Exploring the Scientific Innovations Behind Modern Beauty and Personal Care Items

Meet Dr. Sam Samaras: Pioneering the Scientific Revolution in Beauty and Personal Care”

Dr. Sam Samaras serves as the Head of Science & Technology for Unilever’s Beauty & Wellbeing and Personal Care business groups, overseeing a combined turnover of nearly €23 billion. As she prepares to share her insights at SXSW, Dr. Samaras reflects on the transformative impact of cutting-edge technology on product development, tailored to meet consumers’ evolving desires.

What do consumers seek in their beauty and personal care products? Fundamentally, it remains unchanged—they desire confidence, beauty, and the assurance of a good hair day. These aspirations, deeply ingrained in human nature, reflect our innate desire for social connection and self-assurance.

Yet, in today’s digital age, consumers demand more. Armed with readily available information, they seek assurance that products deliver on their promises. Authenticity and efficacy are paramount, prompting consumers to scrutinize the scientific underpinnings of products before making purchases.

At Unilever, we adhere to an evidence-based approach, focusing on scientific truths that yield proven benefits and address consumer needs. Leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as AI, we gain deeper insights into consumer preferences and behaviors, driving successful innovations.

For instance, our exploration of the skin microbiome, facilitated by AI-powered analysis, has led to groundbreaking advancements in skincare. With over 100 microbiome patents, Unilever possesses one of the largest proprietary databases worldwide, enhancing product efficacy and desirability.

Transitioning from a focus on chemistry to embracing complex biology, we delve into underlying biological factors to create superior products. This shift has resulted in remarkable successes, exemplified by the Vaseline Gluta-Hya range. Developed to meet consumer demands for lightweight yet potent skincare solutions, this antioxidant formula offers unparalleled hydration and radiance, propelling significant growth for the brand.

In our Personal Care division, collaboration with neuroscientists from the University of Liverpool has yielded intriguing findings. Through EEG research, we discovered the profound impact of fragrance on consumers’ confidence levels, exemplified by the LUX Magical Orchid Bodywash. This groundbreaking study underscores the emotional resonance of olfaction, shaping consumers’ perceptions and preferences.

Ultimately, our goal extends beyond functional efficacy; we strive to create products that evoke unparalleled satisfaction and delight. Empowered by scientific innovation, we aim to captivate consumers, ensuring that they not only choose Unilever products but also cherish the experience they provide.

Innovation is at the heart of our mission, driving us to push the boundaries of scientific possibility and redefine the beauty and personal care landscape.

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