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CHICAGO—The Midwest Chapter Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) kicked off its biennial event with an extravagant social night, held at Chicago’s Field Museum, at which attendees experienced buffets from varied ethnic backgrounds. Mexican, Midwestern, Asian and other cuisines tempted dinner guests—ending with an expansive dessert spread. Museum exhibits were open to exploration and live entertainment stirred the pace of the evening’s attractions.
The following morning’s conference welcomed five experts covering regulatory concerns in the personal care industry. From varied perspectives, the educational lectures enlightened over 100 attendees about preservatives, naturals, fragrance, international regulation and product claims. Howard Rockman, with a background in law, presented an overview of regulations in the personal care industry. He covered the definitions of drugs vs. cosmetics and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) role in maintaining public safety. Rockman also discussed trade secrets and the concept of confidentiality agreements within companies when they welcome new hires.
William Friedman, also from a law background, discussed issues and opportunities for organic standards in personal care. The market for organic products has grown to approximately US$25 billion. Friedman explained the various levels of organic content in a product and related claims that can be made on product labels at each level. A product containing 95%–99% organic ingredients can claim it is an “organic product” on the label; while a product containing 70%–94%, can claim to be “made with organic ingredients.” Friedman added that the most common category of products is made with this 70%–94% range.
Lakshmi Prakash, Ph.D., of Sabinsa covered natural actives in cosmetics and their regulatory considerations. She explained, “Just because an ingredient is natural does not mean it is safe.” Natural actives can be added to formulations as healthy ingredients but they can contain allergens such as natural colorants. Prakash discussed the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) program in Europe as well as the European Organization of Cosmetic Ingredients Industries and Services (UNITIS) push toward alternatives to animal testing.
Ladd Smith, Ph.D., president of the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM), took a look at public policy and how consumers have the need to feel safe. He explained RIFM’s role in managing the safety of fragrance materials in formulations—from actively maintaining a detailed database of fragrance material literature from member companies, to reviewing submission studies.