IFSCC Builds on Water, Skepticism

Can the senses be trusted? Do the test results truly establish a cause-effect relationship? Notions such as these, presented by keynote lecturer Michael Shermer, PhD, publisher of Skeptic magazine and regular contributor for the Scientific American journal, set the stage for the 2007 IFSCC Conference, held Sept. 24-26, in Amsterdam. Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine proudly sponsored this keynote that called on all scientists present to rethink the product claims they make through entertaining tales of falsified UFO photographs and demonic interpretations of backwards Led Zeppelin lyrics.

During the opening ceremony and welcome reception, Muchaneta G. Mutasa, an R&D chemist for Azochem Laboratories, was honored with the Maison G. de Navarre Young Scientist award. The first day of podium presentations highlighted the conference theme, “Building on Water.” Keynote lecturer Paul Matts, PhD, of P&G in the UK opened the session with his talk on the human skin as a “barrier factory.” He described skin as stiff, but like a “bendy straw” since excess skin allows the skin to bend. He added that something is needed in skin to plasticize this hard and stiff tegument so it does not crack, and water is an “incredibly effective” plasticizer.

The first day’s sessions focused on the natural moisturizing factor in skin, aquaporins and their role in retaining water in the skin, correlating age and quantifying product efficacy to skin via viscoelastic properties, and a full thickness skin model to replace animal testing. Additional topics ranged from in vivo monitoring of topical caffeine by Raman spectroscopy, water management of human hair and a depth profile of water amounts in skin depending on age, site, and more using spectroscopic effects; usual methods of measuring water in skin--what they tell researchers and what is ignored; rose fruit extract on facial pores; and teprenone to improve skin conditions, among others.

During the day’s sessions, a few interesting points were raised by audience members, such as:

  • “Does changing the water content in skin equivalents change TEWL?” The answer was: It depends on the packaging.”
  • Aquaporin-3 (AQP-3) was found to activate in skin when the skin is dry. “Can you say that activating these AQP-3s will increase moisturization in skin?” Answer: “Yes.”
  • AQP-3 was also shown to transport glycerol in skin. “Is there a physiological reason that it transports the glycerol?”
    Answer: “There is a real link between glycerin in skin and aquaporions.”
  • In regards to the reconstituted epidermis, “What limitation do preservatives have on this culture?” Answer: “We have problems with preservatives and toxicity since there are no stratum corneum cells protecting.”
  • Teprenone was shown as a complementary treatment to peptides for antiaging. “Is there a fast efficacy if the concentration is increased?” The reply: “Probably an improved effect, but there is likely a limit to what the skin can do.”

The second days’ sessions included talks on preventing hair damage, a pigment with properties similar to snow for makeup, a decorin-like tetrapeptide to optimize organization of collagen fibers, testing of products without animals, Coenzyme Q10 for antiaging of hair, measurement of hair shine especially in blonde hair, photostability, quercetin encapsulation for stability and more. To view the entire listing of topics covered at the conference, visit: www.ifscc2007.nl.

After mental fatigue from the technical sessions, delegates embarked for a boat trip through the Amsterdam canals, ending at the Science Centre Nemo for the closing banquet dinner and awards. Muriel Conrad-Reisner offered the Lester Conrad Education Prize to Alberto Martin, PhD. Martin received the prize on behalf of the Ecuadorian society, which won the award for best cosmetic educational program. The 2007 IFSCC Conference Award was presented to Xavier Romeu on behalf of Arturo Puig, PhD, from Lipotec, who gave the best eligible presentation of the 2007 IFSCC Conference, “A New Decorin-like Tetrapeptide for Optimal Organization of Collagen Fibers.”

Finally, the IFSCC presidential gavel was passed to Johann Wiechers, PhD, installed as the new 2007-08 IFSCC president. Overall, the conference welcomed 455 delegates from 32 countries, including a majority from France (66), Japan (57), Germany (51), the Netherlands (46), South Korea (34) and the United States (34).

From L, Yoshimaru Kumano, PhD, presenting the Maison G. deNavarre Young Scientist Award to Muchaneta Mutasa

From L, Johann Wiechers, PhD, welcomes keynote Michael Shermer, PhD.

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