Symposium chair, Marc Cornell, Mar-Key Consulting, commented that recent trends in skin microbiota and “free of” marketing claims brought the attendees and speakers into a lively discussion during the Q&A session.
“Product labeling and regulatory topics also peppered the evening’s chatter as these topics remain hot buttons for the cosmetic industry,” he added.
Fermentation was the topic of the opening session by Vince Gruber, PhD, the director of new technologies at Jeen International and BotanicalsPlus. He noted that the ancient process is finding new uses in industry for several reasons. Specifically, fermentation:
• is simple;
• is natural
• is relatively inexpensive;
• reduces complex starting biomass into simpler ingredients;
• can make ingredients more “bioavailable;”
• can help support natural digestive processes and skin microbe flora; and
• can change an ingredient’s taste and texture.
Gruber reviewed several fermented cosmetic products that are already on the market, including a 100% Pure Fermented Rice Water Cleansers from 100% Pure, Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence from Soko Glam and Pitera Essence by SK-II.
Gruber noted that ingredient labels can be confusing to consumers; for example, yeast extract is a common ingredient in many cosmetics, but few shoppers understand why the ingredient is in formulas or its benefits. According to the speaker, yeast extracts can contain amino acids, polysaccharides and small sugars, lipids and lipid precursors, protein and peptides, and genetic remnants (DNA, RNA).
Gruber predicted that interest in sustainable bio-fermentation will continue to expand, especially as interest in the skin microbiome grows. He suggested two books for those who want to learn more: The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz and Principles of Fermentation Technology, Third Edition, by Peter F. Stanbury, Allan Whitaker and Stephen J. Hall.
Consumers say that they want natural and/or organic products, but no one can agree what these terms mean in the cosmetics space, observed Chris Johnson of Croda International. After reviewing the Webster/Merriman definition of natural, and providing some examples of natural and natural-derived products, Johnson noted increasing consumer interest in natural personal care products is due to several factors, including: growing concern in the fate of the planet; increased demand for alternative fuel sources, organic foods and sustainable business practices; ongoing shift in consumer culture; and increased consumer awareness of natural product offerings.
“Consumers believe that natural personal care products are safer to use on themselves and their families, promote overall health and well-being and are better for the environment,” noted Johnson. “But what materials we can use are influenced by media, NGOs, private standards, and ‘free-from’ claims. A lot of people think if it’s on the internet, it must be true!” he added.
Johnson reviewed some of the steps that governments are taking to alert the public about misinformation; but ironically, most legislators are poorly versed in the science behind sustainability. Compounding the problem is that many products that are promoted as “natural” are merely “nature-inspired” (whatever that means!).
Moreover, Johnson noted that there are many formulating obstacles to creating natural products, including a decreasing number of acceptable ingredients, inconsistent supply, pH limitations and odor issues; and problems with large scale manufacturing.
“Natural personal care is a moving target; there are still no regulation of ‘natural’ or ‘green’ claims,” he observed. “Acceptable industry norms to help define natural are emerging.”
Despite these challenges, Johnson predicted that natural personal care demand will continue to grow as issues such as sustainability and biodiversity, climate change and conservation, and fair trade and poverty alleviation remain in the headlines.
What’s next for the New York Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists? On Wednesday, the Chapter will be at the Valley Regency in Clifton for a Symposium on skin barrier disruption and inflammation. The 4:30pm speaker is Carine Mainzer, Silab, who will answer the question “How do skin cells communicate to immune effectors?” After dinner, Peter M. Elias, MD, will present “Topical Therapy for Atopic Dermatitis: Occlusive Moisturizers v. Physiologic Lipid Barrier Repair Approaches.”
More info: http://nyscc.org/event-directory/