Thursday, March 08, 2012

Beauty brand innovation: "science at your fingertips"

“From racing cars to fabric, beauty technology comes from surprising sources,” write Claire Coleman in a recent feature in the FinancialTimes.

California-based Janice Jordan, owner of a graphics business supplying adhesive decals for racing cars, grew fed up with the damage that daily tasks inflicted on her manicure (and her nails). It occurred to her that similar technology could be used to create a solid nail coating that would both protect nails and decorate them. “It took two years of talking to engineers and looking at adhesives that, unlike existing nail glues, wouldn’t damage the nail,” she says.

The result took Jordan out of her graphics workshop and into the global beauty business (along with her co-founder Dawn Lynch Goodwin).

Frauke Neuser, a scientist for Pantene, says: “P&G has a large base in Cincinnati and frequently works with Ohio State University on projects. One of the university departments was using a technology known as Atom Force Microscopy, which allows you to observe substances at a molecular level. We wondered what would happen if we used it to examine hair in such detail.

“Ideas like this come to nothing 80 per cent of the time but, in this instance, we were able to see very real differences between different types of hair. We were also able to see what was happening at a molecular level when we applied different types of ingredients, which really made a difference to the end product.”

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