SCC Meeting Reveals Color Studies: Mask-wearing Transfer, Environmental Mica and Restoring Hair Pigment

The Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) returned this week to New York for an on-site (and online) Scientific Meeting and Showcase. From Dec. 13-15, 2021, attendees will: reflect on the SCC's 75 years; explore advances in natural, cleaner and milder formulations; focus on diversity in beauty;  seek to advance makeup and hair care; learn new findings of cannabinoids (CBDs) and the skin microbiome; take a sustainability deep dive and more.

Day 1: SCC Meeting Explores Evolution and Revolution in Cosmetics, Personal Care

Testing Mask Resistance with Color Cosmetics 

As consumers have become aware, color cosmetics tend to transfer to fabrics and from the skin to masks rather easily, which reduces product coverage and performance over time. With the continuation of the pandemic, consumers will be looking for products that can withstand the challenge of wearing color cosmetics while constantly taking the masks on and off.

Presented by Loviena Mascarenhas of Eurofins, CRL Cosmetics, Inc., a protocol was developed to evaluate the long-lasting effects of makeup/foundations after 2 hr and 4 hr of mask use. The following analysis was performed: in vivo with digital photography of the face to evaluate the quantity of product remaining on the face; and in vitro directly on the mask to evaluate the quantity of residue that has been transferred from the face to the mask. A long-wear foundation and a non-long wear foundation were used for this study.

Researchers compared the residue transfer and makeup coverage levels of the foundation over a period of 4 hr on subjects who either wore a mask or did not wear a mask. It was found that the mask had a significant impact on both foundations’ coverage levels over a 4 hr period.   

There was a significant decrease in coverage between the long wear and the non-long wear foundations. However, the long-wear foundation maintained better coverage over time. The coverage of the foundation will decrease as the wear time of the mask increases. In addition, there was a substantial amount of residue that was transferred from the face onto the mask.

There was a higher amount of residue transferred while using the non-long wear foundation. When comparing the products by themselves without the masks, the long-wear foundation had better coverage at all time points.

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By developing a protocol to quantify the amount of color cosmetics transfer onto face masks, researchers were able to conduct clinical evaluations to determine the "mask resistance" of makeup products. This will allow for the industry to make improvements to the products that can tolerate masks, both for the purpose of the pandemic and for fields that require the constant on/off use of masks.   

"[So looping back to my question,] can mask some cosmetics to co-exist? Yes, they can," said Mascarenhas.

"This is a method to quantify the transfer residue. The consumers are going back into their social settings, are going back to their jobs and are wearing their masks. This is what we need. We need better, innovative raw material ingredients. If we can make that perfect blend of these products then we have an avenue to test these products, to quantify them, quantify the product coverage. . . so this is what our [innovative] method can help us do."

Environmental Impact of Natural and Synthetic Mica

Mica is a naturally occurring mineral that is mined, processed and coated to create effect pigments in various colors for cosmetics and personal care products. Synthetic mica (synthetic fluorphlogopite) is a synthetic alternative to natural mica used similarly to natural mica to create effect pigments. Through technologies, effect pigments manufactured with both natural and synthetic mica create a range of colors and effects for cosmetics and personal care formulations. The following was presented by Amy Ethier, Ph.D. at Sun Chemical.

The overall environmental impact of natural mica was 6.5x less than synthetic mica. The most relevant impact categories following the EEA6 methodology are the global warming potential, fossil resource depletion and acidification. A significant contributor to the environmental impact of synthetic mica production is electricity usage. There was a notable difference between the electricity source mix including hard coal usage between the countries. Energy intensive processes involved with the manufacture of synthetic mica drive fossil resource depletion. 

For these impact categories, the process that is driving the results is the mica particle size reduction. For the synthetic mica, this was captured in both the sizing down in wet and dry conditions. The electricity for the wet sizing process for natural mica was also a contributor to the most impact categories, although the electricity for wet sizing of natural mica is about 15% of the electricity for dry sizing of synthetic mica. For synthetic mica, the next biggest contributors for most of the impact categories were the electricity for melting; the production of potassium hexafluoro-silicate acid; and the transportation from China to the United States. The difference in energy mix would also contribute to differences in the global warming potential, fossil resource depletion and acidification.

Related: Biodegradable Glitter May Be Threat to Freshwater: Report

Finally, the relatively closed-loop system of natural mica production, namely using recycled process water, and return of non-mica ground composition to the Earth is a less wasteful process than synthetic mica. According to Ethier, the process for synthetic mica is generally more complex and the resulting complexity of the synthetic route to production is captured in the results of the LCA and waste streams. The energy required to produce a coated effect pigment contributes to the LCA values for such a pigment; although as indicated, the energy source is dependent on geographic manufacturing location. 

"When we look at the overall impact of a coating process. . . the calcination step is energy-intensive and it's a big contributor [to the environment]," said Ethier.

"[This is] certainly by far the most significant contributor to the environmental impact, largely through the thermal demand, the energy required for this particular step. So although we start to see the difference between titanium coated synthetic mica [and] titanium coated natural mica is closer in terms of the environmental impact."

Palmitoylated Peptide Triggers Natural Hair Pigmentation

The objective of this study, presented by Richard Leroux, Ph.D. of Sederma, was to develop an original methodology for identifying and evaluating the efficiency of several molecules on melanin synthesis by stimulation of the pigmentation pathways, in particular, by boosting certain intermediates such as MITF, TYRP1 and CREB, which are highly involved in this process.

According to Leroux, it is also essential to promote communication between follicular melanocytes and the keratinocytes that produce hair through the dendrites. Reducing the stress impact by stimulating catalase and reducing glutathione can help control these radicals could be of interest. 

Screenings allowed researchers to identify the peptide P3 that stimulates melanin production into melanocytes and follicles through upregulation of proteins MITF and TYRP1, and of tyrosinase activity. P3 also protects hair cells and follicles from oxidative stress through the catalase and glutathione pathway, and by reduction of ROS production.

Four independent evaluations on volunteers confirmed the preclinical results. Clinical evaluations were performed on 84 volunteers using daily a lotion containing 90ppm of P3. Modifications were assessed using clinical observations, picture analyses to quantify the gray intensity and a TrichoScan to measure the improvement in the number of pigmented hair.

A positive impact of the lotion with P3 was demonstrated on more than 70% of the volunteers. A 32% reduction of the white hair on the nape was observed and 37% on the temple and a reduction of 31% was observed on the vertex (all p <0.01 versus T0). The TrichoScan measured a reduction by 27% of pigmented hair after 4 months of application (p <0.05 versus T0).  Therefore, P3 represents an alternative to hair dye for recovering natural hair color and reducing hair graying. 

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