The World Comes to Orlando

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | December 1, 2016

More than 1,600 chemists traveled to Florida for the IFSCC Congress

It was a party…with a purpose! The International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) held its 29th Congress in Orlando, FL Oct. 30-Nov. 2, 2016. Beauty industry researchers from around the world gathered in Walt Disney World to hear and read about the latest research in hair and skin.

“(It was) a stellar and superb IFSCC Congress—the best one yet. Logistics and location were excellent. This Congress was the perfect blend of science, exhibition, social atmosphere and networking,” said Guy Padulo, chair, 29th IFSCC Congress Organizing Committee. “The 1,600-plus attendees all went away with a passion for newly found research ideas and practical knowledge to improve future cosmetic innovations!”

There certainly was a lot to learn. The Congress featured 74 podium presentations, eight keynote addresses and more than 300 posters from global authors offering a tremendous level of science for every sector of the cosmetic world. The scientific sessions were devoted to a range of topics, including delivery systems, sun protection, biomimicry, regulations, sustainability, color cosmetics, skin biology and many more.

“The 29th IFSCC Congress showcased the importance and unique value of the Federation. Global partnerships were built and networks enhanced,” noted IFSCC president Amy Wyatt. “Discoveries inspired long-term research as well as immediate application once back in our laboratories. Today, there are many events competing for our resources but no other is able to deliver the unique value the IFSCC has provided since 1959. I am honored to be president of this important organization.”

Shed Some Light

The Congress may serve as a celebration of cosmetic chemistry, but that didn’t stop some presenters from issuing sobering words of caution. For example, one keynote speaker, Robert Sayre, owner, Rapid Precision Testing Laboratories, asked the provocative question, “As sunscreens became more effective, why did cancer rates soar?”

According to Sayre, photostability of sunscreens in vivo doesn’t exist. He urged attendees to take a closer look at sun care products and conduct real-world testing.

“Clearly the current testing does not provide any result that can be relied upon as the products must perform for the consumer as labeled and provide a defined degree of protection when used correctly,” he concluded.

Sayre suggested four steps to help remedy the situation:
  • First, remove ingredients from sunscreen products that alter the response to sunlight injury;
  • Second, all sunscreen products must be able to provide two hours of protection in sunlight to individuals at risk to sunlight injury;
  • Third, clinical methods must be developed defining how long the protection can be relied upon to be effective; and
  • Fourth, if dietary furocoumarins are responsible for melanoma, then furocoumarins in citrus fruits must be identified. Then, perhaps, animal and human photostability testing can determine if sunscreen might be effective.
To further turn the sunscreen business on its head, John Staton, Dermatest, delivered “SPF—Real or Imagined?”

According to Staton, SPF test result data, collected from many sources, strongly indicate that the reported SPF is significantly variable lab to lab. The main reason for this, said Staton, appears to be interpretation of minimal erythemal dose (MED). In published reports, MED can be variously reported in exposure seconds, decimals of minutes, mJ/ sq cm, μ J/ sq cm, J/sq m or not at all. Staton called for refinement of state of the art SPF testing in order to improve inter-lab reproducibility. The use of Fitzpatrick classification of test subjects should be replaced by the individual typology angle (ITA)  values for test subjects as it is a continuum reflective of the real world. He further suggested that instrumental calibration of the measurement of the erythemal endpoint—the MED—is a possible tool for reducing variability based on visual assessment.

In another assessment of sun care efficacy, Germain Puccetti of Ashland Specialty Ingredients reviewed how water impacts sunscreen film integrity on the skin. He noted that sunscreens demonstrate a wide range of performances at the air/water interface. Lower water resistances seem associated with rounder particles while higher water resistant products exhibit more elongated types of particles.

If previous speakers raised questions about the efficacy of today’s sun care products, Jean-Francois Nicolay of Exsymol offered a solution. He described how a nature-inspired urocanic acid product, called cis-methylthiopropenoïc acid conjugate (MTPC), prevents DNA damage and immunosuppressive signaling induced by UVB radiation. Trans MTPC is a natural material found in plants of the Entada genus. Further, MTPC has some photoprotective and anti-inflammatory properties, too.

