Great Communicators

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | February 12, 2013

From its new headquarters in Philadelphia, EMD Chemicals works closely with its customers to create unique personal care products.

EMD Chemicals’ new headquarters in Philadelphia.
With a lineup of novel cosmetic ingredients in place, a deep roster of talented chemists at the helm and a knack for creating successful products from concepts to commercialization, EMD Chemicals is well positioned for another successful year. EMD Chemicals is the North American trade name for the performance materials division of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. During 2012, the company moved into a new facility in Philadelphia that is LEED Gold-certified and an ideal conduit to help EMD Chemicals’ beauty customers take their concepts from the laboratory all the way to store shelves, according to company executives.

Qinyun Peng
“We’ve streamlined our communication with customers with a go-to-market approach,” explained Qinyun Peng, head of technology application network, pigments and actives, EMD Chemicals. “And we’re committed to helping them create innovative products based on novel technologies.”

For example, customers were looking for a jet-black pearlescent pigment; EMD Chemicals created Ronastar Diamond Black, which fills the gap in the market and fulfills customers’ wishes.

Ronastar Diamond Black cosmetic pigment is based on evenly-shaped aluminum oxide with a particle size of 5-30μm and a sophisticated coating process with silica and iron oxide. The composition features ideal light reflection without light scattering centers. According to EMD Chemicals, the dark, glossy pigment adds a distinctive, rich and glamorous luster to decorative cosmetic products, especially mascaras, eyeliners, eyeshadows and nail polishes. It has a very pleasant skin feel and excellent pay-off in pressed powders and, when incorporated into leave-in conditioners, imparts a glossy shine to black hair.

Rebecca Vaiarelli
“We get a lot of cross-knowledge from other groups within the company,” explained Rebecca Vaiarelli, associate manager, decorative marketing, EMD Chemicals. “Our customers want ideas from other areas and we participate in a wide variety of businesses.”

Another new cosmetic pigment, Colorona Imperial Citrine, is an intense yellow matte pigment that provides both natural coverage and superior skin adhesion. Colorona Imperial Citrine contains mica, bismuth oxychloride and iron oxides, with a particle size ranging from 2-50μm (80% in range).

Generally, EMD Chemicals launches more than 10 cosmetic pigments and functional fillers each year.

More than Color
EMD Chemicals may be best known for its pigments (its semi-annual color trend reports are closely followed by beauty marketers around the world), but in recent years, EMD Chemicals has expanded its cosmetic actives portfolio which includes a wide variety of products, such as anti-aging and anti-inflammation ingredients, UV filters and photostablizers, antioxidants, DHA, IR3535 insect repellents and bioflavonoid.

“We develop multifunctional formulas that contain pigments and/or functional fillers and actives,” explained Peng. “Usually, it takes some time to see the visual effect resulted from the actives, but immediate improvement of appearance can be achieved with the functional fillers in the meantime.”
EMD Chemicals’ new RonaFlair Boroneige functional fillers, based on boron nitride, impart excellent skin feel as well as provide texture improvement, mattifying properties and soft focus effects. They are available in a variety of particle sizes and have a broad range of applications. EMD Chemicals’ parent company, Merck KGaA, has developed and patented a unique measuring technique to compare various raw materials’ soft focus effect. This methodology is an effective pre-selection tool to narrow down the choices of soft focus fillers.

EMD Chemicals provides a broad range of testing services.

EMD Chemicals’ chemistry for reducing the signs of aging is clever and elegant, company executives said. For example, RonaCare Cyclopeptide-5, billed as the first homodetic cyclic biomimetic peptide, is said to mimic the natural processes of skin communication and repair by “unlocking” skin cells’ surface receptors. Cyclopeptide-5 is customized to fit to integrins, which are responsible for the skin’s communication processes. In vitro data demonstrate that Cyclopeptide-5 up-regulates a range of genes, including laminin IV, collagen IV and fibulin, to stimulate basement membrane proteins and growth factors. Moreover, Cyclopeptide-5 is said to protect the extracellular matrix by down-regulating genes that stimulate degrading enzymes of extracellular matrix proteins such as collagenase 3 and elastase A2.

EMD Chemicals develops a variety of technology to keep ahead of ever-changing global regulations.

Another new active, RonaCare AP (INCI: Bis-ethylhexyl hydroxydimethoxy benzylmalonate), is said to reduce radical formation by 30% at 1% use levels. At 2%, it reduced skin oiliness by 20% after an 8-week treatment and improved skin inflammation and redness by 25%. RonaCare AP was also shown to efficiently protect sebum components such as squalene and sterol esters, as well as B-carotene.
Of course, the best way to reduce the signs of aging is to protect skin from UV damage. EMD Chemicals has that covered too, by offering a complete line of Eusolex inorganic, organic and encapsulated UV filters. Eusolex products have applications in traditional sunscreens, daily moisturizers and color cosmetics. By offering such a wide range of materials, EMD Chemicals is in tune with some of the most important trends in the global beauty industry.

“With the popularity of BB creams, now every customer wants a product that can do everything,” explained Vaiarelli. “We can offer them so many solutions.”

Behind these doors, EMD is rolling out an assortment of pigments, fillers and actives each year.
Along with novel pigments, fillers and actives, EMD Chemicals provides a full range of support services to guide its customers through an increasingly complex global market.

“The new Philadelphia site houses state-of-art application labs which allow us to provide hands-on trainings to our customers. Our technical, regulatory as well as marketing groups are also at this location,” explained Peng. “We not only sell high quality products but also provide full service to our customers.”

From its new facility in Philadelphia, EMD Chemicals is well positioned to keep a pipeline of novel chemistry flowing to the global beauty industry.