Wednesday, February 8, 2017Products

The cold cream of the 3rd millennium


Cold cream has been and remains one of the monuments of cosmetics. This product that had to be kept cold, or that was cold to apply, or both, has been emulated by many. There's still a reference. Today, in the series "Les concepts oubliés", Stéphanie Machon tells us the story of a project she knew well and which could have been the cold cream of the 3rd millennium, i.e. a reference product. Admittedly, the formulation is much more modern, and the ingredients are specific and very worked, but the idea of this cold cream refers nevertheless to this cold-cream concept.

Reading time
~ 13 minutes

Launched in September 2004, Ice Source ® is a cosmetic treatment resulting from a unique and multi-patented ultra-fast cooling technology. The result of five years of research, this almost instantaneous cooling, with no external energy input, allows the temperature of the cream to drop by 20°C in a few moments, boosting its lifting effect which becomes visible to the naked eye! Thanks to Stéphanie Machon and on the way for a great story.

Jean Claude Le Joliff

Ice Source ® "Innovation from the cold"

Ice Source : Birth of a technical-cosmetic innovation(1)

Flash back: the story begins in summer 2000 in Los Angeles and its starting point is… heat. Because in this region of the globe, it is hot, and the man at the origin of the project must be satisfied with a warm drink. This clever engineer then dreams of designing a can that refreshes its contents. Back to his thermodynamics courses, detour to the European Space Agency to consolidate his calculations, and he creates the Thermagen company to house his technology, the"High Speed Cooling Effect". In order to offer his invention to major beverage brands, he travels the world, from R&D laboratories to marketing departments. Alas! Without doubt too complex to be perfectly understood and too expensive to be profitable by the food industry, his invention is welcomed… coldly. However, the system works, the drink is cooled 70 times faster than with a refrigerator, without any external energy input, without chemical substance. The demonstration is also made on the tracks of the Paris-Dakar 2001 where competitors, including Henri Pescarolo, are amazed.

Meeting with cosmetics

It was in September 2003, during Cosmeeting, that this engineer turned his attention to cosmetics. This case intrigues and excites the curiosity of the biggest cosmetic brands. But innovation is such that it does not find its place so easily in pre-programmed developments. Not to mention the investment cost representing a risk that no one wants to take. During this exhibition, a laboratory that develops concepts develops and manufactures cosmetic products, Cosnessens, is interested in this invention. And from this meeting emerges the original idea of Ice Source ® .

Scientific and technological dimensions

They are mainly brought to the project by Cosnessens, winner of ANVAR in 2001 (linked to the formulation), and Thermagen (linked to the cooling packaging), both labelled Jeunes Entreprises Innovantes.

Thermagen's technology is based on a natural physical principle that has been known for thousands of years: water evaporation produces cold. That's how our ancestors kept the water cool. This phenomenon is accelerated under vacuum where steam can move at high speed. To activate this phenomenon, Thermagen uses a special technical ceramic that has the ability to capture very large quantities of water molecules under vacuum. The combination of these elements (vacuum water evaporation maintained by a desiccant) is known by physicists as"Sorption Cooling". Thermagen has mastered this principle of cooling to make it compatible with a production intended for the general public. This technology, to be mastered, required the use of specific simulation means, usually intended for the development of Ariane rocket engines. This was made possible thanks to the European Space Agency's technology transfer programme, according to the Icy Beauty Business Plan of May 2005(2).

Explanatory diagram of the phenomenon of ultra fast cooling when the pot is activated : c How does it work?

We have to turn the pot over. Once the head down and the click of the push button is triggered, here is what happens: the button moves a cylinder that opens a valve. The separation between the two compartments gives way. The water vapour is sucked in by a ceramic under vacuum, previously dried by a pressure difference this vapour carries with it the heat of the cream and deposits it on the ceramic the cream cools very quickly while the ceramic is heated (the heat can be felt on the bottom of the pot).

