especially claim substantiation and regulatory requirements.
The expertise we bring to our customers’ projects derives from years of experience and takes various forms: Our market insights studies and concept and formulation testing can provide inspiration about how to translate a project into products that consumers will want to use. A dedicated panel of sensory experts is tasked with optimizing the sensory properties of hair care, skin care and sun protection applications. We also work closely with customers to co-create tailor-made solutions such as the facial mapping technology we developed to demonstrate the efficacy of one of our skin actives. Finally, DSM offers a full package of region-specific technical documentation, serving as a ‘one-stop shop’ for understanding formulation, supply, and safety, regulatory and quality requirements.
Customers can rely on our highly skilled Formulation & Applications team all along the path to a successful product delivery. We offer this support in a spirit of creativeness based on solid, consistent and reliable technical competence.
Our global application laboratories in Switzerland and our dedicated technical centers in each region cooperate closely so that we can respond to customer requirements quickly, while DSM’s local teams are there to offer comprehensive support throughout the development process. This approach provides our customers with a complete package of formulations, UV filter ingredients and emulsifiers for hair care, skin care and sun care.
Whether the goal is to enhance existing product lines or to create new ones from scratch, DSM develops a wide range of product formulations suitable for integration into customers’ cosmetic products. If these are to be well received though, they need to be visually appealing and pleasant to use as well as highly effective and scientifically proven. DSM’s formulators also work closely with our sensory experts therefore to improve the sensory attributes of personal care products - sun protection applications in particular.
DSM’s team of sensory evaluators, eighty percent of whom are cosmetic product formulators, provides descriptive and objective sensory data for all lotion types and other semi-solid formulations. Together with our market knowledge, these data generate meaningful insights which enable us to optimize the sensory properties of our formulations and applications, ideally in the earlier stages of the development process.
A typical evaluation involves a sensory comparison of the products, evaluation of descriptive sensory profiles, profile mapping, single attribute comparison, neighborhood analysis and sensory target comparison, directional analysis and qualification of sensory improvement ingredients. To reliably quantify the effects of sensory modifiers across various cosmetic formulation types, we also measure and mathematically compare a range of commercial products, generating profiles connected to information from market insights. Any sensory deviation reveals areas with potential for improvement and if a formulation shows any adverse sensory aspects we can then change the formula or use sensory modifiers.
Finally, if we decide to add sensory modifiers to a formulation, our panel of experts will carry out further analysis to make sure these modifiers bring meaningful benefits, such as a dry touch or anti-gloss effect.
DSM’s free online tool, the Sunscreen Optimizer™, has been designed to provide customers with a quick, efficient and cost-effective way to select and combine UV filters and enhance the performance of their sun care formulations. Taking the form of a virtual laboratory, the tool captures all key information in one place and has a facility for comparing different tests simultaneously. It can be used with all UV filters on the market and will also factor in regulatory requirements in different parts of the world. The tool enables customers to develop and fine-tune their sunscreen formulations before moving on to the SPF testing process.
Regulatory compliance, safety and quality have become increasingly important to consumers of cosmetic ingredients. They have always been cornerstones of the Royal DSM approach too, and in Personal Care and Aroma Ingredients we work to the Group’s high overall standards, backed by its global resources. We believe strongly that transparency is the key to building trust and have developed a raft of services to provide customers with clear and up-to-date information about our products.
First and foremost, every region has its own dedicated customer documentation center offering a full package of technical documentation on regulations, formulations and supply. Customers also have access to our regional experts who are tasked with monitoring developments in regulatory requirements locally. In the sun care sector, regulations vary considerably from region to region and can also change rapidly so DSM prides itself in being able to respond swiftly to local information. For instance, the parameters on our sunscreen optimizer are now set to take account of the US state of Hawaii’s new criteria for UV filters.
In addition to keeping abreast of compliance matters, DSM engages actively with authorities to seek approval for its actives and ingredients. Most recently it has proposed an alternative scientific approach to confirm GRASE status (generally recognized as safe and effective) for most UV-filter products in the United States and additionally, has begun providing data to the FDA to support a GRASE determination for its PARSOL® Shield UV filter.
DSM’s services and resources can also support customers in communicating compliance messages to end consumers. Its specially designed Quali®-E calculator for example enables customers to work out the CO2 emissions they save when using our vitamins, thus providing an opportunity to demonstrate their environmental responsibility.
To help customers anticipate and respond rapidly and efficiently to consumers’ personal care requirements, DSM places considerable focus on identifying and tracking beauty trends. In addition to collaborations with specialist agencies, bespoke quantitative and qualitative research, and staying abreast of consumer studies, we engage regularly with beauty influencers and professionals all around the globe. This gives us invaluable insights into the products consumers are interested in and their views on the latest beauty topics so we can be ready with inspirational ideas and solutions.
As part of our support package, we share our insights into the factors influencing important trends with our customers and provide information about how particular product and ingredient types might meet particular consumer requirements. We then use our understanding of trends to develop wider beauty concepts, featuring ready-to-use formulations – these are tested on specific focus groups to make sure they will appeal to consumers and match their interests and priorities.
DSM’s overall ethos of innovation extends to its trends-based support and we are always willing to try a different approach. The new, Secret Life of Skin educational blog, for instance, has been created to serve as a novel customer resource for learning, sharing and developing understanding about the skin microbiome and its market potential. Microbiome beauty is a new territory but set to become a major trend so this is another way we are working to keep our skin care customers ahead of the curve.