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The MWSCC Packs the Personal Care House
By: Katie Schaefer, Cosmetics & Toiletries
Posted: April 6, 2010
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Kapsner provided a formulation from a hand soap he formulated in the 1970s commenting, “Little did I know that my liquid soap in 1970 would be a poster child for free-from.” He noted that with formaldehyde and some other chemicals, cross-contamination from a number of consumer products is more of a problem than exposure from one personal care product alone. Also, according to Kapsner, some chelators and preservatives continue to serve their function in the waste stream, possibly affecting the environment. Preservatives, however, are an obvious necessity. Kapsner noted, “You have to decide if you want to be preservative-free or microbiological contamination-free.” He concluded that chemists need to educate consumers about which chemicals pose health risks and which do not.
The session then took a short coffee break, during which Rachel Grabenhofer, senior editor of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine and TeamWorks education co-chair, presented a check on behalf of the magazine as a donation to the MWSCC's educational activities. Accepting on behalf of the MWSCC were Gene Frank and MWSCC Chair Cinda Carlson (Concept Labs).
Reconvening from the break, the discussion then shifted to sensitive skin with a presentation by Russel Walters, PhD, of Johnson & Johnson (J&J). Walters dissected the term sensitive skin, noting that for J&J, the term mostly applies to babies. Sensitive skin, according to Walters, can be dermatitis, inflammation of skin or skin having a reduced barrier. Walters simplified that definition to: "Sensitive skin is skin that requires less aggressive cleansing.” To cleanse sensitive skin, Walters recommended reducing the surfactant load since cleansers can remove barrier components and remain in the skin. Walters and his colleagues at J&J address remaining surfactants with hydrophobically modified polymers. These polymers reportedly lessen irritation by reducing the penetration of surfactants into the skin. In addition, Walters noted novel work under way with relation to micelles and their mechanisms to improve the mildness of cleansers on sensitive skin.
Moving from the skin discussion, Ali Syed, PhD, founder of Avlon Industries, spoke on his area of expertise, ethnic hair care. Syed defined ethnic hair as “excessively curly hair.” He described the differences in diameter, ellipticity and oil distribution of African, Caucasian and Brazilian hair. In addition, Syed gave some formulating tips on creating products for ethnic hair, noting that alcohols are “deadly” for African hair. The combination of silicones and laminates, however, better accompanies the blow dry maintenance of African hair, according to Syed.
The final speaker of the morning was Michael Wright, project leader on the Nexxus Salon hair care brand for Alberto-Culver. Sensory claims were the focus of Wright’s presentation. According to Wright, product technology and sensory signals add to the consumer's experience and since consumers use their senses to test the product before purchasing it, Wright recommended that product formulators consider the consumers' current vs. ideal experiences. He noted that formulators must understand the drivers behind what makes a consumer like a product and suggested that all formulators think about the sensory interactions consumers have during each stage of experience with the product—i.e., from sniffing the product in the bottle on the store shelf, to feeling it in their hands before applying it, to lasting effects such as its scent and feel after hours have passed.