May Day Surprise

For me, the first day of May used to begin early with picking wildflowers and arranging them into cone-shaped paper “baskets.” We kids would hang them on neighbors’ doorknobs, knock on the door and run so as not to get caught. May Day signaled the welcomed shift in season, which we celebrated by spreading surprise cheer.

Attempting to revive this fading tradition, I delivered a few May baskets in 2009 and to my surprise, some recipients had never heard of such a practice. I thought, at least locally, that most schools taught similar colloquialisms but I guess my surprise matched theirs at the flowers hanging on their front door. Nevertheless, they understood the gist of it: a new season of (hopefully good) surprises.

Similarly, as I am writing this, the industry has begun to shift into that all familiar new season: travel season. Events such as PCHi, In-Cosmetics, etc., are under our belts. In fact, now that it’s May, our attention shifts to New Jersey for the NYSCC Suppliers’ Day. What surprises await us there?

While I cannot be certain, I do know the organizers have themed this year’s event, “Improving the World Through Technology.” I smell high tech work under way and some of this year’s shows have foreshadowed advances on the horizon. Traditional Chinese medicine and efficacy boosters were among the top themes at PCHi in Shanghai. Engineering micelles for sensitive skin care was a highlight at Teamworks in Chicago, and as of press time, In-Cosmetics had planned innovation sessions on plant stem cell actives, botanical extracts for hair growth and silica particles for the delivery of peptides and vitamins, among others.

Advanced formulation work was recently discussed Wiechers’s examination of nanotechnology and its potential to penetrate the skin and/or deliver benefits. In addition, Schmid et al. described plant-derived stem cells in applications to improve skin cells, while Hilling looked to human growth factors for antiaging. Finally, Belcher et al. take a closer look at the safety of advanced technologies with their evaluation of 1,3-propanediol for potential skin effects.

Although the high level of its technical content shouldn’t surprise you, consider this collection of articles your May Day surprise. I hope that along with forward-thinking innovation, it brings you cheer.

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