Making Cosmetics made its first entry into the cosmetics industry’s calendar at the end of March 2012. The idea behind this new event was to take a view of the cosmetics process from ‘concept to consumer’, and look in detail at the various stages in between.
The event was held at the National Motorcycle Museum Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, UK from 28-29 March and welcomed 779 visitors over the two days, who took advantage of the cutting-edge information provided by the 60 exhibitors and 22 speakers. The visitors were made up of a broad range of people from across the industry and included international representatives among the largely UK-based attendees. The intention of the organisers is to develop the scope, content and profile of the event; even now plans are underway to grow the exhibition by another hall for 2013. The free seminar programme was a particular draw for visitors and covered topics such as the new Cosmetics Regulation, packaging development, and claims substantiation. Personal Care was at several of the free seminars and following is a summary of the key points raised.
New cosmetic product development
Dr Cuross Bakhtiar, Harley Street Cosmetics The seminar opened with Dr Bakhtiar offering a definition of new product development and then he looked at ways of separating good ideas from bad ideas. Firstly though, Dr Bakhtiar asked: “Why are new products necessary anyway?” New products are needed to create reliable incomes for the future, to replace declining products, to take advantage of new technology, to maintain competitive advantage, or to fill a gap in the market. Other benefits of new product development include the building and maintaining of relationships with distributors. Dr Bakhtiar remarked that it is always good to update products every couple of years and it is important for smaller companies to take the lead here as they have different sources of knowhow and can often move from concept to manufacture quicker. The seminar then moved on to the key points that determine the success or failure of a new product, including: having a clear product concept, using technically proficient production methods, ensuring sufficient marketing and advertising is in place to tempt people away from products they are currently using, good quality packaging, good timing to market, and ensuring the right price point is targeted. He then stated how important it is to be aware of both what competitors are doing and of what the customers want. Also it is important to consider whether the product fits the company’s image and sits happily with the other products currently being marketed by the company. Competitors will always be looking to undermine your product, so you need to be one step ahead by keeping up-to-date with market trends, etc. For instance, consumer analysis is suggesting that more and more people are concerned with the environmental impact of the products they use. Time is also a crucial factor. The longer it takes for a product to move from concept to manufacture, the more expensive it will be. Therefore it is vital to have a clear idea of what you want, before you set out to design it. All the departments together must be questioning what they think is going to be the next blockbuster product, or questioning how can they change a product to improve upon it. There will always be risks involved with new product development, but the highest risk will always be associated with a new product in a new market. By taking a measured, logical approach, and by being clear about what you want to achieve, it is possible to reduce the risk inherent in new product development and increase the chance of launching a successful new product.
Cosmetic claims substantiation: knowing what claims to put on your product
Tony Barlow, Aspen Clinical Research In this seminar Tony Barlow started by looking at where it is possible to make a claim, and then followed by investigating the types of claims companies are allowed to make. Firstly, claims can be made on the pack, in newspapers or magazines, TV or radio broadcasts. These different areas are important to note as they are overseen by different regulatory bodies, and the outcomes of adjudication can have different results. Tony Barlow stated that some people have been known to put products on the shelves with an unproven claim and just waited to see if they get an adjudication, which would then force them to pay for some testing. This is, clearly, very dangerous. And not only is it irresponsible, it is a clear failure to engender trust with customers. The seminar then covered the dividing line between cosmetic and medicinal claims. The example Tony Barlow used was an acne product. Even if everything in the formulation points to the fact that the product is a cosmetic, if the packaging states it is an acne ‘treatment’ or that it ‘treats’ spots, it then the company will be breaching medicine regulations (the distinction between a cosmetic and a medicine can be made based on the formulation or the claim). Different claims need to be used for cosmetic products, so that they for example claim to be ‘for spot-prone skin’, a preventative measure rather than a treatment, or a concealer. Cosmetics cannot claim to cure a skin condition. Likewise, other types of claims such as: “Suitable for use on eczema”, although not claiming to cure eczema, as people with eczema do not have normal or healthy skin, that claim should not be made on a cosmetic product. But again, by saying “Suitable for us on eczema-prone skin”, that would be suitable for a cosmetic. He then discussed the types of testing available for substantiating anti-ageing/antiwrinkle/ anti-inflammatory claims and stressed the importance of having properlydevised tests in order to satisfy the regulatory bodies.
