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Behind the Beauty Scenes… ProTec Ingredia GmbH Proudly Presents: At CosmeticBusiness 2021 trade show in Munich

This is a translation of my German blogpost Hinter den Beauty-Kulissen… ProTec Ingredia GmbH Proudly Presents: Auf der CosmeticBusiness 2021 in München. Enjoy!

CosmeticBusiness2021 München

In cooperation with ProTec Ingredia // The last time I attended a trade show was in February 2020 so everything felt new and a little bit strange when I visited CosmeticBusiness in Munich this October. After such a long pause it was wonderful to finally attend a live, offline trade show again: feeling the exuberant atmosphere, walking around the trade fair halls, meeting interesting people…

The fair took place on 20th and 21st October 2021 for the first time in 1,5 years and under strict Corona regulations: Visitors had to be vaccinated, recovered from the virus or show a negative antigen test. CosmeticBusiness is a trade show for cosmetics companies. Typical exhibitors include beauty industry suppliers offering products and services from a wide range of sectors such as raw ingredients, product packaging or marketing. There are also print, label and secondary packaging material manufacturers as well as machinery and equipment suppliers, private label manufacturers and formulation developers. However, you can also find companies that offer specialised industry services, such as testing institutes and trend consultants.

For cosmetic ingredients distributor ProTec Ingredia GmbH, trade fair visits are a crucial part of doing business. Although virtual conferences and digital meetings have made it easier to keep in touch with clients during the pandemic, there is often no substitute for the personal contacts you establish whilst visiting a trade show.

The company attends CosmeticBusiness as an exhibitor every year, presenting the cosmetic ingredients developed by Mibelle Biochemistry, Codif Technologie Naturelle, Barnet and Oat Cosmetics. Before the start of this year’s fair everyone was curious: Would there be many exhibitors and visitors despite the on-going pandemic, or would the exhibition halls be quiet?

Previously on Behind the Beauty Scenes: In the introduction of my Beauty Soap I’m explaining the concept behind the article series: I’ve developed a beauty serial story in cooperation with ProTec Ingredia. Our journey will lead us to the heart of the cosmetics industry – because without active ingredients there wouldn’t be any cosmetic products. My beauty adventure begins with a visit to an algae farmer in Brittany. In the second part I’m introducing the people behind ProTec Ingredia and in the third chapter we’re finding out more about how beauty innovations happen. However, sometimes it’s difficult to develop a new ingredient – will it be possible to distill the fascinating skin care properties of moss into a cream jar? While I’m finding out why algae and cosmetics are such a good match, Swiss manufacturer Mibelle Biochemistry is developing a moss-based ingredient by using innovative technologies. During a phone call with Codif I’ve learned that sometimes lunch-time is the best time to generate new ideas for active ingredients and I also toured Codif’s R&D department to find out how the company manufactures its cosmetics ingredients. During a video chat with UK oat ingredients manufacturer Oat Cosmetics I found out why this grain is so beneficial for dry and irritated skin. I spoke with Dr. Schilling from Germany’s Maxim Group about how an private label manufacturer selects its active ingredients and what key issues will be shaping the cosmetics industry in the future. I also interviewed Dr. Franziska Wandrey, Study & Research Manager at Mibelle Biochemistry and presented four innovative new cosmetic ingredients which we will hopefully see in new beauty products soon. Then I returned to Codif’s lab to find out more about how the effects of active ingredients are researched with the help of skin models (a fascinating and forward-looking technology) and learned more about the the activities of Swiss biodiversity foundation ProSpecieRara. I also interviewed the team of ProTec Ingredia to find out how the cosmetics industry is experiencing the pandemic. Then we looked at how Codif manages to achieve 360° sustainability, took a walk through the ingredients production facility of Mibelle Biochemistry and spoke with Dr Jan Riedel from BSB Innovation Award. I also attended a webinar on blue biotechnology for sustainable beauty, learned more about application technology and presented four cosmetic ingredients for more glow. After we delved into the fascinating topic of how DNA analysis makes cosmetic ingredients safer I attended Mibelle Biochemistry’s 30th anniversary Cyber Celebration and found out more about what a cosmetics ingredients distributor actually does. The last chapter was dedicated to an inspiring art project, Corail Artefact.

