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Natural Sun-filters

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Solar Ultraviolet Radiations UVA and UVB are complete carcinogens. They both cause DNA damage and, in the process of DNA repair, mutations are generated at non-negligible rates. Some mutations provoke the so-called transformation in which a cell acquires unlimited replication potential and loss of growth control.

UV radiation is also known to be the single most effective factor of skin aging. This occurs via the elicitation of a strong inflammatory reaction that provokes multiple oxidative cascades as well as the release of Matrix Metallo Proteinases, the consequent disorganization of the elastic fibers and a massive deposition of elastin.

Since the early twentieth century it is known that sunburn is provoked by UVB and the cosmetic industry developed UVB filters to protect against it. For two generations, between 1935 and 1985, UVB filters were used to protect the skin. In spite of the use of these filters it was observed that the skin of sun-worshippers became sagging and accumulated wrinkles, as if something else than UVB could accelerate skin aging. Experiments performed in the late 80s and early 90s by casting UV radiation of defined wavelengths on the skin of hairless rodents allowed scientists to realize that skin sagging is the consequence of UVA irradiation (1). UVA was also shown to induce DNA damage when in the presence of Oxygen and transition metals (2), as is the case in vivo. The cosmetic industry therefore developed UVA filters.

The preparations of formulas to protect against UV radiation is not straightforward, insofar as the protection afforded by the filters is not proportional to their concentration, that is that in order to double the SPF of a formula one might need to increase the concentration of the filter by a factor of three or four, and the filters at high concentration affect the esthetics of the formula and might affect the health of the skin as well. In addition, the UVA filters agreed to be in the positive list of the FDA are unstable. Remarkably, the FDA opposes the addition to the positive list, of new, stable UVA filters that transfer energy to molecular Oxygen and produce singlet Oxygen, the most reactive of the Reactive Oxygen Species. The FDA is probably right: with Quantum Yields of singlet Oxygen generation that reach up to 0.09, these UVA sun-filters could safely be called photosensitizers.

There is a need for new, safe, non-expensive UVA filters. They can be found in nature, for instance as components of edible algae (3). Plants and algae are particularly interesting insofar as they are accessible to investigation and constitute a sustainable material for extraction or production. Porphyra umbilicalis (also known as Nori) is an alga growing on Asian coastal lines. It is used to wrap sushi pieces in Japanese cuisine. It contains relevant amounts of Mycosporine–like amino acids (MAA) which absorb UV radiation with a sharp peak in the UV-A region, centered at 334 nm. Its molecular weight is around 350 and its molar extinction coefficient at 334 nm is 44,000. This is to say that its K-value is similar to the one of Parsol 1789. Nori extracts can be used to dramatically improve the broad-spectrum absorption of sunscreens. Materials absorbing at 330-340 nm are also demanded globally, for products aimed at evening skin tone, because they absorb in the UV-A region known to provoke the immediate pigment darkening.

Oftentimes the process of extraction of the material of interest only offers a limited yield, as it is the case when the material of interest is unstable in the conditions of the extraction, but this is not the case for the MAA from Nori. The biomass is suspended and incubated in diluted acetic acid (~0.5%) (1:50 w/v) to avoid the extraction of large cellular polymers such as DNA and RNA. Upon separating the biomass from the extraction fluid, a second round of extraction and possibly a third round of extraction can be performed, so as to extract as much of the molecule of interest as possible, when this is compatible of the cost of the extraction itself. The extraction fluid is then concentrated and reduced to a powder state by the process of Spray-drying.

At this stage the extract is appropriate for being used in cosmetic formulas. The cost of extraction is minimal and the abundance of the biomass is such that the cost of the bulk of algae is negligible. This makes the MAA from Porphyra umbilicalis an ingredient of choice for new sunscreens. As a matter of fact, this MAA does not absorb in the UVB and as such, technically, it is not considered to be a sun-filter by the FDA and can therefore be used to boost the protection of broad-spectrum sunscreens.



1- Bissett DL, Hannon DP, Orr TV (1989) Wavelength dependence of histological, physical and visisble changes in chronically UV-irradiated hairless mouse skin. Photochem Photobiol 50 : 763-769

2-Audic A, Giacomoni PU (1993) DNA nicking by UV radiation is enhanced in the presence of Iron and Oxygen. Photochem Photobiol 57 : 508-512

3-Sinha RP, Singh SP, Häder DP (2007) Database on mycosporine and mycosporine- like amino acids (MAAs) in fungi, cyanobacteria, macroalgae, phytoplankton and animals. J Photochem Photobiol B 89 : 29-35


Paolo Giacomoni acts as an independent consultant to the Skin Care industry.  He has served as CSO of Élan Rose International (2015-2-2018), as VP of Skin Care R&D with Herbalife (2011-2014) and was Executive Director of Research at Estée Lauder (1998-2011). Dr. Giacomoni was also in charge of research and communications for Clinique and has conducted research on cell and surface biochemistry for best-selling products.  During his tenure at L’Oréal, as Head of the Department of Biology, and then as scientific attaché to the Director of Applied Research, he built a record of achievement through research on DNA damage and metabolic impairment induced by UV radiation as well as on the positive effects of antioxidants.  Dr, Giacomoni was one of the founders of the European Society for Photobiology as well as of the European Network for the Study of the Biology of Aging. He has authored 100+ publications and patents. He received his Ph.D., in Biochemistry from Université Paris VI, a Laurea in Atomic Physics from Università di Milano, and had Post-Doctoral Training at Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, at University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI and at University of California, San Diego, CA.




Skin Microbiome

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As a skin biologist and researcher of technology in the personal care field for over 20 years, there are few times in one’s career that you experience a trend that has the legs to become a new playing field in science.  The skin microbiome strides made in recent years have truly been remarkable.  Not only have the number of products available addressing the skin microbiome exploded but the number of research papers and articles on the topic has captivated the industry.  Furthermore, it highlights the direction and utilization of systems biology as a tool by applying the learnings of microbiology, skin biology, biochemistry, genetics and ecology all into one discipline.  The field is still in its infancy and in constant transition as the methods and models being employed are still being optimized to reduce bias and improve precision and accuracy.

