Intelligent Cosmetics?

US cosmetic industry icon explains the challenges of creating DMK’s new range of makeup for the modern age.

Developing cosmetics in 2010 is a challenging process. When the global company DMK approached me about developing a revolutionary new range of makeup to build on their success in skincare, I knew it would be no easy task. After decades in the industry, I understood the sheer complexity of reconciling the modern customer’s demands with existing technologies.

Any foundation would have to cover yet be sheer in application; be smooth but not contain oils or petroleum by-products and be available in mixable colours that would serve skin types from all over the world. To compete in today’s crowded beauty market it would have to be something unlike any cosmetic ever made.

‘I want to create the world’s best makeup, simple as that,’ Danné Montague-King told me.

Often cosmetic chemists simply roll out the same ingredients, the same proportions and the same techniques of production and hope that their point of difference will be in the marketing. This would never have been an option for DMK. Danné needed something that would fit in with the company’s overall philosophy of intelligent skin care. In short, the cosmetic range would need to be nothing short of a revolution in makeup for ordinary people.

I started with the basics. Who would wear it? How would they wear it? Under what conditions would they wear it? What sort of ingredients would our customers feel comfortable with? Rather than letting the accepted science drive our product offering, we wanted to answer those questions truthfully and find a product that would match it.

By employing a team of highly skilled skin scientists, cosmetic professionals and high end users of cosmetic products in development, we were able to create an environment of creative and lateral thinking that would meet and address these challenges. Little did we know that our approach would create nothing short of a revolution in cosmetics.

We started with ingredients.

One of the enduring challenges of ingredients in cosmetics is that they are placed into a formula only to have their basic properties change due to the manufacturing process. This often occurs with waxes used in cream foundations. When heated and blended with other petroleum based products, the wax changes some of its properties and the cosmetic scientist ends up with a greasy outcome that demands more raw materials to decrease the petroleum based oils yet leave the cosmetic still flowing and easy to apply.

To remedy this situation, DMKC developed advanced formula techniques. Not one ingredient in DMK Cosmetics is in the formula to combat or offset the properties of another ingredient that is not working in the formula. For example, silicone is a marvellous raw material for the base of a cosmetic formula. It has the properties of oils, but it is not an oil. It has the properties of alcohol (in evaporation properties) but it is not an alcohol.

The team of experts at DMKC reasoned that since the base is only really utilized in the application process and in touch-ups, a blend of silicones and raw materials would enable DMK Cosmetics to be applied sheer while still providing adequate cover. After the application is complete, part of the base disappears and the binders and raw materials that make the cosmetic long lasting and waterproof take over. It was an excellent example of where DMKC research and thinking outside the box paid off.

AT DMKC we were also keen to utilize the latest technologies in ingredients and design to ensure that the cosmetics enhanced the appearance of the underlying skin. The majority of cosmetic companies use standard pigments that are inexpensive. However, in 2010, pigments now exist that do more than simply colour the cosmetic.

One such ingredient is titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is used as an ‘opacifier’ in cosmetic formulas, essentially something which works with pigment to reflect the colour of the cosmetic. The combination of titanium dioxide and pigment give the cosmetic a ‘pigment percentage’, which can be anywhere from 10% in liquid makeup to 30% in cream makeup.

However, flat cutting of titanium dioxide pigment in a cosmetic has the tendency to accentuate fine lines and wrinkles by lying inside wrinkles and reflecting light in one direction. This also causes an ashy look when the foundation is not matched perfectly with the skin. At DMKC, the titanium dioxide pigment is ground in a revolutionary way that creates micro-sized small ovals that are not cut flat. It was another example of the team thinking outside the box to resolve an age old problem of cosmetics.

Our final challenge was the tendency of cosmetics to ‘melt’ at body temperature. Other cosmetics will melt into a liquid at 85°C (185°F) or less and get soft at as little as 36°C (97°F) but the upshot of this is that cosmetics are typically melting at body temperature of 37°C (98.6°F). Who wants to wear something that will melt at body temperature?

Being completely absent of oils, our formula also caused an initial problem in the pouring machinery. Our solution was to set the filling process of DMKC at 110°C (230°F) and rather than pouring cosmetics, DMK Cosmetics ‘fall’ by pressure into the container before being hand levelled and travelling through a cooling chamber. By looking at the manufacturing process from a completely different perspective, DMKC was able to create a feature of real benefit to our customers.

Ultimately our creative approach has led to a practical high performance product that people actually need and want. Using advanced formulations with state of the art ingredients and revolutionary manufacturing techniques, DMKC has delivered a revolution in natural all day makeup for ordinary people.

Once more, DMKC is the one.

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