Great Un-expectations

Sitting on my suitcase to zip it, I thought, “Why did I take so many product samples?” I’m not usually one to collect tradeshow giveaways, but this year at In-Cosmetics I did, and it’s a good thing—who would have expected a billowing cloud of volcanic ash over northern Europe to halt air travel for several days? I was happy to have those extra cleansers, moisturizers and shampoo on hand.

I am writing this four days after returning from In-Cosmetics Paris, a trip that was extended by a week due to the activity of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. While the uncertainty of when I would return home was unnerving, admittedly it could have been worse; I was in a beautiful city, the hotel extended my stay, and the weather remained pleasant. In this positive light, I found it interesting being stranded internationally. It was a reality check from Mother Nature forcing me from my comfort zone, in turn pushing creative thought into overdrive as I conjured up fantastic routes home and visions of survival. I rather enjoyed it—but only for the first few days.

Taking unexpected turns leads us down new paths of discovery, which is especially relevant to science and certainly applicable to personal care product development. As Eric Perrier, executive vice president of R&D for LVMH, put it at In-Cosmetics’ opening press conference, “An innovation is a discovery that meets customers’ needs.” Leading you down new paths of discovery—or in some cases old paths rediscovered, this month’s issue looks at two areas of color development. Dobos first delves into DHA for self-tanning, providing an overview of challenges and shedding light on potential solutions. Then Abrutyn tastefully suggests formulating with caramels as natural colorants.

Further pepping things up, Ziosi et al. use PCL to evaluate the antioxidant capacity of oils derived from basil and thyme, and determine whether ingredient interactions within formulas impact their antioxidant potential. Finally, following this natural path of discovery, the Naturals/Botanicals Encyclopedia provides formulators with a directory of raw materials and their suppliers designed to meet the market demand for natural products.

There’s an Irish blessing that begins, “May the road rise up to meet you,” wishing an easy and direct path in life; but as this travel log reveals, taking an occasional unexpected turn can be just as desirable—in which case, C&T magazine wishes you “great un-expectations.”

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