The single primary driver of this new frontier are the remarkable advancements in high throughput gene sequencing and the computational analysis required to handle massive amounts of data and put it into a meaningful perspective.  Not only can we identify bacteria faster and more cost efficiently, but now we understand through genetic comparisons that strains of a species can differ significantly resulting in the difference between health and disease under a variety of conditions.  This was one of many topics permeating throughout a recent scientific microbiome congress held in Boston pulling together forces within the industry to form a multi-disciplinary approach to the opportunities and advancements within this growing field.   Other topics included consumer education, regulatory preambles, biological target identification, microbiome relevance, host-biome interactions and advances in technology used to study the human microbiome.

With all science comes controversy.  Areas of debate range from what defines a healthy microbiome to how diverse the microbiome should be and why our skin is losing its biodiversity.  Many claims and research point to our forefathers (hunter gatherer societies today) as having a much more diverse skin microbiome than modern man.  Thus, the prevalence of skin-related issues is markedly reduced in tribes living in the Amazon compared to that of our modern city dweller.  This loss of biodiversity has been linked to a significant increase in allergy-related disease.  Furthermore, the use of preservatives and complex ingredients in skin care products has been deemed suspect.  The relevance to other trendy areas within skin care can now be woven with a new perspective.  These include the role of pollution and the duration of solar radiation exposure.  Since the skin is the youngest organ in our body in terms of evolution, the sun and atmospheric environment plays a major role in its phenotype and function.  Research is now linking the evolution of our skin microbiome to the same influential environmental pressures.

The skin microbiome is the total sum of all microbes that live on or in the skin.  It is a highly dynamic entity that is analogous to a beehive in that it is responsive and adaptive to the many internal and external factors influencing its environment all simultaneously.  The exciting aspect of the skin microbiome is that it will force traditional science to think differently.  Application of environmental science theorems are now being placed into equations, hypotheses,  and experimental designs previously limited to a classical reductionist algorithm that one needs to understand the parts before understanding the whole.  This modality of scientific exploration has been dominated by the study of molecules explaining cells which, in turn, explains the function of tissues and helps us to understand how organs work and interact with in systems.

This is just part of the story.  Moving forward, we now must consider levels of organization that typically ended with an understanding of our own species.  With the skin microbiome, we need to consider the fundamentals of science from a more complex standpoint.  For instance, a full understanding of strain introduction within a species, population diversity with in specific organs, and communities of microbes between body sites are now combined with our classical understanding of skin biology to explain how this entire ecosystem influences our day to day function, health, and disease.  Truly, a new frontier awaits us.   I guess this is what the explorers Louis and Clark felt like starting their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

So where are we in this journey?  Researchers have characterized the human skin microbiome as both functional and site specific as it pertains to different regions on the body.  The two most distinct body environments are those with sebum and those without.  Compounding these areas are those under humidity, occlusion, and moisture and those that are not.  Of course, there are other microclimates on or in our skin including the follicular surface areas of hair, sweat and eccrine glands.  Understanding how each of these microclimates works at different stages of life, within ethnic groups, different geographical locations, and between the sexes is just the tip of the iceberg.

Areas of the skin that are rich in sebum have garnished much attention as these areas are most prone to acne as illustrated in work done by Prouty and Pappas.  It is within this area that we see some very interesting correlations with our skin actually regulating its own biodiversity.  Hair follicle-associated sebaceous glands secrete sebum, a highly complex lipid mixture that covers the skin surface and hair shafts. The functional versatility of lipids, combined with the wide array of sebaceous lipid classes, provide skin with a substrate that facilitates adaptation to diverse environmental situations, including interactions with microbes.  Analysis of sebum and its components have shown that a particular specific fatty acid called sapienic acid (16:1 n10), has been shown to be antimicrobial to Staphylococcus Aureus, the very species implicated in flare reactions in atopic dermatitis.  Furthermore, infection by Staphylococcus aureus is associated with a reduction in sapienic acid in the sebum of patients with atopic dermatitis, and topical application of sapienic acid is correlated with decreased bacterial load and reduction of symptoms. Taken together, this strongly suggests that sapienic acid functions as a “first-line” component of the innate immune system at the skin’s surface.

The beauty of this great journey is that it may explain and give way to an entirely new approach to skin care.  Host-biome interactions will be the focus of healthy immune development from birth to treating maladies such as atopic dermatitis, rosacea, acne, and dandruff, and body odor.  Learnings from the skin microbiome are migrating into oral and vaginal health arenas, changing the way we look at health and disease as well.

While research scientists unravel the complexities of the skin microbiome, the interest from within the industry is also buzzing with discovery and innovation.  There seems to be multiple avenues to enter this space and all have shown some level of promise in terms of delivering on claims.  We can certainly thank the yogurt industry for laying the ground work with the consumers.  From study data presented in Boston, consumers (especially Millennials) seem to get the concept of taking care of your skin the same way you take care of your gut microbiome.  Although, most consumers have a rudimentary understanding of microbiome, they are very willing to try products targeting it.  Reinforcing a healthier lifestyle, conforming to more natural-based hygiene practice or looking to change the way their skin behaves is all the motivation consumers need.

New technologies and innovation are taking form in a variety of ways.  Prebiotics seem to be gaining the most momentum in skin care as evidenced by the number of new prebiotic technology offerings seen at the last two In-Cosmetics shows. Prebiotics are those materials that feed, nourish, and/or manage the skin microbiome in some form or fashion.  Examples of prebiotics are polysaccharides, polyols, free fatty acids, fibers nitrogen sources, and lactic acid.  By focusing on prebiotics, many technology companies avoid the complexities of having to grow live cultures of bacteria to generate a second category called probiotics.  With this strategy, we see the use of live bacteria whether sourced from skin or other substrates like soil.  Some are using the very bugs found in yogurt while others are applying species said to be part of our microbiome during earlier times of human existence but were lost.

This category of products is the most complex and wrought with controversy.  Should live or dead microbes be used?  How do skin bacterial communities change with new species introduction?  How much biodiversity is too much?  All of these questions are being studied at every level of complexity.  Another branch of probiotics is now emerging by genetically engineering normal flora strains to secrete enzymes and factors needed to correct deficiencies in skin physiology.  A well-known condition called atopic dermatitis is characterized by inflammation, itch, a reduction in barrier function, and loss of moisturization.  Researchers are now programing Staphylococcus epidermidis, a commensal microbe (found to be reduced in atopic dermatitis) to secrete barrier-related proteins, enzymes to increase lipids, and antimicrobial peptides to reduce the Staph aureus load (which supersedes that of Staphylococcus epidermidis in atopic dermatitis).  Lastly, we have the category of postbiotics.  This group consists of fermentation products and supernatants from bacterial culture.  These materials are the next generation prebiotics.  Designed and targeted to shift to better microbiome health, an increase in biodiversity, and to provide a new way to achieve clean healthy beauty.

