• Sensitive skin

Unveiling the Power of Texture in Sensitive Skincare

Sensory analysis as driving force in formulation

Gattefossé has been growing its sensory expertise since 1996. Discover how sensory analysis could help product developments, with a concrete example of sensitive skincare range creation.

Sensory expertise as a guide in texture development

At Gattefossé, we know skincare and beauty products stimulate all the senses, so we attach great importance to the sensorial evaluation of our products and formulas. We have been developing our expertise in sensory analysis since 1996. Since that, we have an in-house expert panel that analyses our ingredients, our formulas, and also market products. In addition to sensory analysis, data treatment enables the application of sensory data in a broader context. With the statistical treatment called PCA (Principal Component Analysis), it is possible to identify distinct sensory trends and patterns, characterize product segments, benchmark products, and better understand consumer preferences. Texture and sensoriality are the major criteria involved in the purchase decision, and even more in re-purchasing as they make a connection between a product and the consumer.

What are the sensory characteristics of sensitive skincare?

The expertise in sensory analysis cultivated at Gattefossé has not only enhanced our understanding of product appeal but also found its application in addressing global concerns, such as skin sensitivity. According to a 2020 study, an astounding 71% of the global adult population has reported experiencing sensitive skin syndrome1. To analyze sensory trends specific to sensitive skin products, Gattefossé’s technical marketing experts around the globe gathered more than 20 bestsellers from the sensitive skin category across diverse regions including Latin America, USA, China, Korea, France, and Japan. Those products have been analyzed by our sensory panel and data analysis has been conducted.

What was observed? First, most of the products analyzed have a richer, thicker, and tackier texture compared to regular skincare products for all skin types. This is linked to the fact that dry skin often present sensitivity. But this is known that all types of skin can be sensitive, and that’s what we noticed secondly: all types of texture can be found in the sensitive skin category to respond to all consumers’ needs: from the lightest serums to the richest balms.

Those data give a guideline to sensitive skin range formulation development, but not only. It is possible to go deeper in the statistical analysis and find matching sensory profiles with a benchmark. This method makes it possible to find formulation starting points, and that’s what Gattefossé’s experts did thanks to their sensory database including more than 380 formulas. 

Gattefossé’s solution to sensitive skin ranges

At in-cosmetics global 2023, Gattefossé launched a new 100% natural origin O/W emulsifier designed for sensitive skin: Emulium® Dermolea MB.

This ingredient is composed of plant lipids close to those of the skin’s surface, rich in anti-inflammatory pentacyclic triterpenes and sterols. It has been highly substantiated to prove that it is not only an emulsifier, but it is also a real active functional ingredient that soothes sensitive skin, protects against pollution, moisturizes, and reinforces the barrier function.

In formulation, Emulium® Dermolea MB is easy to formulate and multifunctional, as it can create from sprays to thick butters, with up to 40% of oil phase. This emulsifier has a strong sensory signature through the light moisturizing film it creates on the skin, so addictive and comforting!

Given the results of the texture analysis conducted, it's clear that Emulium® Dermolea MB is particularly well-suited to sensitive skin ranges, in terms of both texture and efficacy.

1. W. Chen and al, The prevalence of self-declared sensitive skin: a systematic review and meta-analysis, J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 2020, 34 (8) 1779-1788