By Sam Carroll

There is much that is attractive for companies and customers in the global cosmetics market.

For companies it is the sheer size (estimated by Euromonitor at $425 Billion) and growth rate. There are already well-established segments in skin care and hair care, but we are now seeing an emerging market in nail products.  Nail polish appears to be overtaking lipstick as the feel good purchase by consumers. Where we once had the lipstick index (a term coined by Leonard Lauder, chairman of Estee Lauder), we might have nailed a completely new indicator of the economic climate.

For customers it is all about discovering products that will make them feel and look better (and younger), while having a little bit of fun.

In a market with such potential, there is an emerging trend of using innovative technologies by way of new materials and devices. This is what Euromonitor has to say about this shift

Our own researchers Peggy Stasinos and John Chiefari are leading CSIRO’s efforts to develop new materials for this market. They recently attended a meeting of the American Chemical Society, where they discussed how new materials are helping create the next generation of cosmetic and personal care products. They identified challenges and opportunities around:

  • developing products that use multiple functional polymers with high levels of efficacy like BB creams and hair products. For styling agents alone we are looking at performance across stiffness, hold (particularly in humid conditions), shine, volume/body, curl management, fibre alignment, anti-frizz, conditioning and feel!
  • better delivery of ingredients to the target site, particularly in relation to skin-care and anti-aging products.

At the moment these challenges are met through complicated mixtures of polymers and agents. In the future, scientists will create multi-functional polymers where these attributes can be designed directly into the product’s molecular structure.

We are working with international partners to apply our RAFT polymer technology to these challenges and will keep you posted about our progress. Contact us at