The journey to understanding the skin microbiome is well underway.  Nobody knows for sure where we will be in the next 5 to 10 years. The models and methods used to study the skin will advance and become more sophisticated as well, as the products and claims associated with these new discoveries develops.  It is exciting to see so many disciplines coming together to unravel the mysteries of our microbial populations and communities living and working with us in so many ways.  New levels of understanding will be achieved in exploring commensal and symbiotic relationships with our tiny friends.  The skin microbiome field will inevitably fall into sub-specialties where you have the folks looking to keep skin clean and free of microbes while others will look to preserve and propagate the populations of beneficial microbes to sustain and promote healthy skin. When it comes to research into the skin microbiome, we truly are the sum of all of our parts and then some.

Michael Anthonavage has 20+ years of experience in personal care product development and a career spanning background in skin biology. Michael has extensive knowledge in product development in the area of personal care product design and specializes in R&D to marketing translation. He is an engaging public speaker and product technology advocate with an ability to marry complex ideas and concepts to various consumer needs. Michael is currently the Director of Advanced Clinical Services at CRL. Michael’s previous positions involved R&D leadership positions at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Presperse and Vantage Specialty Chemicals.  Michael is currently on the NYCSCC Scientific Advisory Board and has a number publications and patents to his name.

Halal certification for personal care raw materials and products

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Muslims around the world used the word Halal for many years to describe a certain dietary regimen. The roots of the word originate from the Quran and Shariah and it typically defines how animals are slaughtered and restricts the consumption of certain animals, and alcohol.  In general, everything created by God is allowed as food with some exceptions.  These exceptions include pork, blood, animal meat that was not properly slaughtered, alcohol, intoxicants, and inappropriately used drugs.  With regard to fish, all fish with scales are allowed but animals that live both in water and on land like frogs are not allowed.  In addition to previously described restrictions, Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) and body parts/fluids are not allowed.  For example, gelatin is not considered Halal if it comes from pigs or from animals that were not slaughtered properly.  Keratin and stem cells from human origin are not allowed as well.

In the last decade, the word Halal was used to describe not only foods but also personal care products as well as cosmetics and a variety of other marketed products. The demand for Halal products has continuously grown over the past few years and is expected to grow even further.  For cosmetics, raw materials as well as finished products are subject to certification.  As a general rule, during the Halal certification process the products should first meet all local guidelines in terms of safety purity and quality.  For example, if the product is under the FDA jurisdiction, it must meet first such guidelines and then be considered for Halal certification.  The certification process typically starts with an application, followed by submission of the documents related to sourcing of all raw materials and is typically finalized with an onsite inspection.  The onsite inspection considers factors like manufacturing, storage, packaging and transportation of such products.

In North America there are several agencies that certify raw materials and cosmetics products. The Halal Advisory group www.halaladvisory.com is one of such agencies and is located in New York city. Another agency of interest is the Islamic Society of the Washington Area known as ISWA www.ushalalcertification.com. This agency is located in Washington DC and like other agencies has an online application.  The Islamic Food and Natural Council of America (IFANCA) is located in Park Ridge, IL and has a web presence at www.IFANCA.org the agency grants Halal certificates as well. For European companies, The Muslim Food Board (TMFB) located in the United Kingdom issues Halal certificates under its division; Halal Certification Europe.  Applications can be submitted online at www.tmfb.com.

I hope this short synopsis will give the reader an overview of the Halal guidelines, and means to obtain certification for raw materials and finished goods. If additional information is needed to understand the Halal standards, one good resource is The Malaysian Standard MS 2200 Pat1: 2008 which describes the practical guidelines for handling Halal cosmetics.

Dr. Hani Fares started his career in personal care studying the effect of solvents on sunscreen chemicals. His interest in skin drug delivery especially from polymeric matrices grew during his graduate work at Rutgers, where he completed his Ph. D. in Pharmaceutics. Dr. Fares worked at Block Drug and GlaxoSmithKline where he held positions in research and development in the areas of skincare and oral care.  After that, he joined L’Oreal where he held several positions of increasing responsibility leading to AVP of skincare.  He is currently the Senior Director of skincare and oral care at Ashland Specialty Ingredients.  Dr. Fares is the author of many publications, and patents and made many presentations in national and international meetings in the areas of suncare, skincare, and oral care.

Naturals, Synthetics, and Safety – The Rise of Trends and the Fall of a Dialectic

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In 2018 the modern fragrance industry will focus on technology, the regulatory environment, and the creative challenges. One of the hottest topics and trends outside of these specific focuses in not just fragrance but all of cosmetics, industrially or independently created, is natural products and formulation, and one that has triggered a wide variety of dialogues and raises many questions for both consumers and producers.

Before recently, one would have to build a time machine to find a bottle of Kyphi, an Ancient Egyptian incense or wearable perfume thought to be a blend of cassia, cinnamon, mastic, mint, henna, and mimosa in a medium made from honey, wine, and raisins (though the precise formulation is subject to scholarly debate and varies). Now, you just have to contact a ‘natural perfumer’, many of whom operate on web-based commerce platforms and have built their businesses online through social media – a common gathering place for those who share similar opinions on the natural trend.

Many of these natural perfumers will advertise that their perfumes are composed using essential oils and absolutes as sources of fragrant compounds that have been ‘naturally’ obtained through steam distillation, tincturing, effleurage, hexane-free extractions, and so on. This would be in contrast to ‘synthetic’ compounds that are synthesized in a laboratory from other chemicals, some of which are not found in nature and so can only be produced by these methods.

But why is ‘natural’ so popular, and marketing based around ‘natural’ products so effective lately? It is because consumers are far more invested in their health and wellness as well as the health and wellness of the environment, which is a fair concern as both could potentially be impacted by the fragrance industry, as exemplified by studies on how some older synthetic musks could harm the defense systems of marine life1 and an increase in sensitivities to fragrances noted by the American Academy of Dermatology.2

However, I am not here to espouse the idea that ‘natural’ ingredients and products are a way of the future, even though naturalism has been an effective tool of marketing in order to capture an emerging niche in the cosmetics and fragrance market, nor am I here to indict any synthetic materials as potentially harmful. Instead, I wish to raise questions as to the validity of natural-synthetic dialectic, on which discussions around safety seem to be based amongst consumers of fragrances whether natural or synthetic or anywhere in between, when the line between ‘natural’ and ‘synthetic’ is becoming more and more blurred.

