Since the cosmetics industry is closely linked to the world of fashion, why not follow certain trends in this area? The “retro” style often recurs, especially in some specialized fashion markets. However, using old ingredients is not an approach that attracts the attention of those involved in research and development, especially marketing experts.

However, new trends in the pharmaceutical industry might provide some insight. Introducing a new drug to the market requires tremendous effort, time, money, and resources, not to mention regulations that complicate the process. Another discouraging factor is the time between introducing a new drug to the market and the appearance of a cheaper generic version. These challenges do not favor investing large sums in the development of new drugs.

Innovators in the pharmaceutical industry have chosen a different approach: they seek new uses for existing drugs. Leveraging modern technology, including computer science and AI, and selectively choosing existing drug molecules, pharmaceutical researchers seek to find new applications. This “repositioning” approach makes sense because these drugs have already undergone many safety tests and clinical trials, saving time and money.

Challenges in the cosmetics industry are somewhat different, but both manufacturers and suppliers are constantly seeking new ingredients. The restrictions imposed by regulations and the huge financial outlay make discovering and introducing breakthrough active substances difficult.

Just like in fashion, active substances lose their attractiveness over time, both for marketing and customers. So why not emulate the pharmaceutical industry and test known substances for new applications? Understanding how our skin functions is becoming increasingly clear thanks to advances in science. The skin is composed of many types of cells that communicate through different signals, and one ingredient does not just work on one function. It may have entirely different applications, yielding unexpected results. Examples of new applications for known ingredients include numerous raw material complexes that, acting synergistically, bring about better or completely different effects than individual ingredients. Discovering such applications can bring many surprises to creators of new cosmetic formulations.