For Thermagen, it was also necessary to adapt the production line to the standards of luxury cosmetics. In fact, one of the reasons why the application of this technology to the beverage industry failed was that the production line was still inefficient. Impossible to"spit" 100,000 cans a day. Choosing the luxury cosmetics market made it possible, very judiciously, to reduce needs.

Cosnessens on its side innovates. - On galenics: the laboratory has developed a PIT (phase inversion temperature) emulsification process, the result of which is called Metamulsion. ® . It is an emulsion promoting the encapsulation of lipophilic active ingredients in a continuous aqueous phase, whose touch is fresh and light. It combines remarkable grip with easy spreading. The fineness and organization of the dispersion of the oil in the water makes it a stealthy, fluid and fresh form like water. It is quickly absorbed into the epidermis without sticky or greasy feeling (despite high fat incorporation rates) leaving a dry, soft and invisible film. The tiny size of the globules is an additional guarantee of stability in this galenic form. Indeed, the volume of the globules of the fatty phase of the Metamulsion ® is up to 1,000 times smaller than a traditional emulsion. Metamulsion ® is therefore a real vector of lipophilic active ingredients, in particular the lipid polymer of the formula (see below). - On assets: Cosnessens has also incorporated assets best suited in terms of clinical results and in line with the concept, including : a Cryo-extract ® of exclusive Arctic raspberries: it is specially sourced in Lapland and obtained from wild frozen berries at their harvesting site using a patented cryogenic process (source: Ice Source Press Files, September 2004 and Icy Beauty, November 2005)(4). The active molecules (anthocyanins, tannins and organic acids) are thus preserved and their effectiveness is five to ten times greater than that of molecules obtained from dry plants; a lipid polymer, mainly responsible for the lifting effect. Ice Source ® contains Viamerin ®  2500 (Oleic/Linoleic/Linolenic polyglycerides) for mechanical lifting action. Indeed, cold crystallizes lipids (modification of its 3D structure) which contract and trap molecules that are around them (water or active). A moderate cooling (refrigerator) gives beta crystals, more voluminous and complex structure (prisms or fans) not easily assimilated by the skin. While a"flash" cooling, the one generated by the Ice Source ® It gives alpha crystals with a strong affinity with the skin. In contact with skin heat, the lipids warm up and regain their initial shape and volume, plumping the skin from the inside. Metamulsion ® then releases the assets and water it transported.

Diagram showing the effect of the lipid complex on the skin

In addition, applying a cream at a temperature close to 0°C instantly tones the tissues and"awakens" the skin cells.

Ice Source ® was born

The pots of Ice Source ® produced at that time are still prototypes. Cunningly, the designers transform them into a limited series, numbered from 1 to 599, whose secondary packaging, in colourless, transparent and engraved plexis, is sealed with a metal ring (instead of the classic cardboard box provided afterwards). To add to the rarity and preciousness, the Nos. 1 to 10 are sent to museums, including the Moma in New York, as emblematic products of a new generation of cosmetics. Unanimously acclaimed by the press and the profession, Ice Source ® was visibly popular at the launch press conference. The reaction is an enthusiastic mixture of astonishment and admiration. The most often used qualifiers are"bluffing","magic"… In the cosmetology and brand circles, reactions are directed towards an awareness of the existence of new avenues of research in cosmetology, a growing demand for access to Thermagen's technology in an attempt to reproduce Ice Source's performance. ® .

Thus, the Ice-Source ® unknown before September 21, 2004, was propelled into prestigious points of sale. A sales pitfall was, at the time, the absence of a sample to try the product since once"activated", the jar is no longer reusable. Thermagen therefore had to develop a tool to reproduce the flash cooling effect on samples in order to help sales. It is the High Speed Cooler: box equipped with a drawer where a test dose is introduced which comes out cold (2°C). A mirror overhangs this"box" to allow the customer to apply Ice Source ® at the point of sale.

Spectacular Effect + Extreme Sensory Pleasure + Real Performance + Rarity of Luxury = Rarity of Luxury Ice Source® which thus answers a magic equation of hope

The Marketing Mix

- The product Designed with a strong emphasis on its packaging, its formula and the choice of active ingredients: interactivity, sensoriality and efficiency are the watchwords.