The ultimate catalyst for that blurring is the biochemists and bioengineers who have worked to develop cutting edge biosynthetic methods of producing fragrant compounds. This involves introducing novel, artificially designed genes into the genome of bacteria, which when provided the right starting materials will synthesize and produce fragrant chemical compounds, or utilizing enzymes which are able to perform a specific transformation.

Akigalawood, a captive ingredient of Givaudan’s, was produced utilizing the latter method. Their Biosciences Team found that the enzyme laccase, with processing using just water and salts, was able to transform a natural material into a new fragrant compound, never before available to perfumers and having profile similar to patchouli with hints of spicy pepper and agarwood. The former approach has seen much use as well, an example being Ginkgo Bioworks of Boston, MA having worked with Firmenich to engineer yeast capable of producing a complex mixture containing the compounds found in rose essential oil.

These developments make mince-meat of once common semantics and raise many questions that should be answered in the coming future. Is Akigalawood a ‘natural’ material if it was produced by an organism and not by chemical synthesis? Is linalool isolated from lavender oil by distillation ‘synthetic’, as it was produced using laboratory equipment? The discussion of what can be categorized as natural or synthetic by the consumer becomes quite complex once these considerations are made.

Further complicating the consumer discussion of safety and environmental friendliness is the fact that that ‘natural’ is not always better for the industry, consumer, and environment, counter to the ‘naturalistic fallacy’ which is the reason the trend for ‘natural’ cosmetics has seen the expansion it has. For example, sassafras oil is carcinogenic, the high levels of ketones present in sage oil are toxic, and furocoumarins in bergamot oil and atranol and chloroatranol in oakmoss absolute can cause skin reactions if not removed through laboratory processing.

Additionally, a consumer who fancies strongly rose-tinted glasses may also believe that natural materials are better for the environment, which is not necessarily true. Over-sourcing of sandalwood rosewood and agarwood has led to them becoming endangered and near extinction, and tragically the musk deer was hunted to near extinction for its musk pods to use as a natural perfumery material in the past.

In the eyes of IFRA, the regulatory body overseeing the safety standards and proper usage and amount recommendations for fragrance materials in cosmetics, it does not matter whether the material is natural or synthetic, as there are plenty of materials that are available only through chemical synthesis on their restrictions – it only matters to them whether it is safe, which is I believe the proper semantic framework to discuss ingredients and formulation for both the industry and especially the consumer, not the natural-synthetic dialectic brought about by consumer trends.

If anything, these misperceptions and trends founded on a now shaky dialectic and not overall safety signify that there is much work to be done on the relationship between company, consumer, and the environment. I believe firmly the focus of that relationship should be safety, transparency, and most importantly sustainability, rather than on the semantic category of the materials used in a formulation. Moving forward into the future of fragrance science, it should not matter whether a material falls into a certain category, but rather that it is safe for humans, animals, and the environment, and thankfully it appears we are moving in that direction. Finally, if there is an overwhelmingly positive aspect to the naturals trend, it is that it has sparked this discussion, and for that there should be gratitude.


  1. Schwartz, M. 2004. Household fragrances may be harming aquatic wildlife, study finds. Stanford Report. Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/news/2004/november3/Perfume-1103.html
  2. Bouchez, C. Fragrance Allergies: A Sensory Assault. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/fragrance-allergies-a-sensory-assault#1


Matthew Brooks, Boston University, B.A. Chemistry 2019. A third-year student of chemistry at Boston University and fragrance consultant at Sephora, Matthew plans to enter the cosmetic industry upon graduation, where he hopes to work in product development and formulation. His recent areas of interest and study include natural products and organic chemistry, polymers and raw materials, ‘green’ chemistry, sustainability, and environmental protection.

Making Green by Going Green: Advancements in Eco-Friendly Packaging and Implications for the Cosmetics Industry and Consumer Market

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Looking back at the elegant and artistic cosmetics containers produced since the time of Ancient Egypt and throughout the ages, it is easy to see that the design of the vessels and the aesthetic of the materials with which they were made, to both the producers and consumers of cosmetics, were just as valued as the formulations held within. This had held true to today, although the technology and materials used to package and protect cosmetics has advanced far beyond ivory jars and gemstones vials, and the consumers positive perception of a products relies not just its package design, but the functioning of the package in protecting the internal environment, and now also the external environment.

Over the last century, new materials have been invented that have improved that former function of packaging, which primarily is preventing biological, chemical, and thermal degradation, as well as damage by radiation (such as sunlight), pressure, and human interaction. Much of this is achieved through barrier protection, which is the establishment of a controlled atmosphere within the container to protect the product from oxygen, water vapor, microbes, dust, and other elements in order to ensure it stays clean, fresh, and most importantly safe.1

As stated, however, now the function of packaging has expanded even beyond just its effectiveness at barrier protection and the beauty of its design, and the positive impact on environmental health and sustainability by the material out of which they are made and the processes of production are equally as important. This was heralded by a radical change in the consumer, notably the rise of the millennial, who now have an extreme conscientiousness to the environmental friendliness of the packaging.2

The cosmetic industry has started producing packaging that is recyclable, using materials that have already been recycled and repurposed for packaging, and even materials that are biodegradable. Recyclables have long been a trend within cosmetics packaging – Burt’s Bees offers a lipstick that can be returned for recycling, and Clean Reserve’s glass perfume bottles are 100% recyclable, while Method’s hand soap bottles are produced with plastic recovered from the ocean.2

However the most recent development in this regard is biodegradable packaging, which decomposes in the environment and are made from naturally-derived materials. Research groups are now actively developing materials such as a film made from cassava starch, glycerol, and green tea extracts that was presented in Carbohydrate Polymers,3 and patents are being issued for items like Eco Vision’s ‘Eco Jar’, made from waste paper and which features compostable barrier films and coatings that maintain package integrity.4

However, raw materials used in such recycled and biodegradable packaging were still produced in environmentally detrimental ways – especially plastics – but ironically, a solution has been found in bacteria. Until today bacteria have been the mortal enemy of cosmetics producers, with them waging a war against microbes to keep them out of their products. But now, an alliance has been struck, as genetically engineered bacteria are being used to produce polymers for packaging in an eco-friendly way that is appealing to conscious consumers. Normally, one would use packaging to prevent the growth of bacteria, but in a poetic twist of fate bacteria are being used to ‘grow’ packaging!

