april, 2022

20apr5:00 PM8:00 PMSkin & Hair Diversity5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Seasons, Township of Washington

Event Details

Skin & Hair Diversity: Bridging the Gap Between R&D and Marketing

Marketing and Product Development take very different routes to achieve similar goals. Similarly, when creating inclusive products for a diverse consumer, both teams employ different strategies and approach the project from different perspectives. How do we bridge these two mindsets and ensure the marketing aligns with the data? Or that the data is representative of every consumer?  Join us on April 20th as we bring a panel of industry experts in both Marketing and Technical to provide their insight into effective collaboration towards the common goal of products for a diverse and inclusive community, that meet their needs.



Cocktails and Networking

Panel Discussion


Dinner Panel and Discussion

Crystal E. Porter, Ph.D. is a hair scientist and owner of Mane Insights, Inc, a company that conducts research to further understand the specific needs of the hair and scalp of people of African descent.  As a recognized contributor in the world of hair science, she also provides knowledge about hair to individuals, professionals and industry leaders. She is passionate about debunking myths and empowering others to properly care for their hair. Her patented process uses science to help professionals understand their clients’ hair so they can provide customized solutions.

Dr. Porter began her career in cosmetic science at Unilever in the year 2000. While there, she was part of a measurement science group and conducted research for aid-to-formulation. She spent the majority of her corporate career at L’Oréal, USA where she managed the Physics Laboratory and Consumer Insights teams studying the biophysical characteristics of hair and pigmented skin within different global ethnic groups and to understand behaviors that are related to consumers’ experiences. She has shared knowledge about ethnic hair with fellow scientists and the public sector at global venues. She has also contributed to L’Oréal’s global classification of curl in hair and has authored scientific journals, presentations and book chapters on various topics such as hair straightening and ethnic hair.

During her undergraduate education, Dr. Porter received her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Chicago State University. She participated in internship programs at Argonne National Laboratory where she studied chronobiology and researched NMR shift reagents at Rochester Institute of Technology. Her doctorate degree was received in the field of Physical Polymer Chemistry from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. During her graduate studies she thermally characterized polymer thin films using modulated differential scanning calorimetry and studied the mechanical behavior of polymer composites. She also patented a skin cream and was inducted into the scientific research honor society, Sigma Xi.

Dr. Porter is a wife and mother of two daughters. She is a member of the American Chemical Society, the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Within Delta, she has served on the Educational Development Committee for the Glen Ellyn Area Alumnae Chapter and served as Chair of Sciences and Everyday Experiences, an informal science education project funded by the National Science Foundation, from 2007 to 2011. Also, Dr. Porter is a member of the Fermilab Community Advisory Board.

Dr. Porter’s personal passion resides in the educating and mentoring of underrepresented youth about the opportunities in the field of science. She works with Chicago State University’s Center for STEM Education and Research to help develop research programs in hair science which expose underrepresented STEM students to research opportunities that will result in scientific breakthroughs. In addition, she actively initiates efforts within Chicagoland area schools and the general public to close the academic achievement gap that exists among Black students. As such, she is one of the founding members of P.A.T.H.S. (Parents and Administrators Together Helping Students), a parent group within Indian Prairie School District 204 whose mission is to work with school administrators to empower parents in helping their children to excel academically. Her commitment to philanthropy is further exemplified as a current supporter and past member of the Board of Directors for C.H.A.R.M, a not-for-profit outreach and mentoring organization.

She has served in the capacity of a presenter, master trainer and/or consultant for several organizations including, American Academy of Dermatology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, PowerNetworking Conference, Society of Cosmetic Chemists – Ohio Valley Chapter, Textile Research Institute, and Trichologists on a Mission. For fun, Dr. Porter loves jumping rope in the 40+ Double Dutch Club.

Tonya Lane is a cosmetic chemist specializing in natural hair care and the creator of CurlyChemistry.com and Curly Chemistry YouTube channel which has over 9 million views.  Tonya was born in New Jersey, currently residing in North Carolina where she received her Masters in Chemistry from North Carolina Central University.  With 5 years in the personal care industry, Tonya uses her experience, knowledge and love for haircare to teach and provide the tools needed for women and men to get results with their hair care regimens and understand cosmetic ingredients based on their hair needs so they can save time and money.

Jessica Ding is a material scientist turned marketer at Dow Personal Care. She is passionate about innovations and how they positively impact people and the planet. Jessica holds a Ph.D. degree in polymer chemistry and has experience in various segments since joining Dow in 2014, including Coatings, Leather, Construction Chemicals and Personal Care.

Mary Kay Crofoot is a technical service and development scientist at the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, Michigan. She is responsible for leading beauty and personal care product commercialization projects and the generation of the collateral, formulations and application data to support the launches.  She is also responsible for writing and implementing patents for new technologies.  Mary Kay currently holds 4 Dow Chemical and 6 Dow Corning granted patents.  In addition to project leadership, she currently supports beauty and personal care customers in Canada and the eastern region of North America through formulation development, product service, application testing, and training. She holds a BS in chemistry from Central Michigan University. Previously, Mary Kay spent 24 years with Dow Corning. Her roles included research and development of silicone cure systems and synthesis of chemical vapor deposition precursors for the electronics industry.




(Wednesday) 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Seasons, Township of Washington