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Ones to Watch: Christine Tilghman

Contact Author Michele Behrens
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Meet Christine Tilghman, R&D manager of product integrity and technical support at MANE USA. Tilghman earned her Masters in Pharmaceutical Sciences with an emphasis in Cosmetic Science from the University of Cincinnati (UC) in Spring 2018.

Tilghman is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the University of Cincinnati's industrial Ph.D. program, focused on biomembrane sciences.


What interests do you have, or what work are you conducting, that is relevant to cosmetics R&D?

At MANE USA, I am responsible for solving technical challenges for fragranced home and personal care consumer products. In my field, there must be an understanding of not only fragrance chemistry, but also cosmetic chemistry to investigate complex fragrance-based interactions.

See related: Regulating Risk; Fragrance Safety for the 21st Century

I have become increasingly interested in fragrance partitioning and how to alter the behavior to improve stability and odor performance. My training at UC has been crucial in growing the technical breadth and depth in my everyday work assignments and in my academic research.

What do you like most about your work? What do you find most challenging?

I really love being almost like a "forensic” scientist—investigating why fragrance behaves differently in various applications and being creative in how we technically modify a fragrance. When stability issues arise, at times it can be challenging to modify for stability and at the same time maintain the same olfactive character. We try to look for additives and adjust the solvent system to address the issues before modifying the aromatic ingredients.

'I like being able to grow with the trends, and
how we all reinvent ourselves in the process.'

Describe one of your biggest achievements relevant to cosmetics R&D.

One “a-ha” moment I had early on was how the presence of amines in a personal care product can lead to Schiff base formation with certain fragrance ingredients. Schiff bases are common in perfumery but seeing this happen as a result of the base formulation opened my eyes to how fragrance and cosmetic chemistry are equally important in this kind of work. We can then use this to mask the inherent “fishy” odors of some bases.

What is it about the cosmetics and personal care industry that excites you?

There is always something to learn! As trends change, the technologies and our way of thinking change. There are so many diverse areas of science that can be applied to cosmetic science. I like being able to grow with the trends, and how we all reinvent ourselves in the process.

What areas or technologies do you think are untapped for cosmetics R&D? i.e., what areas would you like to explore to shape the future of our industry?

I think there is a lot left to explore in how fragrances affect product efficacy and the delivery of actives in the skin. Fragrance is such a small percentage of the product that sometimes formulators don’t realize the major impact it can have on product performance–whether that be positive or negative.

See related: Fragrance in Emulsion Systems and Surfactant Systems



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