Compass: Direct Routes

This “Compass” comes to you hot off the trail of several weeks of travel. Early in the month I attended the Florida Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ (SCC) Sunscreen Symposium. Then, it was time to head north to New York for the Health and Beauty America (HBA) event that touched on everything from marketing and packaging, to fragrance, raw materials and regulatory.

Closing out the month, my travels ended in Amsterdam for the International Federation of the Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) conference, themed “Building on Water.” Now that the cabin pressure has returned to normal, this editor can extract highlights from these three events to predict what direction the industry may take.

Consumers still seek natural products because the word natural gives them a sense of safety. As most chemists know, natural does not mean safer; however, that message has not yet reached consumers and their belief continues to drive the demand. Will a flourishing category ever chance revealing this truth behind naturals to consumers? Perhaps so, as the naturals market becomes more saturated and key manufacturers seek ways to drive consumer interest into new areas.

In the meantime, the need for naturals persists and formulating with natural ingredients can be a complex task. In this issue, the “Bench & Beyond” department offers insider tips to formulating with naturals. In addition, Schmaus et al. discuss nature-inspired avenanthramides for anti-itch and anti-irritant properties.

Beyond naturals, sun is still a major focus as the industry is still determining the best method to measure sunburn protection factor (SPF), as it was recently renamed. Additional uncertainties revolve around whether to focus on UVA protection specifically, or to consider the full spectrum—infrared included, as an IFSCC paper discussed.

Moving from topical treatments to cellular activity within skin, the industry is discovering new paths to increase efficacy. Innovative products are being designed to protect against moisture loss through aquaporins in skin, to speed the repair of DNA by use of enzymes, and to solidify the structure of collagen via application of a new decorin biomimetic—among many other inventions.

Softly trodden paths such as these may soon become direct routes leading to new destinations in formulating.

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