- Distribution Selective and alternative: prestigious points of sale, concept stores in France and also abroad, spas and beauty salons of exception, but also website.

- The promotion Almost exclusively achieved through press coverage and word of mouth, to maintain the authenticity of the message. The idea is that those who have tested the products are best placed to talk about them and spread a brand image. At the point of sale, the promotion is mainly done through an exclusive and patented device, the High Speed Cooler, which makes it possible to reproduce ultra-fast cooling on test doses. The application of this dose is done on half of the face and it is this experience of visible beauty and lived immediately that ensures the best promotion of the products.

- The price The pricing policy is in line with the brand's high-end positioning and the investment required to develop the innovative technology and valuable formula. It reflects the rarity, excellence, efficiency and high technology of Ice Source ® . Recommended retail price: 180 € TTC for a 22 ml capacity.

Ice Source ® a real breakthrough innovation

"Combining innovation at all stages of the creative process." Headline La Tribune, February 2, 2005, about Ice Source ® .

In the cosmetics sector, the most common innovation is called"continuity" or"incremental" innovation. This product innovation does not change the conditions of use and the state of the art, but brings a significant improvement. With respect to Ice Source ® Rather, it is a question of technological innovation or breakthrough innovation. Inspired by patents and research on an asset, a process, it is called"breakthrough" since it modifies the conditions of use of the consumer, that it is accompanied by a technological upheaval and that all professionals in this sector and journalists talk about it. The Icy Beauty company was then able to bring its innovation to life by animating and punctuating its news with new products to continue to build customer loyalty and make people talk about it.

"Beauty gives chills"(5)

The development of a complementary range of products based on the assembly of skills federated within Icy Beauty was planned from September 2004. This gave birth to the first"Engineer brand" (in the tradition of Doctor brands), released in November 2005: - New unique formulations for special care (Ice Source® Dry Skin and Ice Source® For Men) - New non-refrigerating, exclusive skin care products (exfoliating, illuminating, thirst-quenching, purifying cosmetic preparations) to prepare the skin optimally. - Launch of the 1st self-refrigerating monodoses (RE:SET for globetrotters and PLAY&REWIND for jet-setters), December 2006.


Ice-Source®'s prowess lies in the subtle combination of a mobile cooling technology that activates a lifting cream. To date, there is no equivalent product. Research on self-refrigerating packaging had existed in the world for over 25 years, but no team had yet succeeded in integrating the technology necessary to produce a compact object compatible with industrial constraints and the desires of the cosmetics market. Today, Icy Beauty no longer exists well until May 2005, the company presented a promising business plan. Built on the birth of Ice Source ® and full of the optimism of the same rose as the cream, he opened with these words of hope from La Tribune of February 2, 2005:"…". Associations of expertise, short hierarchical structures, minimalist logistics… this type of flexible and reactive structure may prefigure the new"business models" of tomorrow.

Sources Saga : Ice Source, Naissance d'une innovation technico-cosmétique", Beyond Beauty Mag, January 2005.  2. Business plan ICY BEAUTY, May 2005 "How does Active Cold work?" Presentation ICY BEAUTY  4. ICE SOURCE (September 2004) and ICY BEAUTY (November 2005) Press Files  5. ICE SOURCE (September 2004) and ICY BEAUTY (November 2005) Press Files

We owe this new contribution to Stéphanie Machon. Stéphanie is a Doctor of Pharmacy. After a career in raw materials marketing, Stéphanie co-founded Cosnessens in 2001, a concept development, development and manufacturing laboratory for cosmetic products for brands. In the cosmetics industry for over 18 years, with an entrepreneurial profile, she launched Make It Bloom ! in 2010, her consulting business. It encourages the development and growth of numerous marketing and innovation projects for start-ups and large groups. It accompanies B-to-B brands, the general public or luxury players in strategic or operational areas. She is also a graduate in creativity and innovation, mastering the entire conception of a beauty brand, sharing her global design vision and ensuring transversal coherence in all areas related to creation.

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