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Partner Sarah Broyd Discusses Most Innovative Beauty Companies in Fast Company Article

March 2, 2023  | Clarkston Partner Sarah Broyd was recently interviewed by Fast Company on the most innovative beauty companies emerging in the industry – particularly those leveraging next-generation technologies to advance their products and create innovation, much the same as the biotech industry. An excerpt of the article has been included below, or read the full story here

The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Beauty of 2023

Nature has typically been the first place that beauty companies turn to for solutions to aging and skin imperfections. Now there’s a new source—biotech—and it takes its inspiration from the pharmaceutical industry.

The move toward lab-generated ingredients that promise to improve on what scientists would find in nature dovetails with society’s larger embrace of personalized medicine, including cell and gene therapy, says Sarah Broyd, a partner at Durham, North Carolina–based Clarkston Consulting who specializes in consumer healthcare and pharmaceuticals. “Even the mRNA technology used in some of the COVID vaccines has contributed to a greater general understanding of how biotechnology works, which has opened the door for other industries.”

Small beauty companies, especially, are taking advantage of new technologies to reimagine what skincare and haircare can accomplish. K18, for example, has created a novel molecule that, the company says, repairs the broken proteins that give hair that dull, dry, frizzy quality. Skincare startup Ourself packs its products with fat-soluble microcapsules that act as tiny vessels, carrying large molecules of product beneath the top layer of the skin, offering plumping effects without needles. And Solésence, a subsidiary of the nanomaterial company Nanophase Technologies, has transformed zinc oxide from a thick white paste into a smooth, clear cream that blends into the skin.

It’s not surprising to see smaller startups pursuing these solutions, Broyd says. “Biotech beauty will require a more specialized manufacturing approach and new operating models,” she explains. “That’s not an easy sell for many large companies, so I think we’ll see them dipping their toes into the water slowly.” Even so, with consumers increasingly accustomed to reading skincare labels closely, startups in the biotech beauty space have to invest a fair amount in marketing and communications to explain the science behind their novel products. But thanks to the popularity of explainer TikTok videos and other forms of social selling, they’re seeing results. “We are at the forefront,” says Broyd, of this biotech approach to beauty.

 Read the Full Fast Company Article Here