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Cosmetic chemists meet in Barcelona: more than 1000 cosmetic chemists attended the 25th Congress of the IFSCC. Technical sessions were devoted to active ingredient research, efficacy assessment and trends in formulations.


MORE THAN 1000 cosmetic chemists from around the world converged on Barcelona last month for the 25th Congress of the International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC). Attendees said that they were impressed with the level of presentations. At the same time, the Spanish Society put on a social program with considerable flair. Technical sessions were devoted to a wide range of topics, including research in active ingredients, assessment of cosmetic efficacy and formulation trends. In addition, the Congress featured more than 300 poster presentations, while the technical exhibition featured products and services from more than 60 industry suppliers.

The Congress opened with a keynote presentation by Antonio Ferrer-Monteil of Miguel Hernandez University. Dr. Ferrer-Monteil described the relationship between neurogenic inflammation and sensitive skin. He explained that when the neuroimmune system is damaged, it causes neurogenic inflammation via afferent and efferent fibers, which in turn, trip a family of sensory receptors including TRPV1. The speaker detailed how TRPV1 antagonists may have applications as cosmetic ingredients since they act as inflammatory agents.

Daniel Maes, Estee Lander, provided details on the Maturation Index, a new marker of the differentiation process that reflects the condition of the epidermal barrier function as it relates to the structure of highly cross-linked rigid corneocytes.

"Small changes in the Maturation Index greatly influence the barrier integrity," observed Dr. Maes.

His team found that the proper development of the skin barrier can only be reached if the rate of cellular proliferation and differentiation is controlled in such a way to allow for full maturation of the corneocytes.

Shiseido's Yoshimasa Miura followed with a presentation on a novel in vitro SPF algorithm which offers simultaneous compensation for UV filter photostability. The method employed a new system consisting of a light source, liquid light guide, integrating sphere, optical fiber, double-monochromator and UV photomultiplier tube. According to Dr. Miura, this in vitro method is capable of accurately estimating even high SPF sunscreens under solar simulated light, at a dose as high as 2.00 mg/cm2--identical to conditions that are employed for in vivo measurements. Dr. Miura and his team are in the process of establishing a global interlaboratory validation of the method.


Novel Materials

During a session devoted to actives, Tomo Osawa of Shiseido detailed the development and benefits of a water-resistant/detergent-washable powder coated with a stimuli-responsive polymer. The material, a copolymer of 2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid (AMPS) and 11-methacrylamidoundecanoic acid (MAU), was obtained by radical polymerization and treated with titanium dioxide. The researchers developed a water-in-off sun care product based on this AMPS/MAU-treated titanium dioxide, and it exhibited both water-resistance and detergent-washability.

Hiroto Tanamachi of Kao explained how his team used atomic force microscopy to study the effects of 18-MEA on hair. According to Kao's study, the decrease in 18-MEA on the cuticle surface affects the hydrophobichydrophilic property in a wet environment more so than in a dry environment. Furthermore, 18-MEA allows hair fibers to lay flat and parallel to each other in wet environments by providing relatively high receding contact angles and low surface friction. Finally, hair alignment in the dry environment is directly affected by the hair alignment in the wet environment, particularly in the case of damaged hair, according to the presenter.

Isabelle Renimel of LVMH reviewed the effectiveness of a novel retinoid, (E)-3,5,4' trimetoxystilbene, on different markers of aged human skin. Her team observed an increase in different collagen expressions that was greater than a retinol cream (a positive control). The LVMH researchers demonstrated that (E)-3,5,4' trimetoxystilbene, a natural derivative of resveratrol, has applications in cosmetic formulations.

Michel Salmon of StatiCell explained how pro-vitamin D sterols (7-dehydrocholesterol and ergosterol) protect skin fibroblasts from becoming prematurely senescent after repeated UVB irradiation. He theorized that the protection is due to p53 translocation and subsequent activation in the nucleus that, in turn, induces natural repair of the damages induced by oxidative stresses. One hypothesis to explain this finding is that these molecules are agonist ligands of the alternative ligand binding domain of the vitamin D receptor, and are thus able to induce non-genotropic rapid effects in skin cells, according to Mr. Salmon.


