Inventive Formulating Abounds Yet Questions Remain at SCC’s Scientific Seminar

Innovative raw materials and research abounded at the Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ (SCC) 2010 Annual Scientific Seminar; however, old issues from previous years continued to be raised, namely: Where is the line between cosmetics and drugs? How can the formulator become more eco-friendly? How can manufacturers reinvent the hair care and color cosmetic categories?

After many attendees trekked through traffic to the seminar, the event started off with a feel-good opening lecture honoring one of the industry’s most dedicated members—Henry Maso. Many of Maso’s colleagues remembered his sense of humor, and in true Maso style, Ken Marenus, PhD, senior vice president of global product integrity and regulatory affairs for Estée Lauder, opened the Henry Maso Keynote Award Lecture by letting attendees know, “I went into regulatory a few years ago, and decided to give up science.”

Referencing the natural trend, Marenus noted that it is a trend that is not going anywhere. He added, “We are in the middle of this story right now.” He identified the four main pillars of a sustainability/green program: human health, environmental impact, social responsibility and business optimization. According to Marenus, social responsibility is being shifted to the supply chain. Marenus advised both suppliers and product formulators to adopt the principles of green chemistry, which involve using renewable feedstocks, the design of safer chemicals and energy efficiency, among others. He added that suppliers and formulators must think about their substances with regards to the four pillars of a sustainability or eco-friendly program. He concluded his presentation by emphasizing that sustainable chemistry is better achieved using new platforms than retro-fitting old formulas with new technology. Water, according to Marenus, is going to be one of the next major concerns.

Bruce Uhlman of BASF Corp. also discussed the pillars of sustainable product development. His pillars, however, numbered three: economy, environment and social sustainability. According to Uhlman, “Sustainability is a partnership.” To measure sustainability, he noted that a company must consider the entire life cycle of product creation. To that end, BASF has developed Seebalance, its tool to quantify the economic, environmental and social sustainability of a technology during its life cycle. After describing the measurement tool, Uhlman noted that bio-based products are not necessarily more eco-friendly than synthetic raw materials.

Continuing the sustainability discussion was Gilles Pauly, PhD, scientific director of R&D for Laboratoires Sérobiologiques (LS), who discussed his company’s partnership with Targanine to harvest argan oil cakes and argan leaves for cosmetic use from the argan tree forests of Southern Morocco. According to Pauly, the argan tree serves an important socio-economic role in its region, as it supports over three million people. The tree also provides a barrier to the neighboring Sahara desert. The argan tree forest in Morocco is in jeopardy, due to over-exploitation, soil erosion and desertification. LS implemented a Corporate Social Responsibility program in collaboration with L’Oréal and Yamana to sustainably harvest parts of the argan tree. This program involved establishing a network of cooperatives comprised mainly of women to sustainably harvest argan cakes and argan leaves without chemical treatments, pesticides or fertilizers.

The conversation turned from sustainability to natural raw materials with a presentation on improved sensorial performance in natural formulations using polyglycerol modified plant waxes by Paula Lennon, personal care technical director of Gattefossé. She noted, “Textures are getting better in natural skin care due to more vegetable-based emollients.” According to Lennon, natural skin care needs improvements in fragrance and comfort. While plant waxes can reduce dehydration in cosmetics, they destabilize formulations and give poor skin feel. Lennon noted that PEG treatment can improve compatibility but is unsuitable for natural cosmetics. Her team therefore combined sunflower seed, mimosa and jojoba waxes with vegetable polyglycerol-3 by transesterification and polyglycerolysis. The resulting esters showed amphiphilic properties, improved formulability and skin feel.

The morning’s session was concluded with a presentation by Oliver Thum, PhD, head of biotechnology research in the consumer specialties business unit of Evonik Goldschmidt GmbH, who explained his company’s sustainable biocatalytic esterification process to produce emollient esters. According to Thum, his company’s process, in comparison to conventional processing, uses a lower reaction temperature for the catalyst, recycles the enzyme a number of times to be more cost-effective, is simpler and improves quality.

An awards luncheon followed the morning session, and as attendees dined, two industry awards were presented. The first award, the Henry Maso Keynote Award, was presented by Maso’s wife Joyce to Ken Marenus. Before presenting the award, Joyce Maso reflected, “Henry knew and admired Ken.” She discussed Maso’s love for educating young cosmetic chemists, proudly noting, “This award has come about from the work and energy of his young chemists.”

The Best Paper Award from the 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting was then presented to Craig Bonda of the HallStar Company by Pascal Herve of Rhodia Novecare, the award’s sponsor. Bonda co-authored the paper “Improving Sunscreen Photostability by Quenching the Singlet Excited State,” along with Anna Pavlovic, Kerry Hanson and Chris Bardeen. After being presented the award, Bonda graciously donated a portion of the prize back to the Henry Maso Award.