Researchers working for Genomatica, Inc. in San Diego have genetically engineered E. Coli to secrete 1,4-butanediol (BDO), a precursor compound in plastic production, using only sugars and water, a far more sustainable process than the usual methods using petrochemicals.5 Even better, bioengineering not only can prevent damage to the environment, but can also address pollution that has already occurred. At the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, microorganisms are being used in similar fashion to produce the polymer polyhydroxybutyric acid (PHB), but using CO2 as a raw material, reducing the concentration of the greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.6

In tandem with these developments, equally tiny though synthetic nanoparticles are also being engineered and incorporated into polymeric materials to improve the functioning of cosmetic packaging, improving the gas barrier as well as mechanical and thermal protections, while leading to a decrease in raw materials necessary for packages, and thus reducing the environmental impact of producing multiple package layers as opposed to the monolayer afforded by this advanced nanotechnology.7

Until recently, though, the funding required to develop these novel, advanced technologies as well as the overall cost of their production and incorporation into packaging used by most cosmetic brands was a significant barrier to its mainstream adoption in the industry.

However, in an interview with Cosmetics Design just last year, Scott Cassel, founder and CEO of the Product Stewardship Institute, spoke to how there will now be a competitive advantage in marketing for brands that start to value and make use of sustainable and eco-friendly packaging and the processes used to produce it, as they will be in the favor of the increasingly dominant millennial consumer segment.8 Making use of more efficient waste-reducing technologies for packaging production not only reduces cost for governments and taxpayers, but is also beneficial to cosmetics business, as wasted materials and energy in inefficient production otherwise translates to a loss of money.8 The process of producing BDO using bacteria requires at least 30% less energy than traditional methods, while the price of production with oil or gas related processes has increased alongside the cost of dwindling fossil fuel-based materials.5

In sum, utilizing the sustainable processes and new, eco-friendly technology that were previewed above should not only now save companies money in the long run, but afford taxpayers more money to contribute to the cosmetics industry and market, which they will be more and more willing to do as brands align with their values of sustainable and eco-friendly packaging.



  1. Cosper, A. (2016, September 16). Purposes of Cosmetic Packaging. Retrieved January 9th, 2018, from https://www.desjardin.fr/en/blog/purposes-of-cosmetic-packaging
  2. Matusow, J. (2016, April 28). Simply ‘Green’ Packaging. Retrieved January 10th, 2018, from https://www.beautypackaging.com/issues/2016-04-01/view_features/simply-green-packaging/
  3. Medina-Jaramillo, C., et. al. (2017, November 15). Active and smart biodegradable packaging based on starch and natural extracts. Carbohydrate Polymers 176, 187-194. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2017.08.079
  4. Payne, Craig. (2011, June 27). Eco Vision Biodegradable Cosmetics Jar Awarded U.S. Patent. Retrieved January 10th, 2018 from http://www.naturalcosmeticnews.com/green-packaging/eco-vision-biodegradable-cosmetics-jar-awarded-u-s-patent/
  5. Biello, D. (2008, September 16). Turning Bacteria Into Plastic Factories. Retrieved from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/turning-bacteria-into-plastic-factories-replacing-fossil-fuels/
  6. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. (2016, November 21). Microbes produce organic plastics from flue gas, electricity. Retrieved January 14th, 2018 from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161121094118.htm
  7. Aimplas Plastics Technology Centre. (2016, January 11). Plastic nanotechnology for safer, more eco-friendly and competitive cosmetic packages. Retrieved January 13th, 2018, from http://www.aimplas.net/blog/plastic-nanotechnology-safer-more-eco-friendly-and-competitive-cosmetic-packages
  8. Utroske, D. (2017, April 18). Can sustainable beauty come to terms with cosmetics and personal care packaging waste? Retrieved January 12th, 2018, from https://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Article/2017/04/19/Can-sustainable-beauty-come-to-terms-with-cosmetics-and-personal-care-packaging-waste


Matthew Brooks, Boston University, B.A. Chemistry 2019. A third-year student of chemistry at Boston University and fragrance consultant at Sephora, Matthew plans to enter the cosmetic industry upon graduation, where he hopes to work in product development and formulation. His recent areas of interest and study include natural products and organic chemistry, polymers and raw materials, ‘green’ chemistry, sustainability, and environmental protection.

Judging a formulation by its cover

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Cosmetic purchases are as much emotional as they are rational. The initial impression left by the packaging can determine which formulation customers are drawn to in a store. Before ever encountering a formulation, a customer interacts with the packaging. From iconic packaging which remains unchanged for years, like the pink and green of Maybelline Great Lash, or cutting edge like AmorePacific’s squeezable tube mascara (now also seen with Dior). Packaging introduces a customer to a product and dictates how the customer can interact with a formulation.

The choice of packaging also expresses a brand identity and ethos. While Chapstick is iconic in it’s simple utilitarian packaging and use to prevent chapped lips, luxury lipsticks are designed to evoke desire and often sexuality. When Christian Louboutin launched his beauty line, he based the design of the nail polish bottle on a stiletto he had designed for the English National Ballet. The unwearable shoe was perhaps the ultimate demonstration of his infamous quote from British Vogue “I don’t want to create painful shoes, but it is not my job to create something comfortable. I try to make high heels as comfortable as they can be, but my priority is design, beauty and sexiness.” This sentiment carried over to his lipstick packaging in which the pointed heavy metal case is by no means practical to carry in a purse but is undeniably striking. The company goes so far as to sell it with a ribbon attached so it could be displayed as a necklace.

Innovation has led to an expansion of choice in packaging and can change the way that consumers interact with their products. Eyeliner is available in countless formulations and packaging options from pots with angle brushes to rollerwheel pens. The choice of applicator can be as important to a consumer as the formulation so that they can achieve the look they want consistently with their make up.

Demand for innovation in packaging can also be driven by trends in formulation. As the free from preservative trend has gained traction, packaging which limits a formulations’ exposure to bacteria and air have become essential. Airless pumps also protect medical grade cosmetics from degrading over time. This behind the scenes use of packaging is invaluable to a formulator but often go unnoticed by consumers.

Packaging effects many aspects of a consumer’s interaction with a product. Formulations are often the stated focus of a customer’s choice when buying a product, but without the right packaging can make a product can suffer. Packaging makes formulations shine and it can draw in consumers before they experience a product.

Dr. Elizabeth Kaufman works at BYK as a senior research chemist in charge of surface and defoamer additives. She defended her PhD in polymer chemistry from NYU in 2017. Her work in the Weck group focused on the synthesis and biological applications of dendrimers. In 2014 she was awarded the Kramer Fellowship.



