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Lab Lessons—Wise Words From the Bench With John Carson
By: Katie Anderson (Schaefer), Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine
Posted: August 30, 2011, from the September 2011 issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries.
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The mousse systems developed by L’Oréal were also game-changers. They used anionic and cationic holding resins and cationic conditioning polymers in one system that foamed.
Changes in surfactants have greatly benefited the cosmetic industry. For example, higher molecular weight quaternaries have resulted in cationic, mild surfactants such as behentrimonium chlorides and behentrimonium methylsulfates that are terrific emulsifiers and are great for hair conditioners and skin creams/lotions. Also, the use of quaternium-18 in various lotions has resulted in a transformation of the skin care market.
Finally, the advent of treated pigments has transformed that category and has allowed formulators to make products easily disperse pigments that are uniform. Pigments can then be dispersed in a variety of solvents, giving the formulator the versatility and flexibility that allows them to make a wide range of product forms.
C&T: What advice would you give to a formulator or chemist who is new to the industry?
Above everything, research raw materials. Also, get as much education as you can and always challenge yourself. It ends up being rewarding. I’ve learned not to trust anything for stability—I test everything.
C&T: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
The thing I do most is read. I’ve been a science-fiction nut since grade school. I read other things, too, such as history and poetry, which I got into because my wife is a poet. I also enjoy woodworking and blacksmithing. I volunteer as a blacksmith at a local shop, where I take out my frustration on hot iron.