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5 things you need to know when developing babycare products

According to Grand View Research, the global baby care products market size was valued at USD 18.17 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.3% from 2021 to 2028. The market has been witnessing rapid growth as consumer preferences are shifting towards high-quality, utility-driven, and premium baby products.

In the personal care industry it's becoming difficult to get truthful information and spot greenwashing.

Many brands are embracing the natural trend and steer away from synthetic products in the name of safety. Is it the best strategy?

Here are 5 things to take into consideration when formulating babycare that have nothing to do with the outdated Natural vs Synthetic debate:

1. Define the problem you want to solve

Efficacy is key!

Parents won't repurchase if they can't see results no matter how great your story telling, values and branding are.

You can ask yourself:

  • Is it for everyday use, specific concerns or playtime?

  • Is it going to be used to cleanse, massage or moisturise?

  • Is it preventative or restorative?

2. Know the specifics about baby skin

Healthy baby skin does not need special care but food, stress and environmental factors can easily disturb its fragile balance.

  • Babies have a higher skin surface area to body weight ratio than adults

  • Baby skin is thinner and more permeable than adult skin, the skin barrier is still developing

  • The delicate skin of babies is more vulnerable to external influences like irritants, temperature change or microbes

  • Their skin pH is higher than adults

  • Dry baby skin is a common challenge for parents

  • Blood-brain barrier is not fully developed, chemicals can potentially pass from the blood into the brain

3. Substantiate your claims

"Safe", "Gentle", "tear-free", "Soothing", ...

How do you know?

Some raw materials may be harsh when used pure but can easily be mitigated with other ingredients.

One example is the use of sulfates: too stripping apparently.

It's a pretty broad class of anionic surfactants with exceptional cleansing and foaming properties at an affordable price, which means they can be formulated optimally for their benefits without the drawbacks.

Don't let misinformation be the leading criteria for your choice of formulations and ingredients.

Make sure you have your finished product tested.

4. Categorise baby skin needs

Affected baby skin needs mild and gentle care to restore babysoft and healthy skin conditions.

We've classified these needs into 4 categories:

  • Skin barrier function enhancement

  • Soothing & calming irritation

  • Skin & scalp defense and protection

  • Skin & hair nutrition

Depending on the problem you want to solve, you may select ingredients from each category for optimal results.

5. Optimise your preservative system

"Preservative-free" is a forbidden claim in Europe because it's misleading and implies that products with preservatives are bad.

A better claim would be: "Optimised preservative system".

A preservative is by essence "nasty". It's not added in a formulation to play nice, it's there for a very important reason: making sure the end user can safely use the product without the risk of microbial contamination. Why would you not want to use preservatives?

Some antimicrobial ingredients are not listed as official preservatives but what's the point of claiming "preservative-free" if they're in fact used for this purpose?

Can you find the right balance between creating a gentle formulation and ensuring your product is bullet-proof?

Yes, by selecting an appropriate preservative blend, optimising your pH and your percentage as well as understanding how your preservative system interacts with the other ingredients in your formulation.

We work closely with Evonik who have over 3 decades of product protection expertise so please reach out to the Avenir team to learn the subtleties of preservation.

If you would like to delve more into the formulation of baby care products, we have done some preliminary research for you and selected ingredients and starting formulations to address baby skin needs.

You can reach out to Bruno at for more information.


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