What everyone needs to know about sunscreens!

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What good is a piano that you cannot hear? What good is a sculpture that you cannot see? What good is a meal you cannot taste? These are things that have beauty, utility and functionality, yet if we cannot get the benefit of their inherent characteristics, we might as well not have them.  It is the same with your sunscreen – if it does not protect you, you might as well not use it. This short commentary will explain the reasons why a well-designed sunscreen with all of the “right ingredients” might not work, and what you can do about it!

Scientists spend a lot of time worrying about SPF levels, ingredient compatibilities and regulatory restrictions, but they spend much less time on the simple concept of user behavior. This concept can be easily explained in terms of medicines – the right medicine for the correct symptoms taken wrongly (say once a day instead of once per hour, or one pill vs. three pills per dose) will have minimal or no effect, and this is the same for a sunscreen.  The right sunscreen with the right level of SPF applied wrongly will not offer the proper protection to your skin.1

So what are the ways a sunscreen can be applied wrongly?  Here are a few:

  1. Not using enough to cover your skin completely
  2. Not reapplying after exposure to water
  3. Not reapplying after normal wear over the course of the day

The first two are well-known, but what about the third? Did you know that you touch your face 2,000 to 3,000 times over the course of the day? That equates to about twice per minute! What might happen to a sunscreen that was applied to your face in the morning, over the next eight hours (almost 1,000 touches later)? It is very likely –especially if the sunscreen wasn’t applied perfectly to begin with – that much of it would be worn away, offering less and less protection as the day goes on.

Let’s take a look at this gap between the theoretical performance of a sunscreen and the reality of real-world conditions. Using specialized equipment (a device that takes pictures in the UVA range), and a panel of volunteers with different skin types, phototypes, ages and genders, we studied the protective film of a sunscreen on the skin, how it decreases over time, and what we can do about it. We looked at how smooth and even the sunscreen film was on the face after application, how durable that film was over time, the effect of different sunscreen compositions on performance, and the effect of applying multiple skin care products over each other.2

In the first set of trials, we told the panelists to apply a sunscreen mist product (SPF 50) “enough to cover the whole face”; a mist is usually sprayed on the face and left to dry, without rubbing it in with your fingers. The result was noteworthy – the sunscreen film on the face after application was not homogenous and did not cover the face evenly.

Next, we used a Korean sunscreen cream (SPF 50+) applied with a cushion puff, a new method not commonly used and unfamiliar to our panelists, but becoming trendy. Here, the results were even more striking – terrible coverage, with inconsistent application on different parts of the face, including some parts that were missed entirely. In one panelist we saw that later touches with the cushion puff removed some of the sunscreen that was just applied with the first touches!

The final test was done with a classical sunscreen (SPF 50) applied in the traditional way (rubbed in with fingers), and here we finally saw good, even coverage, with all parts of the face equally protected. But in all trials, we found something interesting – the panelists used, on average, about half of the quantity typically used in SPF tests, which confirms the basic fact that users do not apply enough sunscreen to reach the SPF levels stated on the label.

In other tests, we looked at the amount of sunscreen applied, asking ourselves if applying more in the morning means better coverage throughout the day, and of course we saw that it did – more coverage in the morning increases durability over time – and we also evaluated different systems – water-in-oil (W/O) emulsion, oil-in-water (O/W) emulsion and a bi-gel system (emulsifier-free) – and found that a system based on W/O emulsion provided better coverage and more durability over time.

Later, we looked at the effect of “layering” with the aim of understanding how products interact with each other. If we apply a moisturizer first and then add a sunscreen on top of it, does it alter the film and the protection provided? Interestingly, on the panelists who used the moisturizer first, the sunscreen absorbed into the skin less BUT had a better protective film. The conclusion – layering works!

So back to our original question – what can you do to get the full benefit of your sunscreen?

  1. Take the amount of sunscreen you usually apply and double it!
  2. Apply your sunscreen the good old-fashioned way – rub it in with your fingers.
  3. Apply a moisturizer first, and then apply your sunscreen afterwards.

Taking these simple steps will ensure you can listen to that piano concerto, appreciate that sculpture and enjoy that meal, confident that your sunscreen is hard at work protecting you!

*If you don’t wear sunscreen because you’re worried about not getting enough vitamin D, we suggest making the proper changes to your diet/nutrition (e.g. drinking more smoothies rich in vitamin D).


  1. Petersen B, Wulf HC. Application of sunscreen–theory and reality. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 30(2-3): 96-101, 2014
  2. Hubiche V. Wear and tear of daily wear. Keeping that sunscreen on the skin. Presented at the SCC Sunscreen Symposium, Orlando, FL, September 14-16, 2017. Also available on www.gattefosse.com/webinars

Guest Author: Lauren Del Dotto & Ben Blinder

Lauren Del Dotto

Lauren Del Dotto is the North American Marketing Manager for Gattefossé USA – Personal Care Division, where she is responsible for the marketing strategy and activities of the company throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico.  She also works closely with Gattefossé headquarters in France in the development of global marketing strategies and programs.  Lauren is a graduate of Georgetown University and has been working in the personal care industry for 12 years.  Prior to her experience with Gattefossé, Lauren worked in marketing as well as international business development for TRI-K Industries.


Ben Blinder

Ben Blinder is the Senior Director for Gattefossé USA – Personal Care Division, where he is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the cosmetic business for Gattefossé in the US and Mexico. Ben holds a chemical engineering degree from Lehigh University and has been working in the personal care industry for 32 years, with extensive experience in strategic and long-range planning, sales and technical management, and new technology search/discovery.  Ben also serves on the NYSCC Scientific Committee.

Black Hair Influencing Mainstream

by NYSCC NYSCC No Comments

The USA is predicted to have close to 50% of its population comprising people with skin of color by 2050 (Ref 1). Among this population black consumers are looking for new and innovative products for their hair care.

Black consumers beauty cabinet include a wide range of haircare products, none the less black consumers are still searching for new products that can help them maintain and style their hair.  According to Mintel reports, one out of every 5 (20%) Black consumers report having trouble finding Black haircare products that fit their diverse range of hairstyles, and 19 percent of Blacks have bought multiple haircare products because they can’t find the right product that works for them (Ref 2).

