Cosmetic Ingredients

Cosmetic ingredients are chemicals used in personal care products such as shampoos, soap, lotions, powders and perfumes. Cosmetic and personal care products play a significant role in our lives, not just to enhance our aesthetic beauty but for well being too.For instance, toothpaste and sun creams are used for well being and skin care, while moisturizers and hair care products such as shampoos are used as grooming products. Cosmetic ingredients are categorized as organic and synthetic.Organic ingredients are extracted from natural sources. These ingredients include plant extract, vitamins, waxes, proteins, oils & fats, thickening agents, additives and preservatives. Growing health concern and increasing demand for environment friendly products is expected to lead to a rapid transition from synthetic cosmetics ingredients such as aluminum salt, paraben, phthalates and petrochemicals products towards organic substitutes.

Hair and skin care cosmetics ingredients is expected to dominate the global cosmetic ingredients.Demand for natural hair care without ammonia, paraben and sulfur is increasing at a rapid pace.Consumers are increasingly inclined towards hair care products for dandruff protection and hair fall control. Anti-aging skin product segment is expected to gain rapid traction over the following few years.Increasing inclination of men towards aesthetic appeal is a major trend in the market and a highly lucrative growth opportunity that market players are focusing on capitalizing upon.

Surfactants are the basic raw materials used in various cosmetic products which includes, hair care, skin care and various male grooming products. In line with the global trend of adopting organic products, manufacturing companies are focusing on extracting surfactants from natural sources such as coconut oil and palm oil. Also, cosmetics manufacturing companies largely prefer bio-based polymer to ensure adherence to stringent regulations regarding synthetic polymer products. Conditioning polymer find wide application in shampoo and hair conditioner.Increasing health awareness is influencing consumers to protect against harmful UV rays and enrich skin with antioxidant rich products. This in turn is expected to fuel growth of the preservatives segment.


Continuous research & development and new product launch by market leading companies is anticipated to boost growth of the cosmetic ingredients industry. For instance, in 2016, Ashland introduced Elixiance Bio functional, a multi-functional cosmetic ingredients rich in phytoantioxidants which provides protection from oil control and anti-aging. Also, rising disposable income and changing lifestyle double with increasing beauty and health consciousness of people of all ages is continuously growing the demand for cosmetics ingredients. The global cosmetic ingredients market is dominated by North America, followed by Europe. However, Asia Pacific and Latin America are poised to be the growth engines for cosmetic ingredients market due to rapid urbanization, coupled with awareness among consumers for skin care. For instance, according to India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), a Trust established by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in 2025 the Indian personal care market is expected to reach US$ 20 billion. Moreover, multinational players are continuously investing on merger and acquisition, product innovation and joint venture. For instance, Sumitomo Corporation acquired Kyowa Hakko Europe GmbH to advance into cosmetic ingredients business in Europe. 


Stringent government regulations prohibiting use of certain chemicals as an ingredients is anticipated to be the key challenges for cosmetic ingredients industry, For instance,

  • In 1970 the Member States of the European Economic Community presently known as European Union (EU) decided to stabilize their national cosmetic law in order to enable the free circulation of cosmetic products within the Community, on the basis of commonly agreed safety standards. The Cosmetics Directive was adopted in 1976, and reevaluated in 2009 to enable further harmonization and an EU-wide Cosmetics Products Regulation entered into force in July 2013.
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 is introduced by the Parliament of India to regulate the manufacture, import and distribution of cosmetics products in India. The key objective is to ensure the quality, standard and safety of drugs and cosmetics sold in India. Moreover, the act was amended several times as follows,
  • The Drugs (Amendment) Act, 1955 (11 of 1955).
  • The Drugs (Amendment) Act, 1960 (35 of 1960).
  • The Drugs (Amendment) Act, 1962 (21 of 1962).
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 1964 (13 0f 1964).
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 1955 19 of 1972).
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 1982 (68 of 1982).
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 1986
  • The Drugs and Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 1995 (71 of 1995)
  • China Food & Drug Administration (CFDA), regulates the cosmetics and cosmetic products in China and currently the following laws are into force
  • Regulations concerning the hygiene supervision over cosmetics(1990) - main regulation
  • Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Regulation on the Hygiene Supervision over Cosmetics(2005)
  • Hygienic Standard for Cosmetics(2007)
  • The Measures for the Administration of Hygiene License for Cosmetics (revised in 2010)
  • Guideline for Risk Evaluation of Substances with Possibility of Safety Risk in Cosmetics(2010)
  • Standard Chinese Names of International Cosmetics Ingredients Inventory (2010)
  • Cosmetics Technical Requirement Standard(2011)
  • Guidelines for the Registration and Evaluation of New Cosmetic Ingredient(2011)
  • AQSIQ Order No. 143 of 2011 - The Administrative Measures on the Inspection, Quarantine and Supervision of Chinese Imported & Exported Cosmetics (2011)

Some of the key players in the market includes Ashland Inc. (U.S.), Croda International Plc (U.K.), BASF SE (Germany), Solvay S.A (Belgium), Stepan Company (U.S), The Dow Chemical Company (U.S.), Evonik Industries (Germany), DOW Corning (U.S.), and DSM (The Netherlands), and Clariant AG (The Switzerland), among others.

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