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Skinobs sets out preclinical and clinical test highlights for the first half of 2023

Skinobs' half-yearly report for the first half of 2023 (S1-2023) analyses the development of research themes carried out on its two platforms dedicated to preclinical testing (in-silico, in-tubo, in-vitroor ex-vivo...) and clinical (in-vivo on humans) in cosmetics compared to the same period in 2022. 

Their significance is based, on the one hand, on the virtually exhaustive and independent referencing of laboratories, methods, devices, claims, studies and mechanisms of action worldwide and, on the other hand, on the volume of research carried out by evaluation managers over this period, represented by over 5,000 users of 66 nationalities. 

Produced twice a year, this report guides brands and players in the testing sector in their preferred cosmetics topics, in anticipation of product launches.

Clinical tests: the boom in consumer tests

  • Hydration jumps 12 points to account for almost half (49 %) of the claims searched on platforms in the first half of 2022. "Hydration was known to be the most sought-after claim in the clinical testing category. In clinical evaluation, hydration qualifies skin as hydrated, healthy and toned, resisting aggression and pollution, less inflamed and less subject to the signs of aging. It's both a claim and a skin condition that reflects the quality of a cosmetic product and the well-being of consumers. So it's not surprising that hydration is at the top of the list. This claim is also the one linked to the largest number of methods and measuring instruments for its evaluation. The platforms list over 25. This may explain the rise in searches. 
  • The skin barrier claim enters the charts significantly with 18% of searches. It is part of a post-covid trend and characterizes a new posture in cosmetics, which wants to protect the skin more, hence the recent concept of "Healthy Skin", but also the attention paid to sensitive skin. This claim is related to immunity, and generally applies to the evaluation of innovative ingredients designed to boost it.
  • The hygiene segment makes a comeback in the type of products searched for: most other skincare products - Face, Hair, Body, Make-up and Suncare - remain in stable proportions compared to 2022, leaving a new 5% share of searches to hygiene products, which would have accounted for 10% of the global beauty market in 2022 according to L'Oréal estimates (excluding Toothpaste, Soap, Razor and Blades), again a consequence of a post-covid hygienization process. 
  • Anti-aging is declining overall, with claims for soothing, anti-inflammatory and sensitive skin gaining 10 points.
  • The boom in consumer tests: while biometrological skin/cheek/nail tests remain in first place with 51% of research in 2023, they are giving way to tolerance tests, which are continuing their upward trend already begun in 2022 (17% S1-2023), and above all to consumer tests, which are up 8 points to 21% of research vs 13% in 2022. "I think consumer testing is benefiting from the neurosensory trend. It's also the result of improving the platform to which we've added laboratories who, thanks to digital, have established standard and targeted routine protocols, says Anne Charpentier. The advent of nomadic methods in conjunction with digital tools also means that volunteers can be canvassed more precisely and efficiently. Digital tools are invaluable allies when it comes to building up databases and processing them appropriately. Last but not least, regulations imposing stricter proof requirements - six criteria of veracity - certainly influence this increase. "

Preclinical testing: new claims, new advice, UV testing in-vitro and ecotoxicity tests among the typical tests sought

In the sum of the research carried out, there is no single predominant claim. This homogeneous distribution is explained by the fact that the proofs of concept are common to many subjects.

"What's newcomments Anne Charpentier, One example is the "non-toxic photo" claim, which corresponds to 8 % of research and validates the non-toxicity of products when they interact with the sun. One might assume a recent awareness."

Three other new claims make their appearance, linked to the notion of exposome, which identifies all the environmental factors to which we are exposed, or even overexposed, notably the blue light from our screens and pollution. "Anti-blue light" (9 %), "anti-pollution" (8 %) and the more generic "barrier function" (10 %) together account for over a quarter of searches on the platform.

The "anti-aging" claim is still in the lead. As a reminder, it calls on sophisticated biometrology technologies and tools, with different options for quantitative and/or visual validation. Clinically, "the "anti-ageing" claim, which has become well-ageing, refers to the biomechanical properties of the skin, unlike hydration, which is characterized on a physiological level".says Anne Charpentier. Anti-ageing is an umbrella claim associated with sub-claims such as spots, pigmentation, wrinkles, sagging, radiance, surface condition, skin structure, etc.

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