At the Society of Cosmetic Chemists' (SCC) Annual Scientific Meeting and Technology Showcase, which took place on Dec. 12-13, 2013 at the New York Hilton, pertinent subjects were tackled, such as modern claims substantiation, nanomaterials, genetic testing and cosmetic dermatology.
The pre-event Continuing Education Program (CEP) featured a class by Howard Epstein on molecular biology and genetics in cosmetics. He noted how studies continue to emerge on the influence of micro RNA on gene expression. "The same micro RNA can have different effects depending on the type of cells it's acting on," he explained. Epigenetic regulation and antioxidant activity are also active areas of research. "Epigenetics is of particular interest to us in the 'naturals' area," said Epstein, who noted how studies have shown that nutraceuticals and even topical ingredients such as quercetin and curcumin can influence the epigenome. Finally, he discussed work showing how a mother's diet affects gene expression in her offspring. Specifically, a study of genetically identical mice showed one mouse being negatively influenced by its mother's poor diet, becoming overweight and turning its hair orange, compared with a healthier, brown mouse having received good nutrition. From such studies, Epstein observed, "I can see dermatologists of the future talking about epigenetics in relation to lifestyle."
The first session focused on claims substantiation, with a combination of assessing product performance for lips and underarms using new methods to a more broad discussion of claims substantiation in the EU and even more broadly in the cosmetic industry. Yulia Park, PhD, from Amway began by introducing her company's approach to assessing lip product performance using their Facial Analysis Computer Evaluation System (F.A.C.E.S.), which utilizes the VISIA-CR system to combine eight visual properties of the lip skin into one lip appearance index (LAI) score.
Similarly, Gert Nilsson, PhD, of Wheelsbridge AB, later discussed the use of polarized light to measure sweat gland activity as a means of assessing AP/deo performance.This method, according to Nilsson, is capable of quantifying the number of active sweat glands and the relative extent to which a liquid film forms over the skin surface area in different parts of the body (palm, forehead and axilla). In addition to assessing antiperspirant efficacy, it can also be used to assess the magnitude of hyperhidrosis and sweat gland activity in diabetic neuropathy.