In another session, this one devoted to regulatory compliance and innovation, Donna Macmillan, Lhasa Limited, explained that in silico models such as Derek Nexus are suitable tools to predict the skin sensitization potential of cosmetic ingredients. It performs particularly well when assigning binary classifications, correctly predicting chemicals as sensitizers 82% and non-sensitizers 66% of the time. However, the model does not work as well in predicting an ingredient’s potency. The good news is that when the model mispredicts a chemical, it tends to predict a more potent EC3 value than experimentally observed.

Is It Sustainable?

He has been called the Father of Green Chemistry, and Paul Anastas, who along with John Warner, authored the seminal book, Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice, takes his subject very seriously. Unfortunately, too often others don’t take the subject seriously enough, he charged. According to Warner, 15 of the 16 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. 

Since 1970, there has already been a 58% overall decline in the numbers of fish, mammals, birds and reptiles worldwide, according to the WWF’s latest bi-annual Living Planet Index. If accurate, that means wildlife across the globe is vanishing at a rate of 2% a year.

“We can’t just say that we need to be more sustainable and go about our business,” Anastas said. “We can’t create anything that is truly beautiful if we are destroying things.”

He called for transformational change on a global level involving several new technologies, including sensors, 3D printers and scanners, synthetic biology and artificial intelligence.

“Great transformation come when we have new perspectives and new awareness: that’s green chemistry!” Anastas insisted. “The 12 Principles of Green Chemistry are an integrated system that can be interwoven across the product lifecycle. That’s where true innovation can be found.”

Suppliers and their customers are developing innovative ingredients and formulas intended to meet Anastas’ challenge. Eric Lind of Vantage Specialty Chemicals detailed the benefits of renewable 1,3-propanediol v. petroleum derived alklyene oxides. PDO-based chemistry offers advantages over the petroleum based EO or PO monomers by being renewable, less reactive, nonhazardous, PEG-free and readily biodegradable. Oil-in-water cosmetic emulsions formulated with the PDO-based emulsifiers had higher viscosities when compared to the same emulsions that substituted PEG based emulsifiers. According to Lind, cosmetic products formulated with renewable PDO-based emulsifiers gave elegant sensory profiles and moisturization performance that were equivalent to those cosmetics formulated with petroleum-based EO emulsifiers.

How Does It Feel?

Formulating more natural products is one thing, but will consumers prefer them to synthetics? After all, green formulas account for less than 20% of beauty product sales, according to Pola Cosmetics’ Atsushi Nioh, who detailed a technique for formulating natural/organic cosmetic emulsions to improve their sensory textures and functions. Pola researchers applied hexagonal liquid-crystal (H1)-phase to emulsify natural-organic glucoside (Mal2Far). Using natural-organic emulsifiers, this study developed a new emulsification method for obtaining fine and homogenous O/W emulsions. The method could remarkably widen the range of the sensory-texture design of natural-organic emulsion products and also discover new functions, which were never provided by conventional products. Nioh concluded that the achievement in this study is expected to contribute to the expansion of the natural-organic cosmetic market.  Audrey Manière and Nabila Belhaj of Lucas Meyer Cosmetics detailed how a novel thickener-emulsifier acts as cooling agent to enhance sensory experience. This mixture of sodium acrylate copolymer and lecithin produced comparable cooling effects to menthol and other cooling agents without any irritation. That’s because the acrylate/lecithin material impacts TRPM8 receptors in a similar fashion as a formula containing 1% menthol.

Take a Bow!

The 29th Congress is in the books, and the organizing committee, which included Robert Lochhead, Padulo, Colleen Rocafort, Wyatt, Doreen Scelso and David Smith, noted the herculean effort required a lot of dedication from volunteers.

“The challenge before us, as Host Society, was very real—to both welcome the global cosmetics and personal care community to Orlando and to deliver a program featuring the highest-quality science balanced against unparalleled social events,” said Smith, executive director, SCC, the host society. “Programs like this require full commitment from all involved and thanks to the dedication of our committees and staff, the support of our sponsors and media partners, and the incredible spirit of volunteerism so prevalent across the SCC I think we met this challenge head-on. It was an honor to serve as Host Society.”

Attendees certainly enjoyed themselves.

“(We’ve heard) Nothing but rave reviews for IFSCC 2016 in Orlando,” Padulo concluded.

Now the torch has been passed to other Societies. The 2017 IFSCC Conference will be held Oct. 23-25 in Seoul, Korea. The 2018 IFSCC Congress is set for Sept. 18-21 in Munich, Germany. For more information, visit www.ifscc.org 

For more on the presentations that took place at IFSCC, log on to www.happi.com