Interview: Symrise’s view on China’s cosmetic regulations

Win in efficacy, welcome the future. On September 22, The 5th CHAILEEDO Conference on China’s Cosmetic Trends hosted by CHAILEEDO was held in Hangzhou.

Symrise is a leading global supplier of flavors and fragrances, cosmetic active ingredients and raw and functional ingredients. We invited Mr. Lao Shuquan, China Director of Symrise Cosmetic Ingredients Department, to discuss the market trend of efficacy products in China with us.

Q: First of all, we would like to ask you how do you understand that efficacy and safety are a double-edged sword?

A: Thank you for the invitation from CHAILEEDO. In the whole cosmetic industry,if we only talk about efficacy but not safety, the industry will become very chaotic.It is so chaotic that consumers have completely lost confidence in the industry.Why?If the safety is not done well,it will appear many unpredictable things.

So I think safety should come before efficacy.Because the efficacy means that we need to let our consumers experience difference.then this difference must be sacrificed some factors. So we need to take safety as the basis of efficacy.You also mentioned the efficacy needs to be evaluated and measured,so how should this be implemented, what industry consensus is needed? The first one is to be very thorough in terms of mechanism.That is, at least we know the biological mechanism. So I think this is a prerequisite.If the mechanism is not clear,then I think there is no way to say that the efficacy. As for the measured, I think establishing mechanism of the evaluation of efficacy is the premise of the biological mechanism.

Evaluation method should be established.So we see that the efficacy of the Chinese regulations are actually no test method.That is why there is a standards,but all because many of the efficacy of the current test method is not yet available.For evaluated and measured, I think that is a inevitable way to do good efficacy.Of course, there are many cosmetic efficacy evaluation institute in the market.But the measure institute is still blank.Our country now has many evaluation methods and there is no national standard.

Q: We heard some industry views that the current record of new ingredients has been too much because they have no innovation. How do you see this view?

A: I don’t think we can say that there is too much of it.Because the difference between efficacy of new ingredients regulation sand the original regulatory system is still exist.That’s why no new ingredients have been approved for so many years.Of course, the 377 from our company Symrise is one of them.But the number of new ingredients for the record is not much. Only seven or eight in the past ten years.

After the change in regulations now,ingredients with same efficacy began to emerge.So I personally feel that there is no too much.Then as for the problem you mentioned no innovation and homogenization,I think at present there is indeed such a phenomenon.That is, the first, you can see different people record the same ingredients.Second, there are a lot of ingredients thatare not new molecular structure of 0 to 1, which means that it has no innovation.When we are now a lot of new ingredients are actually doing the filing.

Our Symrise also don’t register any ingredients.So I think there is no problem that ingredients are too much.But if you want to do a good job, doing a differentiated may have a long road to go.But there is other thing.Because a lot of ingredients is filed, filing also means that no regulatory agency will regulate the ingredients.You just follow the regulatory requirements later maybe some regulatory will monitor.So in the absence of such a process,if we now have a lot of ingredients are filed,do not rule out the possibility that there will be some recording new ingredients have problem in the future.

Q: We would like to know what kind of characteristics you think the development of efficacy skincare products in China has?

A:I think the development of efficacy skincare products has several characteristics.The first is that the pace of the regulatory system will be slower,even slower than the pace of the launch of international cosmetics.Because of the legal requirement there are various changes in the evaluation and testing. So it will be slow.

Second, the description of the efficacy will be very concentrated.What’s the problem then?It is possible that some brands may not be able to compete in this area.So it is possible to concentrate. Another point is that I think in this efficacy skincare products because current regulations only defined several efficacy,more efficacy in the past then today,homogenization is more serious on this, which is what we call involution. In this case, if you want to be different,the composition can be focused on.Efficacy evaluation can also be different.Another point, I think China’s efficacy skincare products may develop in the direction of customization.

Q: Do you think there are opportunities and challenges for local Chinese ingredients suppliers?

A: I think there are several good points for the local ingredients manufacturers in China.he first is that the market is big enough and there are enough consumers.So I think in the future, consumers will actually give priority to the choice of our local ingredients and our Chinese historical heritage.You mentioned that Symrise has considered the localization of raw materials,is this a chance for your company?This is what we are exactly doing.

Why?Because first, we have been developing in China for many years. We now have a certain size,so we have to do it.Secondly, as you know,the pandemic and foreign military conflicts have led to energy and other problems.So we have to do localization.In terms of localization, we are not saying that we need to do it, but we have already reached a certain stage.For example, we have started to achieve localized supply,and later we will achieve localized R&D.



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