In the last decade the “Naturalista” movement persuaded many black consumers to start wearing a natural hair style, thus the decline of the relaxer and perm business. According to a Mintel US consumer report, about three quarters of black consumers say they currently wear or have worn their hair natural (Ref 2). New hair styles inspired by the “Naturalista” trend are showing up everywhere and are becoming extremely important to the image of the new black consumer.

As hair relaxer sales went south, sales of new products that support natural hair styles are booming.  That’s because maintaining natural unrelaxed hair is not easy.  Black hair comes in many different textures and seems like the hair has a mind of its own, this is especially true when the hair curl pattern is really kinky.

While multinational beauty companies like L’Oreal and Unilever acquired Black Brands such as Carol’s Daughter and Motions, other multinational companies are increasingly trying to tap into the ethnic haircare market using mainstream brands.  Brands like Pantene and Suave are developing line extensions that are either specifically formulated for Black hair or use ingredients/packaging with signals that resonate with Black consumers.

Black consumers need products that are designed and developed with their hair needs on mind.  Recently, black consumers complains on the commercial ad from Shea Moisture (a Black brand) made its way to social media for their new “Hair Hate” campaign. The ad featured a light skin woman with long wavy hair, a blonde white woman, and 2 red-head white women discussing why they’ve suffered from “hair hate” (Ref 3). Oddly enough, Shea Moisture’s long-time core consumer base, Black women with kinky hair, were missing from the conversation and video. This caused a backlash on social media followed by Black women boycotting the brand.

Black hair has unique texture and requires different formulas and ingredients that can address its unique un-met needs.  Most raw material suppliers who are focused on mainstream population have not yet understood these unique needs and as such are not able to play in this lucrative market.  The Black hair market is not just growing, it has also influenced mainstream trends.  It has been proven many times that most ethnic hair trends end up influencing mainstream market.  Trends such as cleansing conditioners and silicone free products took hold among Black and Ethnic consumers before spreading into mainstream market.

  1. Taylor SC. Skin of color: biology, structure, function, and implications for dermatologic disease. J Am Acad Dermatol 2002; 46:S41–62.
  2. Mintel 2015 Publication: NATURAL HAIR MOVEMENT DRIVES SALES OF STYLING PRODUCTS IN US BLACK HAIRCARE MARKET. http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/beauty-and-personal-care/natural-hair-movement-drives-sales-of-styling-products-in-us-black-haircare-market
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WWFxEnJovA

Guest Author: Mohamed Omer

Mohamed Omer is currently at Revlon as Manager of Multicultural Haircare. He was previously at L’Oreal as Associate Vice President for Strategic Foresight & Innovation. Mohamed received a Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry from Iowa State University and subsequently joined the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Crime Scene Laboratory, where he became an expert on narcotics and managed the intoxicated driver unit before he switched from forensic chemistry to cosmetic chemistry. For the last fifteen years, Omer has focused on product development, trends and Innovation and assumed various roles in companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Alberto Culver, Unilever, and L’Oreal, where he helped develop a range of products. Mohamed is an active member of the NYSCC where he serves in the Scientific Committee and was chair of the Open Innovation event.

Digital Technology Allows the Worlds of Beauty, Color and Fashion to Converge

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The rapid rise of digital technology in the 21st century has changed the world of cosmetics and beauty, uncovering new tools, new connections, and interactions through social media. It has increased the convergence of industries and continues to build on the desire for an integrative aesthetic experience by the consumer.

The beauty industry is reacting quickly: Sephora has been hanging ‘magic mirrors’ on their walls and many beauty brands can be a quick search on Snapchat these days. Though this is just the beginning of a paradigm shift. A new consumer is on the rise, and driving these changes are the millennials, a group that has grown up in the digital age, swayed by these innovations, interactions, and personalized experiences. Thus, embracing digital beauty and embodying these innovations is the key to the millennial market.1,2

Companies have strived to do so by taking advantage of digital technology, experimenting with concepts like skin analysis, magic mirrors, and try-on tech to creating new color combinations, unique scents, and sensorial experiences.3 This breakthrough has led to the prevalence of web and mobile applications, kiosks, and novel physical retail spaces, like pop up shops and non-traditional cosmetic product showrooms. Behind the scenes, scientists are conducting extensive research to push the boundaries of cosmetic science, resulting in the recent development of UV-measuring skin patches and even Hewlett Packard contributing their knowledge of pigment science within the color cosmetics category to ultimately satisfy the modern day consumer.4,5

Traditional brick-and-mortar locations are being upgraded with new technology as well to augment the overall consumer experience. Already this year, retailers like Sephora and Bluemercury have opened digitally-enhanced locations that also offer more one-on-one services to create a more spa-like experience that is desired by younger consumers. Department stores are taking advantage as well and mimicking these strategies, with Neiman Marcus recently launching their Memory Mirror technology to aid consumers in remembering steps and products used in their in-store makeover services.6

These ‘smart mirrors’ are one of the more concrete examples of how approaches to individual beauty will be enhanced with technology, offering digital skin analysis and visualization, product recommendations, and interactive live make-up simulations which enables a user to ‘try on’ a virtual look before applying it. These will be invaluable services to offer to consumers for any modern beauty brand.7

Latest observations entail the evolution of consumers’ desire to purchase an ‘experience,’ not just a product – but what does that mean? Industry leaders have interpreted that the ‘experience’ sought by digital age millennials can be provided by the current integrative convergence of industries that appeal to them, such as beauty, fashion, art, and technology. Interest in creating experience and converging different industries has also become apparent through different fashion and beauty collaborations.

This development in the ever-changing consumer experience requires formulators and marketers to start thinking beyond the brief.2

To discuss and learn more on how these trends in technology, color and design impact cosmetic industry, the NYSCC will host a #BeyondtheBrief event on September 6th at Peclers Paris HQ in New York City, featuring inspiring talks by leaders and influencers in fashion, beauty, and technology, as well as interactive experiences showcasing textures, colors, and technologies. For attendees, it will be an opportunity to advance the understanding of the shifts in the cosmetic industry, through the lenses of technology, color and design.


