Integrating Science, Culture in Osaka


The International Federation of the Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) not only integrated cosmetic sciences at the 24th IFSCC Congress held Oct. 16-19, 2006, in Osaka, Japan, but also united nearly 2,000 delegates of different cultures from around the globe.

This year’s congress theme: “Integration of Cosmetics-related Sciences and Technologies,” reflected the belief that the value of cosmetics in the 21st century cannot be discussed solely in terms of academic knowledge, technology or sensibility. According to Yoshimaru Kumano, PhD, president of the SCC of Japan, steering committee chairman of the 24th IFSCC Congress, and incoming IFSCC president, “It is our mission to recognize and to maximize the new value of cosmetics by integrating all the relevant scientific and technological disciplines.” This year’s congress did just that.

Opening Ceremonies: The opening ceremony and welcome reception was officially opened by Kumano, who briefly addressed delegates with the hope that this year’s congress would help to integrate and create new values. Following Kumano, Gianfranco Secchi, immediate past president of the IFSCC, welcomed attendees, expressing his wish: “that this three-day conference will be very busy with not only scientific hearing but an exchange with colleagues of scientific ideas, interests and research.”

Additional opening remarks were presented by local government officials including a special appearance by Japan’s Imperial Highness, Princess Takamado, who congratulated the society for the advancements made in cosmetics over the years and commented, “We ask a lot of our cosmetics, increasingly blurring the borders between sciences and medicine.”

She made one request to the scientists attending this year’s congress: “Whatever conclusions you come to, they should be with moral integrity—not only against your fellow men or women, but against the planet; for our environment is a fragile one and we cannot afford to poison her, intentionally or unintentionally.” The opening night’s welcome reception also honored this year’s Maison G. DeNavarre Award for young scientists recipient, Megan Jones, for her essay entitled, “How Can Cosmetic Science Influence Society?” Jones currently is a sales manager at Uniqema in Johannesburg, South Africa, in addition to being the president of COSCHEM, the South African SCC.

The evening’s stage festivities ended with a performance by the Kansai Philharmonic Orchestra and moved to the nearby hotel for dinner buffets held in five separate rooms featuring foods from around the globe.

Conferences: The second day kicked off with two keynote speakers, Hachiro Tagami, MD, PhD (Tohoku University, Japan) and Tomoji Kawai, PhD (ISIR Osaka University, Japan). Tagami looked at means to determine efficacious skin care products. “The eyes are unreliable instruments to judge normalcy of skin,” said Tagami. He described how, in the past 25 years, there has been a movement among dermatologists and cosmetic scientists to introduce noninvasive methods that utilize rapidly progressing biophysical instrumentation into the field of skin science.

In Kawai’s address, nanotechnology development in Japan and its applications in personal care were discussed. Two major approaches were given to developing nanotechnologies: top-down and bottom-up. The top-down approach refers to cutting materials down to a nano-size, whereas the bottom-up approach refers to adding molecules together to build up into the “nano-world.”

In addition to the two approaches, Kawai stated that he believes there should be categories of nanotechnologies: those already industrialized, those forecasted for practical use in 5-6 years, and those with potential for practical use in 10-20 years. For example, nanotechnology currently used in sunscreens already has been industrialized, whereas pinpoint drug delivery systems could be applied in “nanomedicine” in 10-20 years. Kawai’s presentation touched on public concern recently raised regarding nanomaterials in sunscreens.

Over the three days of conferences, sessions spanned skin, formulation technology and hair care, evaluation methods, sunscreens, psychology and skin condition, and vehicles. Hot topics raising audience interest included salicyloyl phytosphingosine and its repair effects on photoaged skin; cloning strategies to produce proteins from sea anemone for DNA repair; capsaicin activity and sensitive skin; p. atropurpureus for the treatment of the basement skin layer; combinatorial formulation; a new tool for the measurement of SPF and UVA protection; psychological evaluation of fragrance in menopausal women; sensory acoustics in the assessment of personal care washes; and prefrontal brain activity for the prediction of acne, among others.

Social functions: Attendees were welcomed at a social reception themed “Japan Night,” held Oct. 17, 2006, featuring musical performances, a Bunraku puppet doll performance, a live Rakugo stage artist presenting in English for the first time, a twelve-layered ceremonial robe show and traditional Japanese clothing fashion show and a Danjiri-bayashi music ensemble performed on traditional instruments. The evening’s festivities were hosted at Taiko-en, which highlighted the Yodogawa mansion, an example of traditional Japanese architecture. Guests were invited to remove their shoes to stroll through many rooms displaying artwork, pottery and more. The mansion was nestled within Japanese botanical gardens.

Gala banquet, award presentation ceremony: After three days of concentrated science, the IFSCC congress closed with a formal gala banquet and awards presentation ceremony, spiced with intermittent drum and theatrical performances by Osaka Dadada-dan Tenko and Partner Robot, a robot designed by Toyota with artificial lips and agile fingers to play the trumpet.

Opening remarks and a sake breaking ceremony were given by incoming IFSCC President Kumano. Awards were presented for best poster, scientific research and best research. The poster award was presented to Toshii Iida, Yuji Katsuta, Kiyotaka Hasegawa, Mitsuhiro Denda and Shinji Inomata (Shiseido Research Center, Japan) for their poster: “How can we improve the appearance of conspicuous facial pores?” The scientific research award was presented to Josette Peguet-Navarro (University Lyon, Dermatology Unit, France), for the paper: “Differential toxicity on monocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells: A new tool to differentiate allergens from irritants.”

Finally, awards were presented for best research. As an honorable mention, Joke Bouwstra (LACDR/DDT, Leiden University, the Netherlands), was recognized for her paper, “A novel stratum corneum substitute mimics the barrier properties of dry and normal skin: A convenient and efficient approach for screening of active ingredients.” And the best research award went to Chika Katagiri (Shiseido Research Center, Japan), for her presentation, “Identification of a regulatory molecule in keratinocyte denucleation and its relevance to barrier disruption.”

Closing out the ceremony and another IFSCC congress, Secchi, with a choked-up voice, handed off the presidency gavel to Kumano, remarking, “It’s difficult.” Receiving the gavel, Kumano replied, “I would like to express my gratitude to Gianfranco Secchi and past president Joe Pavlichko.”

Next year’s IFSCC Congress will be held Sept. 24-26, 2007, in Amsterdam and will feature the theme of “building on water.”

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