As detailed in a recent Vantage Market Research report, the global oral care market, which was last year valued at $33.73 billion and expected to reach $51.37 billion by 2023 (CAGR 5.4%), is experiencing a substantial upswing.
It can be challenging for brands to stand out with new product developments in a sector that has seen its fair share of innovation in recent years. Still, recently, oral health care brand Lumineux has launched a collection of microbiome-safe options, which the brand maintains are the first of their kind and include mouthwash, toothpaste, and whitening strips.
To learn more about the formulation and development of Lumineux products, including challenges to product development, studies in the product collection’s efficacy, and plans for further innovation in this space, CosmeticsDesign spoke to brand founder Dr. Kourosh Maddahi for his insights.
Formulation and development process
The concept for the product collection came from the personal desire to fill a need, said Dr. Maddahi. “After practicing dentistry for over 28 years, I got frustrated with the oral care products in the market, both traditional and natural, in handling inflammation, whitening, sensitivity, and dry mouth,” he said. This frustration drove Dr. Maddahi to “consult with my colleague Dr. Hessam Nowzari, who was the Chairman of Advance Periodontics at USC for 17 years, in order to come up with a formula that is both safe (certified nontoxic) and effective.”
The main challenge that Drs. He shared what he and Nowzari faced during the formulation and development process for the Lumineux product collection, which was ingredient-based. “The main difficulty was that I did not want any synthetic preservatives or emulsifier in order to make the product microbiome safe, which created a challenge with manufacturers not wanting to accept the liability for making a product without preservatives,” he explained.
After working with multiple manufacturers, Dr. Maddahi eventually found that the solution lay in pasteurization. “Heating up the mouthwash created the acceptable solution, and for the toothpaste, by reducing the water we were able to get around the lack of preservatives,” he said.
The resulting Lumineux formulation achieved Dr. Maddahi’s goal of being microbiome-safe, “which means it does not kill any bacteria,” he explained. Lumineux products, therefore, “go against 70 years of dental research focused on killing bacteria, since bacteria cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.”
Instead, the products focus on maintaining the “98% of good bacteria in the mouth that help fight against infection and disease,” he said. “The uniqueness of Lumineux products,” he added, is that they “neutralize the harmful toxins of bad bacteria instead of killing all the bacteria, since the toxins are responsible for cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.”
Additionally, the formulations utilize ingredients like essential oils to address common oral health care concerns instead of chemical ingredients. This includes coconut, sage, and lemon peel oil instead of peroxide to whiten teeth without increasing sensitivity, he shared, as well as grapeseed and cayenne pepper oils to reduce the effects of dry mouth, which can lead to cavity formation.
To establish product efficacy, he added, before launch, the brand “performed sixty-two clinical and laboratory studies, mostly by independent universities, which proves the efficacy of Lumineux products in terms of inflammation, whitening…and helping to reduce the effects of dry mouth.”
Following the successful brand launch, Dr. Maddahi has continued to research and develop products that he hopes will also disrupt oral healthcare. After five years of R&D, he launched an electric toothbrush in June of this year. “The main feature of the toothbrush is a bamboo head and castor oil bristles that, while being extra soft, are very effective in removing plaque while preserving the integrity of the gum and teeth,” he shared.
While many natural ingredient oral health care products are currently available in this space, Lumineux’s unique microbiome-safe formulation is a compelling example of innovation in product development. It will be interesting to see if other oral healthcare product manufacturers turn to their suppliers to follow suit and offer microbiome-safe alternatives to traditional options.