  1. Are Female Digital Influencers the New Decision Makers? (n.d.). Retrieved August 26, 2017, from http://www.happi.com/contents/view_breaking-news/2017-06-27/are-female-digital-influencers-the-new-decision-makers/
  2. Whitehouse, L. (2016, January 11). Beauty personalisation and interactivity is key for Millennials, says Euromonitor. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/Beauty-personalisation-and-interactivity-is-key-for-Millennials-says-Euromonitor
  3. Whitehouse, L. (2016, August 17). Digital beauty: latest developments and future directions. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/Digital-beauty-latest-developments-and-future-directions
  4. McDougall, A. (2016, January 07). L’Oréal enters wearables market with My UV skin patch to better protect against sun damage. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/L-Oreal-enters-wearables-market-with-My-UV-skin-patch-to-better-protect-against-sun-damage
  5. Toiletries, K. S. (n.d.). In Sight: Color Cosmetics On the Move. Retrieved August 26, 2017, from http://www.cosmeticsandtoiletries.com/research/techtransfer/premium-in-sight-color-cosmetics-on-the-move-216804891.html
  6. Physical & Digital Retail Heads in New Directions. (n.d.). Retrieved August 28, 2017, from http://www.happi.com/contents/view_breaking-news/2017-07-31/physical-digital-retail-heads-in-new-directions/
  7. Whitehouse, L. (2017, May 11). Is the ‘always on’ digital lifestyle impacting on beauty trends? Retrieved August 28, 2017, from http://www.cosmeticsdesign.com/Market-Trends/Is-the-always-on-digital-lifestyle-impacting-on-beauty-trends

Guest Author: Matthew Brooks & Diane Lachhman

Matthew Brooks, Boston University, B.A. Chemistry 2019. A third-year student of chemistry at Boston University, former Spa Concierge at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, and amateur perfumer, Matthew plans to enter the field of cosmetic science upon graduation, where he hopes to work in product development and formulation where science, creativity, and design converge. Believing that feeling beautiful is beneficial to one’s health, he hopes to create products that help people “look good, feel good.” His main areas of interest include skincare and fine fragrances, olfactive science and beauty technology, natural products chemistry and organic synthesis, health and wellness, and environmental sustainability.


Diane Lachhman, Creative Visionary and Fashion Model. Currently pursuing a BS in Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing, Fashion Institute of Technology, New York. Prior to entering college, she has competed in various science competitions including the Google Science Fair and Intel Science Talent Search to present her original research. More recently, she has completed her AAS in Advertising and Marketing Communications with honors. After graduating from college she will follow her passion, combining her favorite subjects of art, math, and science, to develop products for cosmetics and fragrances in the beauty industry.

When Industry and Academia Colloid – or rather, Collide

by NYSCC NYSCC No Comments

Grab a jar of face cream off your dresser, and compare it with the milk in your fridge. Chances are you would notice the relative turbidity, or cloudiness, of both of these substances. Both the face cream and milk are just two examples of colloids. From the word “kolla”, meaning glue in Greek, the term “colloid” was first used in the 1860’s to distinguish this class of materials from crystalloids such as sugar and salt.1

Colloids exist in nature and in manmade materials. A host of other examples come to mind: clouds, fog, whipped cream, hydrogels, and –of particular interest to cosmetologists— shaving lather, aerosol sprays, hydrogels, creams, lotions, and foams.

A colloid consists of dispersed particles (between one nanometer and one micrometer), and a dispersion medium, either of which can be a gas, liquid, or solid in any combination.2 In recent years, there has been a renaissance of interest in the study of scientific phenomena at the nanometer scale.

At the Weck Lab3 in NYU’s Molecular Design Institute, the programmable, self-assembling behavior of colloids are studied. These smart designer colloids are fabricated with molecules on their surfaces, which enable them to self-organize into two or three-dimensional structures by controlling the combination or sequence of each colloidal cluster. Such principles draw heavily from Nature’s design, as seen in the DNA double-stranded helix, where complementary and self-recognition pair units exist in a directional, design-driven, and pre-programmed manner to control 3D structure.

With the ability to decorate nanoparticle surfaces, this methodology opens the door to a myriad number of applications, including those in personal care and cosmetics. Colloidal particle surfaces can be studded with anything ranging in size from short organic molecules like hydroxyacids, to polymer chains, and everything in between. In this fashion, colloidal particles can be programmed to yield unique surfaces, so that they behave similarly to enzymes in Nature with specific functions.

These colloidal functional handles enable the sequestering of active ingredients like humectants or anti-aging ingredients for skin care products for more effective performance, or control the organizational pattern in solution for product stability or performance enhancement. In the Weck group at NYU, colloids are functionalized with complementary pair DNAs, and supramolecular recognition units like the palladium-pincer/pyridine pair, directing particles to come together in solution like complementary puzzle pieces in a sequence-controlled manner. By programming colloidal surfaces and controlling their interfaces, scientists are able to control the way colloids organize and behave in their dispersed medium, changing the properties and function of these materials.

As the cosmetic world continues to respond to customer-driven interest in products with novel delivery systems and unusual product formula to contain active ingredients, the colloids symposium to be held next month in New York July 9th -12th, might be of special interest to those in the industry who desire a quick enquiry into the world of colloids, for potential uses in personal care products, biotechnology, and the like.

Thriving on strong international attendance by participants from academia, industry and national laboratories, concurrent exciting trends in colloidal and surface science research will be highlighted in the Symposium: two plenary lectures, 13 technical symposia, the Unilever Award Lecture, the Victor K. LaMer Award Lecture, a poster session, and an instrument exhibition. A social program is planned as well, including a Sunday evening dinner reception, a Monday evening poster session with refreshments, and a Tuesday evening Symposium Banquet.

All interested in the recent exciting developments in colloids and surface science are welcome! To register for the symposium http://colloids2017.org/register.html

  1. Jirgensons, B.; Staumanis, M. E. A Short Textbook of Colloid Chemistry, 1962, Second Edition, Pergamon Press Ltd., New York, USA.
  2. Hiemenz, P. C.; Rajagopalan, R. Principles of Colloid and Surface Chemistry, 1997, Third Edition, CRC Press, New York, USA.
  3. Weck Group Research. Weck Group, 2014. Web. June 9, 2017 Accessed. http://weckresearch.com/COLLOIDS

Guest Author: Diane Lye
Diane Lye is a researcher in the field of polymer chemistry. She has multiple years of experimental wet lab experience and in originating and developing ideas to fruition, with prior exposure to company strategy. A strong believer in using the carrot rather than the stick, she enjoys encouraging and mentoring juniors and peers, and was awarded a Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award in the Sciences by New York University. She is completing her Ph.D. in the Weck Lab at NYU Molecular Design Institute, where her primary area of research is on supramolecular block copolymers. Diane enjoys learning about matters outside of her research scope, particularly in the quantification of the amorphous and intangible, on topics ranging from business psychology to the science of trust and love. In a previous life, she was a prize-winning classical pianist.