When you hold a meeting devoted to cosmetic science in Estée Lauder’s backyard, you’re bound to have good attendance. That was the case when the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) held its annual Scientific Seminar in Uniondale, NY—just minutes from Estée Lauder’s R&D facilities in Melville.
More than 350 chemists flocked to Long Island to learn more about a variety of topics, honor their own with lectures and awards and look to the future via the annual student poster session.
“We honor cosmetic chemists who have given their lives to the industry, and those who are about to give their lives to the industry,” quipped SCC president Robert Y. Lochhead during the opening luncheon.
Dr. Bob Lochhead, 2010 SCC president; Joyce Maso, wife of the late Henry Maso, and Dr. Ken Marenus.
The scientific seminar opened with the Henry Maso keynote award lecture sponsored by the Maso family and Siltech.
Maso was a patriarch of the Society, having served as president of the U.S. group and the IFSCC. Overall, he devoted more than 50 years of service to the Society and the cosmetics industry. After officially retiring in 1986, Maso consulted for several companies, including Estée Lauder, and taught several generations of cosmetic chemists via the continuing education program and mentoring. He retired in 2005 at 85 years old and died in 2009.
“Henry was active in international and national Society activities for more than 50 years,” recalled his widow, Joyce. “But his favorite role was that of teacher.”
One of his students, Ken Marenus of Estée Lauder, delivered the Maso lecture. Marenus noted that four“pillars” are driving society. These include human health, environmental impact, social responsibility and businesss optimization—and they are all having a dramatic impact on the cosmetics industry.
“Together, these pillars provide a vision of what an environmentally-responsible company looks like,” asserted Marenus.
He warned the audience that there’s been a shift in human health from acute disorders to chronic and subtle ones. As a result, there is growing concern over issues such as bioaccumulation and endocrine disruptors. At the same time, fewer and fewer regulators, reporters and consumers understand the difference between risk vs. hazard based issues. Whereas risk looks at the dose, and is therefore based on science, hazard-based proponents insist that if there is a potential for a problem, it should be avoided—something most scientists disagree with.
“The dose makes the poison,” observed Marenus, citing the alchemist and physician Paracelsus.
Unfortunately for the industry, far too many regulators, environmental groups and ultimately, consumers, don’t share that view. As a result, during the past 20 years there has been an outcry and overreach of regulation.
Marenus noted that not all of the regulators’ arguments are without merit. For example, according to the California Board of Health, 6,500 deaths are attributed to environmental issues in the state. At the same time, 1.3 million school absences are attributed to poor air quality. With that in mind, it is imperative for companies to engage in social responsibility. Marenus urged attendees to know their complete supply chain.
“It’s an unbroken chain to the consumer,” he said.
Commenting on the subject of business optimization, the speaker noted that “Doing well by doing good,” has become a mantra for all industries. Unfortunately, while more companies are focused on sustainability and efficiency, it has yet to make them profitable—a conundrum for which Marenus did not have an answer. Still, the genie is out of the bottle and more efforts on sustainability, regulations and going green will continue.
“We are no longer our own police,” he noted. “We’re being watched by groups who are testing our products.”
To ensure product safety and integrity, Marenus urged the audience—made up of suppliers and marketers—to work together.
Marenus also implored the audience to adopt the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry, which he called the chemists’ guide for synthetic chemistry. In addition, his company also has a raw material supplier survey to ensure compliance, certification and data collection. Efforts like these are becoming more necessary as regulators, environmental groups and consumers take a closer look at the products and the industry.
During Thursday’s awards luncheon, Hallstar’s Craig Bonda accepted the Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ Award, sponsored by Rhodia, for his paper: “Improving Sunscreen Photostability by Quenching the Singlet State.” Paper co-authors were Anna Pavlovic, Kerry Hanson and Chris Bardeen. Pictured here, Rhodia Novecare’s Pascal Herve (left) presents the award to Craig Bonda.
Company executives who want to quantify their environmental efforts should consider eco-efficiencyanalysis, explained Bruce Uhlman of BASF. This process assesses the life cycle impacts of a product or manufacturing process from the “cradle to the grave” and gives equal importance to environmental and economic impacts.Specifically it measures six data points: energy consumption, emissions, toxicity potential, risk potential, resources consumption and use of area.
“This is a rigorous, science-based exercise,” noted Uhlman. “But it is necessary to facilitate communication to the government and consumers.”
For its part, BASF has conducted 32 eco-efficiency studies. Among its findings is that renewable-based products may not always be the most sustainable product or even have the lowest environmental impact when all the costs and environmental burdens over the life cycle are considered, according to Uhlman.
Gilles Pauly of Laboratoires Serobiologiques, a division of Cognis, explained how his company took a natural material such as argan and made it even more sustainable by implementing a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility program in collaboration with L’Oréal and Yamana, a non-government organization.
During the 18-month program, the group set a fair price for the material and established a social fund. It created a traceability guide that is being implemented in all cooperatives. It set strict guidelines to ensure conservation of biodiversity, and recognized local partners as co-inventors in new applications for Argan.
Paula Lennon of Gattefosse explained how polyglycerol modified plant waxes enable cosmetic chemists to create new materials with interesting properties. For example, in skin care formulas, they impart softness and comfort. At the same time, the amphiphilic nature of the wax esters can stabilize oil-in-water emulsions and even emulsify a water phase in a water-in-oil emulsion. Furthermore, the waxes can boost moisturization of skin care formulas and improve skin microtopography. The enzymatic production process for fatty acid esterification offers several advantages over conventional production methods. The process can reduce energy usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions. In cosmetic chemistry, enzymes have been used to produce myristyl myristate, decyl cocoate, cetyl ricinoleate and isocetyl palmitate.
