Efficacy is the third millennium slogan for cosmetics. Perceivable, clearly visible or measurable with hi-tech instruments, it is widely mentioned on all the communication concerning cosmetics. Indeed, the modern consumer wants to find out evident signs of improvement on his own skin after the use of a strongly claimed product. This defines the starting point of the new formulation strategy: together with innovative ingredients that suggest pleasant atmospheres, effective and fully skin-friendly substances are required. Vegetal ingredients still have the key roles, but a new generation of materials, that are improperly called ‘excipients’, are becoming relevant. For instance, a new co-polymer of methyltaurine, acrylic acid and vinylpirrolidone leads to fresh and non-tacky gels having furthermore the peculiarity of emulsifying oil phases without traditional emulsifiers. Finally, effective substituted of mineral oils are now available: the hydrogenated polydecenes. From sugar-beet, a precious small and multi-functional molecule is obtained, trimethylglycine, while new formulation frontiers are opened by balanced mixture of vegetal derivatives, as shea butter and meadow foam seed oil.