Small scale manufacture
Andy Juj, Jasan Cosmetic Laboratories In this talk, Andy Juj, of Leicestershirebased Jasan Cosmetic Laboratories outlined the process that his company undertakes with a typical small scale order, from the initial phone call to the final delivery. Andy Juj said that once any nondisclosure agreements have been signed and once the PIF has been made available (the responsibility of the customer), the next stage is the quantitative formula, which includes exact quantities of the raw materials and method of manufacture, with details of all the raw materials suppliers, which allows the manufacturer to scale-up. Also at this stage the manufacturer will need to know the details of the packaging; whether it will be in a bottle or a jar, a tube; whether it is going to be labelled or printed. Quantities are agreed and method of delivery in order for the manufacturer to produce a detailed, accurate quote. It is also important to gather lead times from all the suppliers in order to plan the manufacturing stages on the basis of the slowest lead time, which could be for instance 16 or 17 weeks. The next step is for a batch sheet to be written up for the product. This sheet shows the exact raw materials, the percentages, batch numbers for traceability, and a column for a signature to show the right amounts have been checked. The method of manufacture is also included. To begin manufacture it is also important to make sure that the machines are correct for the type of product, and that the machines are cleaned and sterilised. Once the product has been made, it is then stored and samples are taken for testing to ensure that the product is clean and safe to use and that it matches the specification issued by the customer. Following clearance from testing, the product can then be filled and labelled. After filling, another sample is sent for testing to ensure the fill process has not contaminated the product. The product is then packed and shipped as required.
Colin Whittaker, Intertek Colin Whittaker began his presentation by explaining that cosmetic regulation differs throughout the world and that the company marketing the product in each region is responsible for compliance, safety and efficacy of that product. Testing of the product gives the manufacturer confidence that the product is fit for purpose and also satisfies national and regional legislation. He then went on to discuss the list of banned substances in Annexe II of the European Cosmetics Legislation, and the fact there is some leeway with this list, in that sometimes it is impossible to prevent trace amounts of these substances entering formulations. For example, in colour cosmetics, trace amounts of lead will be found within a certain tolerance level that is deemed acceptable as it does not pose a risk to human health. Restricted substances are in Annexe III and have controlled limits which can be variable according to the type of product they are used in. Positive lists in Annexes IV, VI, VII, these substances will typically have a specific function, such as a preservative, colouring agent, or a UV filter. Again there are controlled limits as to the levels of their use. Moving on to analytical test methodology, Colin Whittaker outlined the important consideration to take on board: How do you sample the product? How do you treat the matrix – turning the product into a form that can be put into a tester can be quite a skill. Then it is important to consider the choice of test, ensuring that it is suitably sensitive and specific to measure the product in question. The seminar then gave some examples of contaminants that can be tested for. Firstly, heavy metals can enter a product through the raw material, or through the manufacturing process, so they could be coming from the manufacturing plant. Other contaminants that are tested for regularly are nitrosamines, which will be looked for in cosmetic make ups and shampoos. These are created during the manufacturing process and are potentially toxic, and there are four ways of testing for nitrosamines recommended by Cosmetics Europe. Colin Whittaker also discussed phthalates, and the fact that there is one phthalate that is allowed to be present in cosmetic products, and can be found in nail polishes and hair sprays, but the other phthalates (of which there is a long list) are not allowed, with a limit of 100 ppm. The source of phthalates is often from the packaging, leaching from plastics, and they can be screened for via GCMS. Other routine tests include the testing of preservative levels, to ensure they do not exceed limits, or conversely testing to prove the product is free of parabens.
Also presenting at Making Cosmetics was Intertek’s Chris Brennan, and an article version of his seminar is published in this issue of Personal Care. The quality of the seminars at Making Cosmetics was excellent, as was evidenced by the filled seats in the seminar rooms. The subject-matter of the talks was nicely complemented by the exhibitors at the show, who were all on-hand discuss their products and services with visitors. There was a particularly strong presence from testing companies at the exhibition, with companies such as Emsworth, Cutest alongside Intertek and Aspen. Making Cosmetics has found an important niche in the cosmetics industry’s calendar, offering up-to-date information about sourcing, manufacturing and outsourcing cosmetics and toiletries, and taking products from concept to consumer. Personal Care will be at the 2013 event, and we will have more details regarding it as they become available.
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