Oliver Thum of Evonik Goldschmidt explained how his company produced oleyl erucate by using the enzymatic process. According to the speaker, this vegetable-based emollient has the structure and properties similar to jojoba oil, but with color and odor profiles.
A Closer Look at Hair
Thursday’s afternoon session, devoted to hair and moderated by Randy Wickett of the University of Cincinnati, opened with a lecture by Jennifer Marsh of Procter & Gamble, who discussed new product design strategies for colored hair. In her opening remarks, Marsh noted that most color treatments change the hair structure—for the worse—leaving it dry, unmanageable with a lack of shine. Despite those problems, 60% of women in the U.S. color their hair, compared to 50% in Europe and 30% in Latin America.
To improve product performance, P&G researchers relied on design strategies to create better shampoos, conditioners and colorants. For example, P&G chemists modified the surface energy of the hair with a liquid crystal (LC) shampoo. The LC structure deposits on to the hair to provide “slip planes” along the hair surface.
To optimize a conditioner, P&G identified a silicone material with a polarity similar to that of colored hair, so that it could effectively be deposited on colored hair.
Timothy Gao of Croda explained how multilayer lamella vesicles (MLV) are good active delivery systems and can play an important role in hair straightening formulas. According to Gao, replacing the nonionic emulsifier with an equal amount of phosphate esters in hair straightening formulas enhanced formation of MLV structure. He noted that the smaller the hydrodynamic size of the phosphate ester molecule, the less the average diameter of the formed MLV particle. Finally, hair straightened with formulas with MLV structure showed better straightening efficacy, faster and larger stress decay, and smaller retaining relative helix content compared to that treated with the formula without MLV.
Although he couldn’t offer a cure for baldness, Karl Lintner of Sederma suggested that biotinylated peptide GHK has promise. Exposure to 2ppm of the material for 14 days, grew the hair shaft 58% more than the control—results that are comparable to Minoxidil. At 5ppm, the formula outperformed the control by 121%.
Paul Mouser of ISP (Vincience) explained how the hair growth cycle can be modified in a positive manner using three natural extracts (corn, rice and yeast) at 1% use levels. More specifically, the yeast extract boosts hair strength, the corn extract gave a lift to beta-1 integrin and the rice extract reduced UV damage and aided hair regeneration. The session’s final speaker, Trefor Evans of TRI Princeton, reviewed test methods to quantify hair breakage. He concluded that fatigue testing most closely resembles real-life conditions and that application of hair conditioners can dramatically retard breakage and therefore provide a significant level of protection.
A Formula for Success
Whether a company markets cosmetics, hair care or skin care products, the global cosmetics industry was buffeted by the Great Recession, observed Betsy Smalz Ferguson, the keynote speaker at Friday’s morning session devoted to formulation. Martha Tate of Kimberly-Clark was the moderator.
According to Smalz Ferguson, 2009 represented the worst year on record for the prestige cosmetics market, as consumers walked away from department store counters in favor of masstige brands such as Olay. Still, Smalz Ferguson predicted that cosmetics sales will rebound to $41.4 billion by 2014. Sales gains will be made by companies that can grab the attention of time-strapped consumers with communication applications that direct shoppers to specific stores, custom-blended cosmetics, socially-responsible cosmetics, and even cosmetics that change color when they pass their expiration date.
“We need to re-establish our value by providing products that feature bolder innovation, higher quality, superior performance and impressive benefits,” she told the audience. “Product performance has never been more important than it is today.”
Following Smalz Ferguson’s presentation, several suppliers offered details on how their ingredients are creating tomorrow’s desirable cosmetics. Juergen Walker of BASF explained how complex effect pigments impact the formulation of shampoos, lipsticks and pressed powders.
Jane Hollenberg of Gelest explained how surface treatments improve pigment dispersions in aqueous media. For example, hydrophilic treatment pigments improve wetting and dispersing in butylene glycol, with the lone exception being PEG6-9.
The session’s final speaker, Santash Yadav of International Specialty Products, explained how the addition ofVP/eicosene copolymer to a lipstick formula increases its shine. However, the speaker warned that the incremental increase in shine is concentration dependent; i.e., the lipstick containing 11% had more shine than the one containing only 5%.
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SCC Recognizes the Cosmetic Chemists of the Future
At Friday’s luncheon, several students were honored for their outstanding poster presentations. The student poster contest was sponsored by D+Chemicals. Winners included:
• First place: “Formulation Optimization and Texture Analysis of Multi-Mechanistic Cosmetic Coating to
From l-r: Laura Anderson (2nd place), Don Katz (awards sponsor), Michelle McCluskey (1st place) and Amber Evans (4th place). Not pictured, Jody Ebanks (3rd place).
• Second place: “First Generation Formulation and Rheology Study of Multi-Mechanistic Cosmetic Coating to Protect Skin from Thermal Injury.” Authors were Laura Anderson, Nicole Mackey, Michelle McCluskey, J. Paige Phillips and Robert Y. Lochhead, University of Southern Mississippi.
• Third place: “Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Melanosome Degradation and Processing by Epidermal Keratinocytes of Distinct Racial Sources.” Authors were: Jody Ebanks, Amy Koshoffer, Randy Wickett, Tomohiro Hakozaki and Raymond Boissy, University of Cincinnati.
• Fourth place: “Water Hardness and Human Hair: An Investigation of the Structural Implication of this Interaction.” Authors were Amber Evans and Randy Wickett, University of Cincinnati.