Episode 41: Mark Broussard - Formulating to a Natural Standard

Interview: Mark Broussard - Starts at 10:00

Mark Broussard is a cosmetic formulator and entrepreneur who has a BS degree in Microbiology & Immunology, a Masters in Organic Chemistry and an MBA from University of Texas - Austin. He has worked in Corporate Development and Venture Capital focused on private equity investments, mergers & acquisitions in the environmental and life sciences fields focusing on biotechnology and healthcare. In 2010, Mark founded Desert In Bloom, a medical spa focusing on esthetics treatments with an emphasis on acne-prone skin conditions.

Text of the show

Cosmetic Science News

I’ve got two stories to talk about this week. Both are related to cosmetics but involve ingestible products.

The first story I wanted to talk about was this one I saw in Cosmetics Design about the drinkable beauty market. According to market analysts the nutricosmetics market will reach $7.4 billion in worldwide says. That’s a lot! To give you an idea of comparison the natural cosmetic market is about $30 billion. The total cosmetic market is about $450 billion. But they say the nutricosmetics, or ingestible cosmetics as I like to say is the strongest growing segment. It also represents the intersection between the cosmetic industry and the beverage industry.

I think cosmetic companies are in a better spot to take advantage of this trend but companies like Coke and Pepsi might also try their hand at these types of products. After all, it will likely be food scientists formulating these products. This is a good reason for cosmetic scientists to brush up on their food product formulating. The ingredients are a bit different.

They say that there is a bunch of research that documents the links between beauty, health and supplements but the reality is there isn’t much good research. In fact, there is scant evidence that any supplement can be taken to specifically improve your skin condition.

I guess it doesn’t matter much though because we live in a world where people want to believe. People want to believe that taking vitamins or other supplements will improve their health and now apparently, their appearance too.

It’s also an area that is much less regulated than cosmetics so these companies can make much stronger claims without as much data to back up what they are saying. And consumers keep buying…sigh.

Anyway, as a formulator I would suggest you start looking into how to create these types of products. It might make sense to attend a seminar on making food supplements. Maybe I’ll find an expert and collaborate to create one here on Chemists Corner.

The second story is about aging and some recent findings that could actually change the entire landscape of the cosmetic industry. Don’t worry, people will still need cosmetics for the foreseeable future but the antiaging market might not be as hot.

According to this story scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered a new class of drugs called Senolytics. These are compounds that target old cells and kill them off. They found by killing off the older, non-dividing cells they can keep mice looking and feeling younger.

So in our bodies we have these stem cells which are highly resistant to dying off. That’s good because these are the cells that continually make new layers of skin for example. Well, most cells adhere to the Hayflick limit which is about 30 generations. That is they can divide about 30 to 50 times before they stop. Now, most of these cells will just die off but many of them can stick around and start causing diseases associated with people who are older.

Anyway, this new drug class finds those old cells and kills them off. This allows new, younger cells to take over their place and, theoretically, life would be extended. They’ve found in mice that on these drugs the animals have improved cardiovascular function, exercise endurance, and an extended health span. They say with just one treatment older mice had highly improved cardiovascular function. It sounds pretty exciting.

I could imagine this same thing going on for skin cells. One of the reasons people get wrinkles is that their cells stop producing collagen and elastin. So maybe a drug like this could help replenish the younger cells and aging skin might not be as problematic.

We’ll see. I bet it will be a long way off though. The researchers want to do more testing in mice before they do any human trials. That’s probably a good idea. Who knows what effect killing off all your old cells will have. I wonder how that would affect your memory.

Formulating Tips
Today’s formulating tip is about cosmetics and drugs and how to avoid turning your cosmetic into a drug. It’s easier than you might think.

To avoid the problem of turning your cosmetic into a drug follow these tips.

1. Don’t claim that your product will treat a disease.
2. Don’t claim your product changes the body’s biochemistry
3. Use phrases like “changes the appearance” or “helps the body” or “stimulates”
4. Don’t ascribe function to any single ingredient. Always say your formula provides the benefits.

If you follow these tips you should be ok but you’ll see some competitor’s who continue to make drug claims. Don’t do it. These companies are probably in it for the short term to make quick money then get out before they are busted by the FDA. If you are serious about building a beauty brand avoid turning your cosmetics into drugs.

First, you can still join our Natural Formulating course. This is a course that teaches you how to create cosmetics that can be sold as ‘natural’ cosmetics. If you are serious about following a natural product marketing spin, this is the class you need. It’s filling up fast and if you’re listening to this show in the future it might be closed to new students. To find out more information go to Chemists Corner.com/natural

Next, I’ll be speaking at the Natural Symposium in Minnesota on March 17th. You can get more information about that at the Twin Cities SCC website.

And finally, I’ll also be giving a one day seminar on Cosmetic Product Development on April 13th in New York at the SCC headquarters. Go to scconline.org for more information.

As always, feel free to post questions or comments in our cosmetic science forum. We are up over 1000 discussions and it’s still free to join.

Also, follow us on Twitter (Chemistscorner) and like us on Facebook.

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