Article by: Perry Romanowski

First talk was by Dr Sam Shefer about fighting acne using time release technology. He explained the problems formulating with salicylic acid and discussed a solution which involved encapsulation technology. Interesting but the ingredient seemed pretty complicated. How could they possibly prove that each component is necessary? A good story and the MultiSal may be worth evaluating but I remain a bit skeptical.

Second talk was about technologies for skin lightening by Cecilia Teran from Active Concepts. She discussed lots of metabolic pathways that are involved in skin pigmentation and strategies for blocking synthesis. Interesting but isn’t this a drug? Many cosmetic companies in this area make claims that border on drug claims. The nice part about the talk was that she presented lots of alternatives to hydroquinone. None worked better but it is still interesting to see where there is active research.

Third speaker, Marcie Natale talked about the biosynthesis of esters. Same price, lower waste. This sounds like a great idea. Natural formulators should check out compounds from Eastman Chemical.

Fourth talk was by Any Ziegler from Mintel about the customization of the cosmetic industry. Many companies launching segmented market products. eg. products for specific ages and ethnicities. Her suggestion for future product innovations: new ingredients, advanced technologies. Consumer identities. My favorite part of her talk, consumer groups Glammas (glamorous grandmas) and Mammals (middle aged men in Lycra).

Next talk was a scientific look at formaldehyde and alternative hair straighteners by Dr Ali Syed. I like seeing explanations of scientific research. Carbocysteine was just as effective as formaldehyde. I wonder how it does versus a relaxer.

The final speaker is the keynote given via Skype. Rebecca Gadberry presents a talk about the Epigenome. Hurrah, biochemistry. Very interesting stuff. Unfortunately, the technology failed half way though. She has great slides by the way.

Overall, a good session of talks. Now, off to the trade show.

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