SCC Meets in St. Louis

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | July 10, 2013

Formulating for an aging population discussed at SCC's Scientific Seminar.

What a drag it is getting old. The Rolling Stones sang it and Baby Boomers live it. Luckily for Boomers and aging populations around the world, cosmetic chemists are developing novel means to reduce the signs of aging.

Preserving someone’s looks are one thing…preserving products are quite another, and the importance of product preservation was another session topic on tap when the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) held its Scientific Seminar in St. Louis. The event drew nearly 200 attendees. SCC president Guy Padulo noted that the event is the last scientific seminar for the foreseeable future, as the Society will turn its attention to hosting the 29th International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) Congress in 2016.

Skin Health, Microbiology and Formulation were the topics of the opening session of the SCC Scientific Seminar. Akshay Talati, Estée Lauder, was the moderator. The session featured a keynote by Steve Schnittger, Estée Lauder, who provided insights on skin microflora and objectionable organisms in cosmetics.

“We are making clean products,” he told the audience. “Not sterile products.”

Schnittger noted that the cosmetics industry does an incredible job preserving its products. In fact, during the past decade, there have been only 60 reports of eye infections by consumers.

“We have done an excellent job taking care of the consumer,” he told the audience.

Despite that success, Schnittger pointed out that the US Food and Drug Administration has, in recent years, stepped up its activities—seizing contaminated products shipped in from China, India and other countries.

US company executives should be particularly pleased with their long history of product safety, especially, when one considers that we live in a world of bacteria, with a resident population of “bugs” ranging from 102 to 106 per cm2. Despite these numbers, Schnittger noted that even the most opportunistic pathogens wouldn’t harm healthy skin. Moreover, if no moisture is present, gram negative bacteria cannot survive.

What bugs should, well, bug cosmetic chemists? Schnittger called them the big four: E. coli, S. aureus, C. albicans and P. aeruginosa.

He offered several suggestions to reduce product contamination, including routine testing of raw materials, cleaning and sanitizing equipment, using hot process water, relying on pressurized manufacturing kettles, packaging that prevents contamination and risk assessment reviews.

And even if the process is correct and GMPs are followed, preservation is becoming increasingly difficult as non-government organizations (NGOs) work hard to limit the cosmetic chemist’s arsenal of effective preservatives. But one of the biggest threat to preservation is from a lack of urgency on part of industry, according to Schnittger.

“Industry has to talk about contamination. We did a bad job defending parabens,” he insisted. “The Personal Care Product Council has to do a better job protecting preservatives.”

Other Preservation Methods
Kimberly-Clark’s Amy Vanden Heuvel proposed the use of neutral polysaccharides to control bacterial biofilms on the skin. Specifically, she suggested that inulin, a fructooligosaccharide, and a major constituent of several herbs, was found to have bacterial anti-adherent properties. One of the mechanisms that mediates bacterial adherence to skin is the interaction of pathogen carbohydrate-binding proteins with the skin, according to Vanden Heuvel. Coating the skin with polysaccharides blocks the bacterial binding properties. In fact, in one study, inulin reduced bacterial attachment by 75%. The results were confirmed in an adhesion test using EpiDerm tissue by MaTek.

The microbiologist’s work is getting more difficult as formulators eschew traditional preservation systems for ones that require a boost to ensure proper preservation. These new systems, noted Sonja Lüthje, Schülke & Mayr, often call for low or no water content, extreme pH, incorporation of chelating agents, proper packaging and safe processes to reduce microbial growth. In addition, these softer systems often require boosters to ensure product safety. For example, ethylhexylglycerin can be added to phenoxyethanol, or propanediol can be added to a combination of ethyhexylglycerin and phenoxyethanol.

“Non-traditional preservatives are more influenced by a range of factors,” she concluded.

One way to reduce the spread of germs at the user level is to use a hand sanitizer. Christopher Heisig of Steris explained how formulation techniques impact their efficacy.

“Improper formulation can negatively impact the antimicrobial efficacy of your entire skin care regimen,” he explained.

For example, the addition of an appropriate rheology modifier to an alcohol-based system at the proper concentration slows the evaporation rate of the alcohol, thereby increasing the overall efficacy of the finished formulation. Similarly, Heisig urged formulators to think about the emollients and humectants they add to their formulations, noting that some users may apply hand sanitizer many times a day.

Aging Populations
Obesity is no longer just as US problem—it’s a global issue. Furthermore, Type 2 diabetes, an obesity byproduct, causes a host of health problems and may be responsible for glycated skin. According to Fred Zuelli of Mibelle Biochemistry, glycated proteins accumulate in the skin of diabetics and lead to a loss of elasticity and premature skin aging.

“Diabetics need products to prevent the formation of advanced glycation end (AGE) products,” he explained. “And to help reduce complication from AGEs and inflammation.”

To help develop such products, the Mibelle team created a three-dimensional skin model and discovered that glycated skin featured an altered distribution of vimentin. They concluded that vimentin is a main target of glycation in skin fibroblasts and that highly glycated vimentin tends to form aggregates.

Global beauty and personal care introductions featuring anti-aging claims have increased 88% between 2009 and 2012, according to Hannah Roberts of Mintel International, Chicago. While skin care and color cosmetics account for more than 90% of these launches, the speaker urged formulators to consider subgroups, which show great growth potential: ethnic consumers, menopausal women, teens and men.

Stress, age and hormones can all weaken hair. But Yin Hessefort, Lubrizol Advanced Materials, pointed out that a typical hair relaxer treatment can cause a 50% reduction in tensile strength because it changes about one third of disulfide bonds to lanthionine bonds. To strengthen hair, Lubrizol researchers created a formula containing acrylic acid and acrylamidomethyl propane sulfonic acid copolymer.

