Article by: Perry Romanowski

Show Notes:

Desiree Mattox interview

Desiree Mattox is the owner and operator of Envie Bath and Body
Read her blog: The Glam Laboratory
Follow her on Twitter: envielabs

Cosmetic News

AAD: broad-spectrum sunscreen important, antioxidants could be the future

A new study by the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) has further emphasized how important it is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect skin against cancer and the aging effects of the sun. They even say that adding antioxidants to formulas could be a key tactic in the future.

In research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, scientists say that antioxidants could help turn passive UV absorbing or reflecting sunscreens into active protectors.

Researcher Dr. Steven Wang says that sunscreens with UVA protection reduces the total amount of free radicals generated in the skin.

In the past people were more concerned with blocking UVB rays because these are the ones that cause sunburns. It is only recently that UVA has become a big concern.

Dr. Wang also cautioned that while supplementing sunscreens with antioxidants could boost the body’s natural defense against UVA damage, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of antioxidants in topical products. This will be one of the main challenges for cosmetic formulators.

In the US, new FDA sunscreen rules will make it mandatory for manufacturers who make broad-spectrum claims about sunscreens to follow specific tests that prove protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

This is going to mean that a lot of sunscreens will have to be reformulated. Good news for sunscreen cosmetic chemists.

Cell-based alternative to animal testing found to detect allergies

This is interesting news for cosmetic chemists who are concerned about animal testing. Researchers in Sweden report finding a cell-based alternative to animal testing that can detect allergic reaction and the strength of response to certain cosmetics.

They use laboratory grown human cells to classify chemicals as sensitizing or non-sensitizing. They also are able to predict the strength of the allergic response.

The research can be found in the latest issue of BMC Genomics. They found 200 genes in their human cell culture line that could discriminate between sensitizing and non-sensitizing chemicals. This data correlated with known data about cosmetic chemicals.

Of course, more work has to be done to verify the procedure but it is promising.

In the EU, they banned animal testing for new cosmetic products and ingredients in 2009 so currently there is no approved way to demonstrate that a product will not result in allergies. This test might help change that.

This does demonstrate one of the challenges you’ll face as a cosmetic formulator. Often, regulators make rules that are ahead of scientific developments. Banning animal testing in 2009 seemed like a good idea when they proposed it but the officials figured we’d have alternatives by now. Unfortunately, we don’t. Cosmetic chemists in Europe are now hampered and it is extremely difficult to develop innovative, new formulations.

Ah, but this is the life of a cosmetic formulator.

Cosmetic Science Formulation

A strategy that still holds promise for allowing you to make your cosmetic formulations stand out is the creation of multifunctional cosmetics. While there is no single definition to what constitutes a multifunctional cosmetic, there are three aspects of it that can impact your formulation.

1. Multifunctional Performance
2. Multifunctional Cosmetic Ingredients
3. Multifunctional Applications

Differentiating your formulations will continue to be a challenge all cosmetic formulators face. You can achieve some real differentiation if you apply some of these principles of multifunctionality.


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You can still sign up for the Complete Cosmetic Chemist cosmetic science training program here.

Perry Romanowski will be speaking at the Hair and Skin Conference California on August 27, 2011

If you have a question, comment or other suggestion about the podcast, leave a message in the space below.

Chemists Corner is a podcast about cosmetic science and is broadcast to help educate, entertain, and inspire current and future cosmetic scientists. The information and opinions discussed on Chemists Corner are those of the hosts and the guests alone. They do not necessarily reflect those of any past, present or future employers.


About the Author

Perry Romanowski

Perry has been formulating cosmetic products and inventing solutions to solve consumer problems since the early 1990’s. Additionally, he has written and edited numerous articles and books, taught continuing education classes for industry scientists, and developed successful websites. His latest book is Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry 3rd Edition published by Allured.


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    Chelsea raver

    Hi I think it would also be helpful to have a podcast strictly dealing with cosmetic animal testing or just animal testing.

  2. Avatar

    Hi Perry, Thank you again for a wonderful pod! I wish there was something similar in the EU, specially on the topic of animal testing and the multifunctional products, both are very relevant for me right now. I also like the hard rock intro, is that your band? 😉 I hope you’ll enjoy your conference. Take care & keep up the lovely work!

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      Thanks Eliza! I think we’ll have to do a special animal testing podcast in the future

  3. Avatar

    Nice interview, educating. Keep it that way…

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