The afternoon’s presentations were focused on hair, starting with a keynote presentation by Jennifer Marsh, PhD, a research fellow at Procter & Gamble’s Miami Valley Innovation Center, who discussed new approaches for hair color products. She highlighted the three main changes in hair after it is colored: the surface energy is different due to removal of the F-layer, the hair's porosity is higher, and the cuticle quality is worse. These changes produce hair that feels different and requires more force to comb, according to Marsh. Marsh emphasized that colored hair should be considered a different substrate than virgin hair, and this involves creating different products designed for colored hair. She discussed three strategies to create hair care products for colored hair. In the first, Marsh’s team incorporated a liquid crystal colloidal structure into a shampoo to increase the hydrophobicity of the surface, thereby increasing silicone deposition from both the shampoo and the conditioner. The team also created a oxidant technology that combined ammonium carbonate, hydrogen peroxide and glycine at pH 9, and this reduction in pH in the oxidant reduced the loss of the F-layer. In addition, the copper-induced radical chemistry was reduced.

The conversation turned from hair coloring to hair straightening in a with a presentation by Timothy Gao, PhD, principle scientist at Croda. Gao discussed multilayer lamella vesicles (MLVs) in hair straightening formulations for better straightening efficacy, faster and larger stress decay, and smaller retaining relative helix content when compared with formulas without MLVs. Gao’s team replaced the non-ionic emulsifier in hair straightening formulas with an equal amount of phosphate esters to enhance the formation of MLV structures.

Karl Lintner, PhD, followed Gao with a talk on modulating hair growth. According to Lintner, humans have 100,000-150,000 hairs on their scalp, some up to 500,000. He noted that hair has the highest rate of mitosis. However, he added, “Regulation of hair growth involves extremely complex interactions on several levels.” He reviewed lessening DHT production by inhibiting 5α-reductase type I and II as a method to increase hair growth, in addition to improving blood irrigation to the hair follicle and improving follicle keratinocyte quality. Also, he offered three ideas to counter hair growth: inhibiting protein synthesis and energy supply, inhibiting cell proliferation, and chelidonine to paralyze mitosis and reduce 5 o’clock shadow. He concluded, “It is easier to slow hair growth than to initiate it or speed it up.”

Hair growth continued in the following presentation by Paul Mouser, PhD, global R&D scientist at ISP, who discussed an approach to enhance hair growth and improve the health of hair. The company developed a yeast extract, which increases keratin 14 and keratin 17 to improve hair strength and nourishment. In addition, a corn extract was developed that increases laminin 5 for hair growth maintenance. Finally, Mouser discussed a rice extract that enhances hair elongation and protects hair from damage.

To design products that maintain hair health, a formulator must be able to quantify hair’s propensity for hair breakage, which was the topic for Trefor Evans, PhD, principle scientist at TRI/Princeton. According to Evans, there is a need to better understand the factors that contribute to breakage. His team repeatedly brushed or combed tresses a number of times, subsequently counting the number of broken fibers. This test reportedly can be used to demonstrate the benefits associated with conventional conditioning products since surfact lubrication reduces grooming forces, snagging and tangling. He noted that with this testing, it is possible to predict breakage rates on actual heads as a function of different habits and practices.

The second day of the program began with a trends presentation by keynote speaker Betsy Schmalz Ferguson, president of American Flavors and Fragrances. She noted the growth of food ingredients in cosmetic products. In addition, she has seen more diversity in personal care products and a growing number of product manufacturers becoming socially responsible. Interestingly, she has also observed a trend for high tech makeup, including custom-blendable cosmetics and makeup that self-adjusts in different light. Ferguson added, “More devices or products [previously] only available at the doctor’s office are now available at home.” A more recent trend she noted is that for color cosmetics to reinvent past generations. For example, disco makeup is on the rise, in addition to old product forms such as stick makeup and eyeliner in a pot. She commented that she has also seen rise in the conversations about vitamin D in skin care, and concluded with the thought that sometimes it is about how young a brand thinks.

The topic of color cosmetics continued in a talk by Juergen Walker, PhD, senior scientist at BASF, who discussed the challenges associated with formulating with effect pigments. Walker’s staff examined the challenges of formulating titania coated mica and titania coated borosilicate in shampoo, cream, lipstick and pressed powder. While effect pigments had little effect on the viscosity of shampoo, they lowered the viscosity of a cream by nearly 45%. With lipstick, the team concluded that the breaking point influence on lipstick results from formulation and processing variations of the base and not the effect pigment. The largest challenge when formulating with effect pigments is seen in pressed powder, where the pigments are at their highest use levels. There, to achieve an effective product with effect pigments, adjustments must be made with regard to wet and dry binder content, press pressure and pigment loading.

