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Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
Article

Developing Cosmetic Actives Sustainably with Real and Relevant Efficacy

SpecialChem – May 24, 2021

TAGS:  Natural/ Organic     Skin Care    

An Interview with Harald van der Hoeven, Director Product Design and Development, CLR

CLR develops smart cosmetic active ingredients that work – for effective cosmetics. Focusing on its key values “Effectiveness and Relevance”, CLR keeps its research and development at the base putting a large focus on developing actives ingredients for customer satisfaction.

Developing Cosmetic Actives Sustainably with Real and Relevant Efficacy
Let us hear directly from Harald van der Hoeven, Director Product Design and Development, CLR, to understand more about CLR’s comprehensive and profound expertise and their innovative solutions meeting the ongoing & upcoming trends in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

#1. What is CLR‘s positioning in the world of the cosmetics industry?


Since about 70 years ago, CLR Berlin has been a pioneer in the personal care industry, providing it with innovative, safe and effective active ingredients. Science stands at the basis of everything what CLR does. Its active ingredients are sustainably obtained from natural sources or produced with biotechnological means.

Elaborate in vitro cell biological studies are performed to establish scientific proof of efficacy and clinical in vivo studies provide knowledge about both the objective effectiveness of CLR’s products as well as its active ingredients’ relevance for the personal care consumer. Everything CLR does is focused on making relevant products.

#2. How is CLR unique and why is this relevant?


CLR Berlin was founded in 1926 and in the 1950’s CLR established itself as one of the first, if not the first, supplier of active ingredients for cosmetics with real scientific backing. Over the last 70 years, CLR has gained an immense amount of experience and knowledge about the interaction between natural active ingredients and our skin cells, both from the point of view of efficacy and safety.

CLR started developing and producing active ingredients based on biotechnology in the 1970s. Biotechnology and fermentation were already then recognized by CLR as potent as well as sustainable technologies. Since the beginning of this adventure, CLR’s biotechnological active ingredients have enjoyed great success in the personal care market.

CLR Production Lab
CLR Production Lab

#3. What are the most critical challenges customers are facing nowadays and how your innovative solutions are helping them?


The consumer becomes increasingly demanding, when it comes to their expectations from the cosmetic products they use. “Hope in a jar” is now “expectations from a jar”. Higher expectations mean that the consumer has a harder time finding the right products for her. This is reflected in the fact that the consumer is less brand loyal than she was in the past. Loyalty to a brand, therefore, can be established by:

  • Delivering results and, or
  • Living up to the claims which are made about the cosmetic product.

CLR Berlin sees itself as a supplier of active ingredients which help our customer to provide strong efficacy, where the ingredients are obtained sustainably, another important factor for the modern consumer. Great efficacy (and safety) can only be achieved based on the latest scientific knowledge about skin and all the aspects associated with it, like the skin microbiome. CLR’s innovations are focused on providing health, biological balance and homeostasis to the skin. When skin is healthy, it is attractive, feels good and is immunologically robust.

When the skin is robust, it is, for instance, not sensitive, not dry, and will not age as quickly as it would, when it would be unbalanced.

#4. What are the current and future market trends / shifts and how is CLR leading them?


The skin microbiome is a large trend. It is rather a ‘movement’ which, we think, will be an intrinsic factor in tomorrow’s personal care products. The skin microbiome plays an essential role for the skin and skin cells. The consumer has come to understand this.

CLR’s approach is unique in the cosmetic industry. When the skin is healthy, the skin microbiome will be healthy. Here too, it is all about the balance. As a rule, we avoid to look at microbes as ‘bad’ or ‘good’, but have a focus on the overall composition of the skin microbiome.

View Webinar: The sense of 'microbiome skincare'

Our starting point is that the skin microbiota flourish and grow inside the top layers of our skin and in the hair follicles. It is these areas in the skin we focus on with our active ingredients. Our studies have shown that our approaches, where we provide the skin cells with the means to function better and more healthily, lead to the fact that the skin microbiome profits from this. By having a focus on the skin, our ingredients have a balancing and supporting effect on the skin microbiome.

When the skin is healthy, the skin microbiome will be healthy
When the skin is healthy, the skin microbiome will be healthy

#5. Can you further detail specific trends across the personal care industry and your contribution?


CBD is a trend, obviously. It is more than that, probably, CBD is a hype. The regulatory situation is unclear and its efficacy and safety are still under debate, though. From an efficacy-point-of-view, it may well be that CBD has interesting properties for the skin, for instance, its activity on our skin’s Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Our skin’s ECS has shown to be very important to manage skin health.

CLR Berlin’s view on this: shouldn’t our skin’ s ECS therefore be more in the focus than CBD?

Nature provides us with many ingredients besides those based on Cannabis, which can act like our body’s own endocannabinoids. This has been CLR’s focus for almost 5 years now and CLR Berlin has found ways of developing a natural skincare active ingredient, based waste material from the food industry, which directly interacts with our skin ECS system. This is what it is all about: developing and producing cosmetic active ingredients sustainably with real and relevant efficacy, ingredients which customers can count on and have trust in.


CLR Berlin's Product Range





Harald van der Hoeven, Director Product Design and Development at CLRAbout Harald van der Hoeven

Harald van der Hoeven holds a Master’s degree in Organic Chemistry from the University Leiden, The Netherlands. He started to work in the personal care industry in 1999 where he specialized on R&D and the formulation of skincare and suncare cosmetics.

In 2006 Harald joined CLR Berlin and took over as Director R&D, then changed to the position of Technical Marketing Director between May 2013 and August 2020, where he was responsible for technical and scientific support of CLR's customers and still heavily involved with CLR's R&D department. Harald focuses on basic science, including dermatology, cell biology, phytochemistry, biotechnology and cosmetic formulation technology and the application of this science, making it both usable for the cosmetic chemist and understandable for the consumer. Since September 2020 he has the role of Director Product Design and Development at CLR.



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