Article by: Perry Romanowski
On Saturday we had a “tweet-up” with a group of cosmetic chemists. A “tweet-up” is just an agreed upon time in which users who are on Twitter virtually gather and discuss a topic. Most of the people in the group had never done one before (I had not) and it was interesting. The topic of the day was Natural Cosmetics. If you want to see the discussion do a search for #CosChemChat on Twitter. Since Twitter has a tendency to make it difficult to find old Tweets I thought it would be helpful to collect all the relevant discussions and do a summary here.
Cosmetic Chemists who tweet
Here is a list of all the cosmetic chemists who participated in this tweet-up. Be sure to follow everyone.
thelahobo – Moderator
Natural Cosmetic Chat Topics
There were a wide range of issues related to natural cosmetics that were discussed. The first thing that was about the impact of natural cosmetic marketing on traditional cosmetics. There seemed to be agreement that there was some impact on formulating, but it is still a minor part of formulating. Also mentioned in the thread was the difficulties of formulating and whether consumers even want natural products that might not perform as well.
Impact of Natural trend on formulas
A few of the formulators suggested that the impact of natural on formulating included…
1. Naturals made formulas more expensive
2. Naturals made formulas potentially less stable (oxidation)
3. Naturals were harder to work with, required more formulation time without benefit.
4. They also don’t work as well. Inconsistent batches
5. Consumers are the losers in this natural trend.
6. It’s good job security for formulators
The topic of natural marketing and greenwashing was discussed. Highlights from this topic…
1. If consumers want natural, marketing groups will respond.
2. Marketers want to incorporate natural ingredients until they hear the price.
3. Cosmetic lines highlight natural ingredients to get around making a 100% natural formula
4. The desire for natural ingredients comes from the mistaken notion that synthetic ingredients are bad.
5. The term ‘natural’ is not defined.
6. Greenwashing may be exactly what consumers want.
7. Greenwashing is the perfect balance of giving consumers a feeling of natural while delivering a functional product.
There was also some disagreement about the effectiveness of natural formulas. While many of the group believed the notion that natural formulas do not work as well, at least one participant questioned that belief.
“The German pharma industry is largely natural based”
“If Pharma can prove that naturals work I question the idea that all naturals are ineffective”
Although, no one claimed that naturals were ineffective.
“Naturals do work. Chemists use anything that works. If naturals work better, we use naturals”
First Cosmetic Chat Tweetup
Well, that about sums it up. It was interesting to participate in the discussion. For me it was challenging to keep up with all the side discussions and it may have benefitted from having some set questions in the beginning, but overall I think it was a good chat.
Hopefully, we get some more starting questions for the next one. I’m not sure when that will be but I’d be happy to do it again.
Here’s a snapshot of the entire conversation just in case it gets deleted from Twitter over time.