ProTec Ingredia

A busy trade show day

On the day before the trade fair was set to open, Birgit Gertchen-Ohligschläger, Senior Sales Manager at ProTec Ingredia checked the trade show hall to make sure that everything was in order. The company’s team had selected and designed the furnishings of their exhibition stand – which is all in blue, incidentally – from their office.

Now it’s the morning of the first trade show day and everything looks good. The only thing left to do before the fair opens and the visitors are streaming into the hall is to stack flyers and brochures and place the product samples onto the shelves. Greeting the people from the neighbouring booths is another cherished first-morning trade show ritual – everyone was so happy to meet again in person.

Altogether there were 272 exhibitors from 19 countries at CosmeticBusiness 2021, spread out across three trade show halls at Munich’s expo centre. As soon as the doors opened at 9.30 am things got busy, with a constant stream of visitors at the ProTec Ingredia stand. Beata Brawand, Head of Sales at Mibelle Biochemistry, was also at the show to support the ProTec team. I actually had to wait until the evening to take the picture of the booth without visitors, it was simply too crowded during the day.

While the ProTec Ingredia staff was busy presenting innovative cosmetic ingredients and making new contacts, I walked around the trade show halls. Sustainable packaging was definitely a key topic at CosmeticBusiness this year and suppliers from very different sectors were presenting their ideas and solutions. There are different angles to tackling this issue, from developing new materials and improving recyclability to increasing the circularity potential of product packaging. It’s quite obvious that there is no definitive strategy or one-size-fits-all approach that will work for every company.

Another crowded section of the trade show was the area where exhibitors were presenting their innovations as part of a showcase. I used the opportunity to speak with a trend expert about which colours would be popular in 2022. The colour map he developed is especially useful for companies involved in packaging design but should also be interesting for developers of colour cosmetics. CosmeticBusiness was accompanied by a conference programme throughout the two trade show days and again, sustainability was one of the main topics. And it was so much fun to finally meet other industry people for lunch or coffee again!

Protec Ingredia Team Beautyjagd

ProTec Ingredia x Beautyjagd

I was particularly excited that the ProTec Ingredia booth had a section highlighting this beauty serial story. For more than two years the article series you are reading right now has presented monthly insights into the beauty sector. The idea behind this collaboration: Birgit Haemel, Managing Director of ProTec Ingredia GmbH wanted to show how much scientific research, knowledge, diligence and passion it takes to develop a beauty product from start to finish, offering an insider’s perspective of the international cosmetics industry.

So far there are 27 chapters in our Beauty Soap which cover a wide range of topics – how active ingredients are developed and why application technology is important but we also learned about scientific research studies for beauty ingredients and found out what an artistic sustainability project has to do with cosmetic actives. On the picture above you can see Norbert Trage (right-hand side) and Birgit Gertchen-Ohligschläger in the middle (both from ProTec Ingredia) and me (on the far left) in front of our ‘Beauty-Soap’ wall at the CosmeticBusiness fair.

München Restaurant

A pleasant ending to a successful trade show

At the end of the trade show we all went out for dinner – another part of business life which none of us had experienced for a very long time so we enjoyed it all the more. It was a relaxed and very convivial evening; the ProTec Ingredia team was happy about how successful the trade show had been and the many personal contacts they had made. Birgit and Norbert are still working on the follow-up of the event, by the way: If you’re an exhibitor the trade fair doesn’t finish on the last day. It’s after everyone has gone home again that the real work begins.

In the next instalment of the Beauty Soap I will be showing you some new cosmetic ingredients that ProTec Ingredia presented at the trade show… Stay tuned!

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