Article by: Perry Romanowski

Last month I got to spend time at the InCosmetics event in Milan. It was a great experience and a lively show. Here are some of my observations about the event.

Cosmetic Trade show layout

If you have never been to a trade show, here’s what you can expect. They are typically held in a large expo center where you have a huge room filled with booths from all the most important companies in the industry. Some of the booths are small and simple containing a few posters and a couple chairs. Other booths are elaborate constructions taking up large areas. They’ll have entertainment, a bar, tables, and displays of the new raw materials being launched. It really can be an amazing site. InCosmetics was no different.

There were over 500 companies from around the world (mostly Europe) and nearly 7000 visitors. At times it got pretty crowded and difficult to walk down some of the aisles. But there was an energy you could feel. You knew things were happening, business deals were being made. It was great.

Diversity was much more prevalent at the InCosmetics show compared to shows in the United States. There were so many different languages being spoken that you often felt like being on the floor of a UN meeting. It certainly made me want to learn a new language.

Sustainability in Cosmetics

The theme of the show was sustainability. This is a big buzzword with cosmetic raw material companies so it’s not surprising that almost 80% of all booths had some sort of sustainability theme. There were fair trade Aloe companies and sustainable Palm Oil displays. There were plant based emulsifiers, non-paraben preservatives, and even plant derived stem cells.

An interesting collection, but I was a bit disappointed that there weren’t more ingredients to provide new benefits to consumers. The focus on sustainability has really derailed the development of new consumer benefits. Does a beauty product user ultimate care about whether their shampoo uses fair-trade, coconut based surfactants or not? Not really. They are more concerned about whether it cleans their hair.

Other cosmetic information

In addition to the booths of chemical companies, trade shows usually have some sort of educational component to the event. InCosmetics had a variety of talks on sustainability, branding, new raw material technology and even a discussion on new formula optimization software by Johann Wiechers. These educational talks are yet another benefit to going to a trade show like inCosmetics.

Cosmetic Science Training

I spent much of my time at the Allured Publishing booth explaining to people about the Complete Cosmetic Chemist training program. We had a good crowd and everyone was friendly and attentive. I only regret that I didn’t do a little juggling but I didn’t want to undermine my credibility as a serious scientist. Lol.

Incidentally, you can still get in on the cosmetic science training program. Just click the link.

Upcoming cosmetic trade shows

There are a few trade shows coming up and perhaps in a separate blog post I’ll put a list. But in the United States the biggest trade show that is coming up for the cosmetics industry is Suppliers Day (put on by the NYSCC). It is going on in mid-May and promises to have representation from all the most significant suppliers to the cosmetic industry. The focus will be on raw materials but there will also be packaging suppliers, contract manufacturers, testing houses, and magazines. Unfortunately, I won’t be going to this one but perhaps next year. I know it will be an excellent show.

What cosmetic industry trade shows do you attend? Leave a comment below.

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