Greg Hillebrand, Procter & Gamble, detailed the advantages of using an image-based method to simulate facial aging. The technique has the ability to predict and visualize an individual's unique future skin wrinkling and hyperpigmentation.

"People age uniquely, so it is difficult to predict what they'll look like 5, 10 or 20 years from now," he explained.

According to Mr. Hillebrand, by recognizing what the future may hold, doctors, their patients and consumers can better design a customized program aimed at slowing or even reversing the skin aging process. The process utilizes a Visia Complexion Analysis System from Canfield Scientific combined with wrinkle and pigmentation analyses on regions of interest, and spatial computer mapping. Mr. Hillebrand warned, however, that the technique is only able to simulate wrinkling 15-20 years in the future.

Marianne Brandt of ProDerm explained how skin profilometry, ultrasound assessment of dermal intrusions of fat and skin temperature profiling are all useful quantitative parameters for the assessment of cellulite severity in clinical studies. She demonstrated how these techniques are adding robust and objective measurement data to complete subjective visual methods.

Anthony Rawlings, Procter & Gamble, explained how confocal raman spectroscopy (CRS) was utilized to compare the use of one commercially-available moisturizer with two others that were known to only alleviate dry skin. The total stratum corneum (SC) water content values obtained by CRS were compared with values obtained via capacitance measurement (corneometer). To facilitate the method, the P&G team had to validate the use of CRS to measure SC thickness by direct comparison with optical coherence tomography (OCT) at a variety of body sites. According to the speaker, CRS offers significant advantages over electrical measures, allowing more sensitive measurements and a step-change in information about stratum corneum water content.

Animal Testing Alternatives

Day 2 of the Congress opened with a keynote lecture by Jose Vincente Castell of the University of Valencia, Spain, who reported on the latest advances in test methods. While he acknowledged that at the moment there are no approved replacements for the Draize eye irritation test, he urged the audience to resort to Draize only when absolutely necessary. Alternatively, researchers should use cow eyes from slaughterhouses to conduct hazard assessments or Hen's Egg Test Chorioallanteic Membrane (HET-CAM) tests. Other test methods detailed by Dr. Castell included the Local Lymph Node Assay, which he called a reduction and refinement in animal testing, the Buehler Test and the Magnusson and Kligman Guinea Pig Maximization Test to measure skin sensitization. Despite many advances made in animal testing alternatives, Dr. Castell noted that there is still no validated test method for inhalation and oral routes.

Of course, animals and their by-products are widely used in cosmetic formulation. Luigi Rigano, L. Rigano R&D Laboratories, explained how he obtained novel retinol-like actives from parrot feathers. His team isolated and extracted a mixture of polyenals, called psittacofulvins, and found that they have antioxidant properties and can influence cell proliferation. Using crotonic aldehyde as a starting material, his team synthesized congeners called parrodienes, before focusing its study on the 8 C atoms member of the family that the group termed "Parrotine." In an anti-wrinkle study carried out on 12 volunteers over four weeks, a formula containing 0.28% Parrotine resulted in a visible decrease in wrinkle depth, while bioengineering characteristics were improved.

Skin Differences/Novel Materials

Stephane Diridollou of L'Oreal discovered that micro relief, sebtun excretion and skin dryness, as well as some skin structures are different based on ethnicity. In a study of nearly 400 women, L'Oreal researchers discovered that micro relief, sebum excretion and skin dryness, as well as some skin structures, vary by ethnic group. In addition, age effects are influenced by ethnicity, suggesting anatomical or physiological property differences in skin of people of different origins. More specifically, Chinese were found to produce less sebum, while African-Americans had drier skin as they aged. In addition, winter had a more pronounced effect on skin dryness among Caucasian women, than for other three groups tested (African Americans, Chinese and Mexican).