Jane Hollenberg of JCH Consulting then transitioned the pigment discussion to surface treatments. Hollenberg worked with Gelest to use hydrophilic silanes to improve pigment wetting and dispersion in water-based formulations. According to Hollenberg, with a hydrophilic silane, one can use a higher pigment load due to a lower viscosity. In addition, energy input to achieve pigment dispersion can be greatly reduced.

Rounding out the morning’s presentations was Santash Yadav, PhD, of ISP, who discussed luster measurements of lips treated with six lipstick formulations containing different polymers. Yadav’s team used digital photography and image analysis to measure luster from lipsticks applied on a mannequin and the team found that the formulation containing VP/eicosene copolymer exhibited the highest amount of luster.

During the luncheon following the morning session, the SCC announced the student Poster Award winners. The awards were given by Don Katz of DD Chemco, the award sponsor. In fourth-place was Amber Evans from the University of Cincinnati, who won for her poster, “Water Hardness and Human Hair: An Investigation of the Structural Implications of This Interaction." In third-place was Jody Ebanks of the University of Cincinnati for her poster, “Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Melanosome Degradation and Processing by Epidermal Keratinocytes of Distinct Racial Sources.” Second-place went to Laura Anderson of the University of Southern Mississippi for her paper, “First Generation Formulation and Rheology Study of Multi-mechanistic Cosmetic Coating to Protect Skin from Thermal Energy.” Finally, first-place was awarded to Michelle McCluskey of the University of Southern Mississippi for her paper, “Formulation Optimization and Texture Analysis of Multi-mechanistic Cosmetic Coating to Protect Skin from Thermal Injury.”

Attendees then reconvened for the last of the sessions, which focused on the blending of dermatology and cosmetology with personal care products. The keynote speaker was dermatologist Zoe Diana Draelos, MD, who discussed the foggy line between drugs and cosmetics. According to Draelos, “Drugs and cosmetics are what you say they are, and what you say they do,” meaning that because this line often is blurred, the claims associated with the product dictate whether it is a drug or a cosmetic. Draelos noted the ongoing definition of cosmetics vs. drugs but added that water, petrolatum and glycerin, common personal care ingredients, are some of the most skin structure modifying substances known to dermatology. She has seen little formulation differences between cosmetic moisturizers and prescription moisturizers and concluded that the line between the two is becoming more blurry with actives in skin care and cosmetically elegant prescription skin care.

Vito Cataldo, a research chemist with Arch Personal Care Products, followed Draelos by presenting optically-responsive powders. Cataldo began by reviewing the recent light device trend, noting how blue light has been used to treat acne, how UV light has been used to treat psoriasis, and how red light has been used for antiaging. Cataldo’s team created a noni fruit-coated powder that increases elastin production upon interaction with red light. The light was also found to increase cell metabolism.

Antiaging was also the topic of Nathalie Chevrot, antiaging product manager at Seppic, who discussed her company’s research of the anti-wrinkle action behind palmitoyl isoleucine. According to Chevrot, the material at 1% was shown to promote adipocyte differentiation, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles, improving skin elasticity and plumping the skin.

The presentation of innovative raw materials continued with a talk on cyclopeptide-5’s ability to improve skin smoothness by Howard Epstein, PhD, of EMD Chemicals Inc. The peptide was designed by the company with an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid amino acid sequence. According to Epstein, the peptide promotes repair of the extracellular matrix components at the dermoepidermal junction zone. Through various in vitro and in vivo studies, the company reported that the peptide improved skin smoothness after 28 days.

The final presentation was given by Neena Philips, PhD, associate professor of biological sciences at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Philips discussed transforming growth factor-β (TGF- β) as the primary beneficial regulator of the extracellular matrix. The effects of TFG-β are down-regulated by UV radiation; therefore, Philips determined that products that inhibit MMPs and elastase while simultaneously stimulating TIMPs, collagen, elastin, fibrillin and TGF-β are ideal in counteracting skin aging. Her team discovered that Polypodium leucotomos, a Central American tropical fern, was able to inhibit MMPS while stimulating collagens, TIMPs, fibrillin and TGF-β.

After the seminar closed, it was evident that some industry issues will never be completely resolved. The line between cosmetics and drugs may never be defined, and the industry will likely never define natural. Regarding formulations, however, the industry will continue inventing innovative raw materials and technologies, consistently reinventing itself for future improvement.

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