Kelly Mei is a formulation scientist at Ingredion. She earned her bachelor's degree in pharmaceutical science from the University of Toledo, with a major in cosmetic science and formulation design, and a minor in chemistry and marketing.
What interests do you have or what work are you conducting that is relevant to cosmetics R&D?
In the cosmetics and personal care field, there’s a broad range of interesting products in different applications that apply a combination of science, art and business. I am a Formulation Scientist working at Ingredion, Global Beauty and Home Care. The company supplies ingredients from plant sources, and my job is to utilize those ingredients to develop prototypes by applying claims and evaluation studies for cosmetic and personal care applications. The finalized prototypes are used to showcase the benefits of the ingredients for upcoming tradeshows.
What do you like most about your work? What do you find most challenging?
I enjoy being an explorer at work, where I can evaluate ingredients to find benefits for a potential application in skin care, hair care or color cosmetics. Once an evaluation on an ingredient is completed, I enjoy developing creative ideas for formulations.
A challenge would have to be competitive companies. There are many companies that supply similar ingredients. Therefore, my job is important to evaluate ingredients and create formulations to find unique benefits for products.
Describe one of your biggest achievements or “A-ha!” moments relevant to cosmetics R&D.
I was given a great opportunity to showcase one of my projects at the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists (NYSCC) Suppliers’ Day in 2019. It was a great accomplishment to be able to network with other suppliers and consumers, as well as learn about the latest innovations from many different companies. Industries are alway trying to find improvements and trends in the cosmetics and personal care field. It was an accomplishment to be involved in a great networking event where innovations can meet.
What about the cosmetics and personal care products industries excites you?
Innovation is an ongoing process and an exciting adventure for one’s mind to become better than better. Industries are always evolving to new ideas for products. It is exciting to explore new products as well as hear about the product trends of the future.
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?
Developing greener, sustainable and affordable solutions for simple formulated products that can maintain performance and claims.