Regardless of skin color, all of today's consumers want effective products. To help formulators create them, raw material suppliers have developed a wide range of novel ingredients. Delphine Rival of BASF explained how a Hibiscus abelmoschus seed extract acts as a protective active ingredient of FGF-2, a growth factor that ensures dermal fibroblast proliferation and enables them to synthesize matrix molecules that are essential to skin integrity. BASF researchers discovered that the extract protected FGF-2 via its intrinsic heparan sulphate-like effect and via a stimulation of sulphated glycosaminoglycan synthesis, which is a natural, protective molecule for FGF-2. A clinical study confirmed that the extract-based product significantly reduced wrinkles, while skin density and texture were improved, especially in older subjects.

Another natural active, Platycarya strobilacea extract (PSE), has applications as a anti-wrinkle cosmetic, according to Young Heui Kim of Bioland. In vitro tests demonstrated that the material had free radical scavenging activity, elastase inhibitory activity, expressed MMP-1 and synthesized type I collagen in normal human fibroblast cells. In clinical tests, the material showed good anti-wrinkle effects as measured by the visual evaluation of dermatologists, photometric evaluation, manufacture of skin replicas and image analysis using the Skin-Visiometer SV 600.

"In clinical trials of PSE, it was proven that the material is an active and safe anti-wrinkle ingredient for cosmeceuticals," concluded Dr. Kim.

Masato Iino, Shiseido, provided evidence of how adenosine can promote hair growth. He explained that adenosine receptors are located on the surface of dermal papilla cells (DPCs) in human hair follicles, and reminded the audience that adenosine is an important endogenous biomolecule involved in processes of human hair growth and loss. Adenosine activates FGF-7 production through its receptors in DPCs, and released FGF-7 contributes to the prolongation of the anagen (growth) phase by stimulating follicular epithelial cell proliferation. He concluded that application of exogenous adenosine as a topical hair lotion is effective in preventing androgenetic alopecia in men and female pattern hair loss in women.


Low molecular weight scleroglucan protects skin cells from dehydration by creating an extra-cellular matrix capsule. Its water-binding capacity and its numerous biological actives make it a candidate as an active ingredient in cosmeceuticals, according to Mike Farwick of Evonik. His team assessed the material using state-of-the-art analysis of gene expression, protein production and lipid formation. Using the genomics approach, LMW scleroglucan was proven to trigger keratinocyte differentiation as indicated by expression of one of its most potent promoters, PI3K/Akt, which also acts as protector from premature cell death. LMW scleroglucan was also found to stimulate barrier lipid formation by increasing cholesterol and ceramide levels in living skin equivalents. In vivo analysis revealed that depolymerized scleroglucan leads to improved moisturizing properties and improved skin feeling.

Andrew James of Unilever presented a paper devoted to histological investigations on the neurobiology of axillary skin. As a result of research conducted by Jennifer E. Pople, Unilever found that the increased amount of fillagrin that was found in axillary samples may be due to or in response to regular shaving. He concluded, however, that the results of the study suggest that axillary skin does show some differences in expression of neurogenic markers compared to an adjacent site, but whether this is an inherent feature or the result of physical challenges remains unknown.

For Day 3 coverage of the IFSCC congress, as well as insight into the evolution of the congress and conference from IFSCC chairman Johann Wiechers, be sure to visit

IFSCC Conference Set for Oct. 7-9 in Melbourne

THE 25TH CONGRESS of the International Federation Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) just concluded in Barcelona, but plans are already well underway for the next IFSCC Conference, which will be held in Melbourne, Oct. 7-9 at the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre.

The theme of the conference is "A Corroboree of Science & Beauty." Deadline for abstract submission is Dec. 31, 2008. Deadline for notification of abstract acceptance is Jan. 31, 2009. Deadline for scientific manuscript submission is May 31, 2009.

The abstract submission process is explained in detail on the website at

For those looking even further ahead, the 26th IFSCC Congress is scheduled for Sept. 20-23, 2010 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The theme of the event is: "Innovation & Responsibility: Cosmetics Forever."

Deadline for abstracts submission is Nov. 2, 2009. More info: Exhibitor info: Jorge Donati, exhibition committee coordinator, More info:

And finally, the 21st IFSCC Conference is scheduled for Bangkok, Thailand, Nov. 1-3, 2011. The conference theme is: "Innovative Integration of Natural & Technology. More info:

Tom Branna

Editorial Director
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Author:Branna, Tom
Publication:Household & Personal Products Industry
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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