As regular readers of our columns know, we usually look to the past to provide historical background on the basics of cosmetic science. But this article is different; it looks forward to what cosmetic science might be like in the future. While our previous articles have been designed as “informational entrées,” this column is meant to be an appetizer of things to come. So bring your appetite for innovation and join us for a lighthearted glimpse of the potential future of our industry.
For this discussion, we will consider 2 emerging technologies and how they might one day impact cosmetic science. The fi rst technology is radio frequency identifi cation (RFID) tags—the tiny electronic information tags that are making their way onto products worldwide. Currently, the information on these microchips is primarily limited to inventory control. But, in the future, who knows how this technology might affect cosmetic science? The second scientifi c advance we will explore is nanotechnology, which is being developed to fi ght viruses, repair blood vessels, and provide targeted delivery of drugs. But what if RIFD and nanotechnology were ready for cosmetic products today? What would the industry look like? Let us explore these new technologies and, we hope, spark some ideas in the process.