Lívia Salomão Calixto is a master’s student at the University of São Paulo. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in pharmaceutics and cosmetics.
C&T: Who are/were your mentors?
LSC: My mentor is Patrícia Maria Berardo Gonçalves Maia Campos, Ph.D., at the University of São Paulo, who specializes in the development and efficacy evaluation of dermocosmetic formulations.
Safety and Impact of Cosmetics
C&T: What interests do you have, or current work are you conducting, that relates to cosmetics?
LSC: I work directly with cosmetic formulations development. My main goal is to develop safe and effective formulations, with assets of interest. Furthermore, stability and clinical efficacy of these formulations are also studied in different parameters.
C&T: What do you like most about your work? What do you like least?
LSC: In my work, I very much like the that cosmetics and personal care has an impact on people’s lives. From the moment they wake up until they go to bed, most everyone makes use of cosmetics or personal care. Cosmetics research significantly improves the well-being and quality of people’s lives.
What I like least is how some people don't think that cosmetics science is an important and serious branch of science. Fortunately, this is changing considering that Brazil, through the University of São Paulo, was recognized as outstanding in cosmetic scientific and technological production by the State of Innovation, reported by Thomson Reuters.
Inspiration and the Basics
C&T: What do you find most challenging about your work?
LSC: The main challenge in my work is innovate by discovering new active and safe substances, efficacy study protocols and new technologies. This challenge is an inspiration because stimulates the search of new ways to bring better products to people.
C&T: Give an example of an observation you think has application in the cosmetics industry.
LSC: Every day we solve problems and difficulties related to the innovative techniques we use. We adapt these tests to different formulations of study, such as gels and creams. When things go wrong we have to stop and think, with the help of our mentor, to correct these problems. In industry, time is limited and you cannot always stop to study the problem. We always return to basic concepts of physics, math and biology to solve complicated problems in spreadability, firmness and stability.
C&T: What about the cosmetics and personal care products industries excites you? How would you like your role in the industry to evolve?
LSC: Everyone should worry about the health of their skin. Cosmetics and personal care products can directly affect skin health and self-esteem. This is what most excites me, to study something in the lab and quickly see people making use of new technologies to improve their well-being. I would like to evolve my role to create new studies in the optimization of processes, new active ingredients and products with great sensorial and efficacy. I would like to put, in the same formula, everything that people need. This way, they are getting cosmetics developed directly for them.
C&T: How can the industry better serve consumers?
LSC: The industry is making cosmetics accessible to everyone. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to take care of yourself. Cosmetics R&D is also constantly updating to bring products with high quality and advanced technologies. This can improve if we keep listening to consumer requests and think in terms of products to reach their expectations.
New Discoveries and Investing in R&D
C&T: What areas or technologies do you think are untapped for cosmetics R&D?
LSC: I think that cosmetics R&D explores many areas and technologies, but finding new discoveries every day and constant research are required. Natural products is also an area of expansion, and nature has an inexhaustible source of knowledge.
C&T: How do you envision the cosmetics/personal care industry of the future?
LSC: I expect that the industry of the future to make it possible to offer a personal product for each consumer. For this, it is necessary to invest in R&D and innovation. Thus, based on the different needs and characteristics of people, new products with advanced technologies will be accessible to their public.