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What are the issues and challenges of solid cosmetics?
Long relegated to the margins, solid cosmetics are attracting a growing number of consumers. They are flooding the shelves of specialist shops and supermarkets, as well as the web pages of online shops. For consumers, environmental issues are an essential motivation.
But professionals interested in solid cosmetics face real challenges if they want to be part of this new trend. How can they offer a sensory experience and effectiveness that is equivalent to classic formulations? How can they guarantee an excellent long-lasting application? Sophim has formulated, from its cosmetic ingredients, a solid moisturizing stick for body and face: My Softness Journey. Not commercially available, it bears witness to our know-how and provides some insight into the use of our products in solid cosmetics.
Solid cosmetics, a fundamental trend
Recent years have seen the emergence of new brands specialising in solid cosmetic products, sometimes certified as organic, and the conversion of traditional brands to this fundamental trend using targeted ranges. This success can certainly be explained by consumer affection for the environment. But other strong points are also emphasized by customers and brands.
The absence of water is a plus
Water is a precious resource. But it is also – and by far – the most important ingredient in traditional cosmetics. In a shampoo, for example, it accounts for 80% of the finished product. Solid cosmetic products are more compact and therefore easier to store and transport. They also generally require less packaging than traditional cosmetics, and can more easily do without plastic containers. The savings made on transport and packaging often translate into excellent value for money for the customer, with cost savings as a result.
The presence of water requires the use of preservatives, since bacteria and microbes grow more easily in an aqueous medium. Solid cosmetics therefore generally contain fewer additives, preservatives or chemicals, and are perceived as healthier and more natural by consumers.
A nomadic and practical format
The absence of water does not only translate into savings and reduction of preservatives. Solid cosmetics, being more compact, are available in nomadic and functional formats. A moisturizing stick, for example, slips more easily into the bottom of a pocket or bag than a classic moisturizing cream. You also reduce the risk of accidental opening.
In everyday life, at home or on the road, solid cosmetics are a popular choice!
Major challenges for cosmetic brands
Although solid cosmetics are attracting more and more customers, all professionals in the sector are aware of the difficulty of offering stable formulations that are pleasant to use.
Linking liquid and solid ingredients: a challenge
Solid hygiene products have been known and understood for hundreds of years. In 1371, a Marseille soap maker named Crescas Davin developed a recipe for soda-based soap. From the 16th century, the first factories appeared in the Phocaean city, going beyond the artisanal stage to bring Marseille soap into the pre-industrial era.
But other cosmetic products, especially those with moisturising properties, were particularly difficult to formulate in a solid version. Linking liquid and solid ingredients over the long term is a real challenge.
Between texture and sensory experience
Cosmetics should be synonymous with pleasure in all circumstances. To be successful, a solid product must offer an ideal texture. While a cream or serum most often offers a controlled sensoriality, known to consumers, the use of a cosmetic product in solid form sometimes requires the taming of new modes of application, between a quest for meaning and a desire for sensations.
The formulation of a solid product requires further research into texture, in search of the sensoriality that will confirm its capacity to rank as a benchmark in its market.
Solid cosmetics can be offered in a “raw” format, with simple packaging made of recycled paper or bio-sourced material. This approach appeals to customers who are particularly sensitive to ecological issues, looking for naturalness and moderation.
However, in order to establish themselves on a long-term basis and play on an equal footing with traditional formulations, solid cosmetics must also be available in other forms of packaging, disrupting and reinventing codes and customs.
My Softness Journey has chosen a solid, retractable moisturising stick. Such packaging offers many advantages:
the stick is thin and is suitable for application on the body and face;
it is nomadic, slips easily into a pocket or bag, and can be carried everywhere;
the stick is not in direct contact with the hands during handling, which averts any risk of contamination.
My Softness Journey, a new solid moisturizing stick by Sophim
Each year, Sophim, tests the ingredients of its formulation by proposing three finished formulas. With My softness Journey, an intense moisturizing stick for body and face, we explore the new perspectives offered by solid cosmetics. Contact Sophim
Sophim, as a specialist in oleochemistry, produces cosmetic ingredients that naturally contain no water. The development of a solid formula is part of a coherent approach, making up our DNA.
My softness Journey offers certifications in accordance with our values: 100% naturel, waterless, genderless et contactless.
The formula enhances Phytosqualan® and Biophytosebum®, ingredients rich in natural squalane, with protective and restorative properties of the skin’s lipid barrier. These two components give My Softness Journey intense moisturising properties, essential to resist everyday aggressions.
Where solid and liquid ingredients meet
My Softness Journey is also the story of a happy and lasting encounter between solid and liquid ingredients. Our formula contains vegetable oils and natural waxes with multiple properties. However, the combination of these oily, and therefore liquid, and solid ingredients represented a real challenge for our formulating partner. Its formulation expertise was able to make the most of our Vegeline 65 ingredient, a vegetable emollient without petroleum jelly, which has the form of a pasty fatty substance and is an excellent binder between liquid and solid.
Solid… but also, sensory!
Even before the first formulation tests, we were uncompromising on this point. My Softness Journey must offer a unique sensoriality, superior to traditional moisturising creams.
Application with the stick allows a very thin film to be deposited on the skin, with no sensation of heaviness as can happen with certain creams that are too rich in greasy substances.
The use of “oil-in-water” emulsions allows evaporation on contact with the skin, for a fresh and silky touch, without a greasy sensation thanks to the properties of vegetable squalane. Skin penetration is very fast, for an immediate effect and unequalled comfort.
How can you discover and try My Softness Journey?
Sophim is renowned for its expertise in cosmetic ingredients of natural origin. We work only B-to-B, and we guide and support the big brands by providing them with the best ingredients for their cosmetic formulas.
We do not market this solid stick, in spite of its strong points and its intense moisturizing qualities for the body and face, either to professionals or to final consumers. We do not intend to become a manufacturer of finished products. But we would be happy to present My Softness Journey and offer you samples for discovery and a trial. You can get in touch with your usual contact at Sophim, contact us on (+33)4 92 33 17 17 or send us a message.