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Cosmetic Chemistry, a game of textures, colour, smell and flow.

October 20, 2018

I enter my lab in two minds and come out with one product.

One mind is analytical –  Have I tweaked enough?  Is the formula fully optimise for performance and price?  Did that ingredient hydrate fully?  Is that pushing the density of the water phase too far? How can I compensate for the effect of the salt on the emulsion?  Is there anything more I can do to improve the flow?

One mind is focused on aesthetics – that feels soft, satisfying spread – soothe and yielding,  sweetly aromatic scent,  a subtle tint of yellow to colour,  a happy formula with super-hydrating power.

I often tell my students that while we can measure formulations for their stability, micro and physical, and measure their efficacy we can’t always put a measurement on how the formula makes people feel because feelings are personal.  That said I think it’s easier to for the brand owner to direct the customer to a particular feeling when they capture the essence of it in their formula.

What does that mean?

Brand owners and product developers can set aside some time to imagine themselves with the product they have in mind, not just transactionally but emotionally.  Sounds a bit suspicious and hippy trippy?  Maybe.  However, what people often like about a product is how it makes them feel either before, during or after use.  Before use it’s all about the packaging/ marketing and product promise. During it is all about the embodied experience. After is all about the results.  A successful product is one which can establish a relationship with the user, even to the point of an addiction where the customer just can’t wait to use the product again.  If that doesn’t happen they might buy the product once and pop it on their shelf because they like how it looks.  If it does happen they will buy the product often because they love how it makes them feel.  If you manage to pull off a product that not only feels good but it actually brings results your customers will also continue buying it because they love how it makes them look.

Sounds obvious but how often do we forget to sit back and evaluate the feeling aspect of our products?

I wonder…

Amanda x

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