Dr Carol Treasure recently featured on a Global Cosmetics News podcast where she talked about some of the key challenges and opportunities facing consumers and industry in skincare today, covering technical, environmental and regulatory aspects. Here’s a round-up of the most important bits…

‘Dr. Treasure at XCellR8, what are your technical challenges and where are the opportunities for creating skincare products?’

‘I guess my perspective is thinking about the testing of cosmetic products and ingredients. And in my experience in our work at the XCellR8 Lab, in terms of coming up with safety, data and claim support data for products. It relates to the comments around personalization. So just as one example, we’ve been using human reconstructed skin models to generate safety and efficacy data for some years now. But actually, Those skin models are almost always derived from Caucasian men, because that’s the source of the cells, that’s where they come from. So we’ve been looking closely at how we can develop a more diverse range of skin models, because if we want to make claims around personalized products, we need also to be able to test them in a personalized way to back up those claims. And just related to that, I do think that consumers are becoming more and more interested in the science behind the products and alongside that goes And we’ve been saying for a long time that not tested on animals should not mean not tested at all. It’s about flipping that question around from the negative, not tested on animals, to a positive. How do you test your products? And how do you still ensure that those products are safe and efficacious for consumers and their families to use? So everybody still wants those great products, and they want them delivered in an ethical way. So from our perspective on the testing side, it’s very much about providing inclusive testing, diverse testing, also thinking about different age groups. Menopause skin products are really big right now.
So how can we look at that and specifically look at that skin in vitro in our lab? And I think that a lot of the products that are scientifically based they’ve got some very interesting actives in there. And sometimes the challenges, for example, I was talking on LinkedIn yesterday about retinol creams. And we know that retinol can cause skin irritation. So how can we formulate those creams, but still make sure that they’re mild, still make sure that they’re gentle on the skin. And in our experience, even though there’s a lot of claims that we can support, such as anti aging, anti inflammatory, antioxidant, all of those things, the one fundamental claim that most people still want to support is that the product is mild to skin. We need to make sure that we can still deliver that, even with much more complex active products that are coming through the pipeline.’

looking thoughtful in a boardroom‘What are the regulatory challenges for XCellR8?’

‘As a testing lab, we’re navigating these regulatory challenges on a daily basis with our clients, and I do think that there’s a definite need, certainly in the UK, for more clarity on these issues, particularly from the point of view of, animal testing versus non animal testing. We all thought that we had left animal testing for cosmetics well behind us until a bit of confusion really over the last year in terms of the licenses that were granted to certain companies by the government. So we think that we’ve now got that clarity that the cosmetics testing ban, the animal testing ban is being upheld but I think this all adds to the confusion for the industry and for the public.’

‘Dr. Treasure what is the future of skincare market in three words?’

‘Ethical, exciting, personalized.’

Want to hear the rest? Listen now.