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Parrot feathers, stem cells, melanin, cellulite and epidermal tight junctions were among the many biology-themed papers presented during the 25th IFSCC Congress, held Oct. 6–9, 2008, in Barcelona. This heavy focus on biology is indicative of the evolving actives arena and likely a direct response to the antiaging consumer trend.
IFSCC congresses, which are held on even-numbered years, rotate with IFSCC conferences, held on odd-numbered years. Johann W. Wiechers, PhD, president of the IFSCC, described the distinction between the two during his opening remarks as well as in the official congress program. According to Wiechers, while congresses are aimed at presenting the latest cutting-edge cosmetic science, conferences provide a more basic education, which ensures participation from both seasoned and novice formulators within the industry.
This year’s congress certainly reached to the edges of science, digging deeply into molecular cosmetics and biology. Papers ranged from the nervous system and skin’s immune response to stimulants, and suppressing melanosome expression, to studies on actives, including a novel retinol-like material derived from parrot feathers, gene expression modulators for elastic fiber maintenance and repair, extracts from hibiscus and dill for antiaging, and a new discovery regarding the regulation of calcium within the skin’s epidermal tight junction.
Day one of the congress featured opening remarks from IFSCC committee members. Joaquim Sisto, president of the executive committee of the host chapter Spanish Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SEQC), welcomed delegates to Spain in Spanish, which was followed by greetings from SEQC president Ricard Armengol, who said, “It was a big challenge for the Spanish society to put this conference together, but we (the SEQC) believe that we have reached a high level of science in this conference—you be the judge.” This year’s event was a special occasion in that it marked the 50-year anniversary of the SEQC.
Following SEQC opening remarks, Wiechers addressed attendees, stating: “The purpose of the IFSCC is to bring all cosmetic scientists together and it is important to remember that there are also those chemists who are very dedicated to their work that, due to cost or time, could not attend this year.”