Build a solid foundation in science, formulation and product development—find out more!
Most Popular in:
Lab Lessons—Wise Words From the Bench with Anthony Vargas
By: Katie Anderson, Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: April 2, 2013, from the April 2013 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
Skin is the body’s largest organ, and it’s a complex one at that. Any formulator will tell you that efficacious skin care requires selecting the right ingredients and putting them together in a mindful way—and Anthony Vargas, founder and CEO of Vargas Cosmetics Inc., is no different. After 30 years in cosmetics R&D with Avon and Elizabeth Arden, he put his knowledge to the test by creating his own skin care products that marry efficacious actives with natural bases.
Vargas entered the cosmetics industry like many others—by chance, when he answered a newspaper advertisement for a laboratory technician position at Avon in 1979. Although he did not know anything about cosmetics at the time, he took the utmost care in researching his ingredients, which led to the launch of a number of successful products and honed his keen eye for technologies.
C&T: How did you get started in the cosmetics industry?
When I started at Avon, I did not even know there were cosmetic research facilities. I started formulating in the company’s skin care lab. Avon was very instrumental in teaching me the fundamentals of emulsions. I was involved in developing moisturizers and some acne products, as anti-aging really was not a thing yet.
C&T: What was one of the first lessons you learned?
One of the group leaders at Avon really encouraged [the chemists] to conduct research on skin care actives. He would assign us vitamins or other actives to research so we would know what they did. Our goal was to find actives that would help to keep the skin healthy.
I first became knowledgeable about vitamin C, which led to the development of the Collagen Booster Line Controlling Lotion, one of the first vitamin C (ascorbic acid)-based products. [Eventually,] we found that putting vitamin C in an anhydrous base was best. At first, we put it in creams and lotions, but it would degrade within a few days; I went into the stability cabinet and the tops of the jars had popped off. The gas developed from the vitamin C was popping off the caps.
You Could be Making Better & Safer Products
Complement your cosmetic science knowledge with the medical knowledge you need to create better and safer products for consumers. Learn from board certified dermatologist Zoe Diana Draelos, MD in the online video course, Physiology of the Skin.
Available through Cosmetics & Toiletries' Complete Cosmetic Chemist Training Program, Physiology of the Skin contains 8 lessons that can't be found elsewhere on topics such as skin biology and evaluation, skin aging, acne, cosmeceuticals and more!
Learn more at learn.CosmeticsandToiletries.com.