Aimee Nottingham is a new product development manager for Bulldog Skincare in London. Her work builds upon a master's degree in cosmetic science from the University of the Arts London.
What interests do you have, or what work are you conducting, that is relevant to cosmetics R&D?
At Bulldog, I have the opportunity to work on developing our product formulations in house, as well as research new raw materials and textures. This is a very exciting way of driving innovation within the brand, especially to push boundaries with more environmentally friendly formulations, as this is one of our key brand values. It’s really great to see that the cosmetic industry is leading the way in sustainability and I’m very proud to be able to do my bit at Bulldog.
What do you like most about your work? What do you find most challenging?
What I enjoy most is dealing with lots of different aspects of product development; from the artwork, to choosing formulation ingredients and even dealing with the technical issues our customers face. Our small and hands-on team means that we can keep our development fast and be really quick to market, which is always very exciting and rewarding.
This can also be challenging, as I must constantly be on top of my to-do list and up-to-date with all the ongoing projects. What’s more, unexpected situations always come up, especially when you are working to a short timeline, so it’s important to stay calm and positive to find a way around these challenges.
Describe one of your biggest achievements relevant to cosmetics R&D.
Developing the formulation for an entire range of products from concept to final prototype approval has been my proudest achievement at work this year. It was really exciting to succeed in delivering product performance as well environmental benefits all within very tight cost constraints.
What about the cosmetics and personal care products industries excites you?
The cosmetic industry is always in the limelight when it comes to sustainability. The positive example set by the industry with microbeads and their removal from cosmetic products really shows that we can lead the way when it comes to environmental issues. There is now a real push from consumers for increased transparency from brands, since individuals are now able to do their own research thanks to the Internet. I am excited to see how the industry will embrace this new challenge to ensure that accurate information is easily accessible to customers, to avoid misinformation and scare-mongering.
'In the men’s cosmetic industry in particular, the evolution of product types is at a very exciting stage, especially given the influences coming from Asian countries such as Korea or Japan.'
How would you like your role in the industry to evolve? What concepts do you want to explore?
I’m looking forward to continuing to grow in my role, and hope to move up the next steps of the ladder in the coming years. In the men’s cosmetic industry in particular, the evolution of product types is at a very exciting stage, especially given the influences coming from Asian countries such as Korea or Japan. I think there will be some exciting innovations in the men’s sector in the coming years as the need increases for temporary ways to improve men's appearance through color cosmetics.
What areas or technologies do you think are untapped for cosmetics R&D?
As natural resources are becoming increasingly stretched globally, there will be a need to look at new ways to produce natural ingredients without using up resources. There have been some exciting innovations in cell culture to allow for the production of raw materials in vessels rather than in nature.
How do you envision the cosmetics/personal care industry of the future?
Green chemistry has been a slow but increasing movement in the last few years. There are so many opportunities to find alternatives to petrochemical sources, especially by using biobased materials as base ingredients in raw material manufacturing processes. I do hope to see the investment in these technologies increase in the near future so we can carry on developing products to help people look and feel their best but without using materials that cost the Earth.