As cells age, their ability to synthesize collagen decreases, noted Yunsub Lee of Miwon. But after a four-week treatment with myristoyl tripeptide-31, subjects saw the number of wrinkles reduced by 30%, wrinkle length reduced by 33% and wrinkle area reduced by 35%. The material also provided skin-lightening effects after 12 weeks of use.

Ethnic & Emerging Markets
The world is changing as economic growth moves toward Asia and ethnic populations increase in more mature markets. The SCC devoted a session to products for these consumers in a session moderated by Howard Epstein of EMD Chemicals. Zoe Draelos, Duke University, reviewed the unique needs of ethnic consumers and consumers in emerging markets who want even skin pigmentation, skin lightening, sun protection, a reduction in ashiness and dryness, and infection, sebum and perspiration control.

Based on their Fitzpatrick Skin Types, lighter skinned individuals (Types I-II) have an epidermal SPF of 3.4. In contrast, darker skinned people (Type III, IV and V) have an epidermal SPF of 13.4. Still, Draelos noted that black skin gets hotter than white skin and that sun protection products should focus on heat dissipation.

She also called for more attention to skin health in emerging markets, pointing out that skin hygiene is key to infection control in the developing world. Although hand sanitizers are very effective in improving the health of consumers in these regions, more work needs to be done, according to Draelos.

“Infection is the leading cause of infant and maternal death (in emerging markets),” she concluded. “(These markets) need cleansers that work in dirty, cold water, are non-toxic and low foaming.”

Mike Farwick of Evonik Industries, explained how tetrapeptide PKEK modulates skin tone and is effective on age spots, acne lesions, melasma and skin tone intensity, too. In one study, facial pigment spots significantly faded after six weeks when 40ppm PKEK was combined with 1.5% of the skin whitener sodium ascorbyl phosphate, compared to either ingredient alone. Farwick cautioned, however, that the choice of emollient, emulsifier and penetration enhancer, all have a major impact on the formula’s efficacy.

Lonza Personal Care researchers created an extract of Strelitzia nicolai arils. At 0.5%, 1% and 2% concentration levels, according to Phillip Ludwig, the extract proved to be a novel skin lightening ingredient that improved skin luminosity and reduced the appearance of under eye dark circles and under eye puffiness.

Hair needs protection too, and Andrea Keenan of Dow Chemical explained how ethylene/octene copolymer (and) ethylene/sodium acrylate copolymer creates a thermal barrier layer that protects the cuticles from damage caused by styling and heating tools. The polyolefin is partially crystalline, so it has the mechanism to absorb heat and protect hair, according to Keenan.

The final session of the SCC Seminar, devoted to consumer preferences and sensory drivers, was moderated by Johnson & Johnson’s Michael Fevola, who noted that an ingredient is not innovative until it is put into a product that the consumer wants to use. Proper sensory attributes contribute greatly to consumer acceptance and a product’s success.

Clariant’s Lisa Gandolfi reviewed product development trends in Latin America, noting that 26% of Brazilian women straighten their hair. But while a wide range of techniques and products are available to Latin American consumers, such as glyoxylic acid and natural oils, they do not work as well as formaldehyde. Therefore, she concluded, there are enormous opportunities for alternative hair straighteners in the region.

Kadri Koppel, Kansas State University, studied nail polish and found a disconnect between the enamel shade in the bottle and after application. This disparity leads to consumer dissatisfaction and a decline in brand loyalty, according to the speaker. Koppel also evaluated products based on smoothness, spreadability, drag and other attributes and found that the first strokes on the nail may influence consumers’ opinion of the product.

Paula Lennon, Gattefossé, reviewed the analysis of sensorial preferences in skin care across South American and Asia in the hope of designing cosmetics that help consumers better tolerate humid conditions. The team reviewed 160 formulations and found that consumers in Brazil and India have a strong preference for formulations with low residual film and low greasiness upon application.

Pfizer’s Gary Agisim delivered the final presentation of the scientific session, in a review of recent advances in stick lip balms. He noted that lips have a unique structure in that they have no stratum corneum, no melanocytes and no sweat or oil glands.

Therefore, lip skin requires the protection afforded by lip balms, but at the same time, the formulas must taste good and be transfer resistant to ensure regular consumer use.

SCC Recognizes the Next Generation
• The Student Poster Showcase, which takes place during the Scientific Seminar, promotes student research in the cosmetic industry. This year there were 14 posters presented highlighting each individual student’s ideas and research. Schools represented included Jones County Junior College, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Southern Mississippi, St. Louis University and the University of Guelph (Canada). The Poster Awards are sponsored by DD Chemco. Members of the Committee on Scientific Affairs judged the posters and the award for First Place went to Shona Burkes (University of Cincinnati) for her poster entitled “Determination of Infantile Hemangioma Progression Using Non-Invasive Imaging Modalities.” Second Place was awarded to Asmira Selimovic (St. Louis University) for her poster entitled “Encapsulated Electrodes for Microchip Devices: Microarrays and Platinized Electrodes for Signal Enhancement of Nitric Oxide Detection.” Third Place was awarded to Sudhir Baswan (University of Cincinnati) for his poster entitled “Characterization of Ion Transport in Human Nail Plate.” Fourth Place was awarded to Laura Hardebeck (St. Louis University) for her poster entitled “Predicting DNA-Intercalator Binding: The Development of an Arene-Arene Stacking Parameter.”

The awards were presented by Bret Katz of DD Chemco at the Friday luncheon.

In addition, the Society of Cosmetic Chemists Award sponsored by Rhodia Novecare was noted during the luncheon on Thursday. The award was won by Elizabeth Grice, Ph.D. for her paper entitled “Surveying the Skin Microbiome and Host Response in Health and Disease.” This award recognizes the Best Paper presented at the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting.
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