Dr. Andrea Mitarotonda, PhD CChem FRSC, Independent Consultant in Cosmetic Chemistry, is helping to curate the programme at this year’s Formulation Summit ahead of its return to London from 29-30 November 2021. Here, he shares his thoughts ahead of the event taking place next week shining a light on the process of choosing those all-important, hot topics for discussion.
For the last 18 months or so, Covid has affected pretty much every aspect of our lives. From social habits to ways of conducting businesses, we have adapted to what many have defined as the “new normal”.
Optimists have probably seen some positive sides, for example, a global decrease in air pollution due to travel bans and travel restrictions along with the opportunity to enjoy valuable family time during lockdowns. Others, maybe a little less of half-full-glass types, have pointed at shrinking economies, loss of jobs, and, more broadly speaking, the frailty of humankind.
The in-cosmetics Formulation Summit 2021 is a true reflection of how the beauty industry, always resourceful, innovative and driven by science, has responded and shaped to make the most of the current times to meet evolving consumer needs.
Attendees at the opening day of the Summit (29 November) will learn how the pandemic has changed both the industry and consumers’ behaviour. The humble soap bar and alcohol-based hand sanitisers have risen to the new role of “hero products”. In the first weeks of the pandemic, the demand for these goods skyrocketed, exposing supply chain weaknesses. Several manufacturers experienced never-before-seen shortages of vital raw materials, from ethanol to acrylic polymers. At the same time, questions emerged from a regulatory, safety and claims point of view.
The line between cosmetics, biocides, and sanitising agents became thinner than ever before, with too many self-appointed formulators jumping onto the bandwagon of hand hygiene and producing all sorts of remedies claiming an ability to kill the virus. For example, in some of the most concerning instances, hand-sanitisers were found to contain substances at levels greater than those imposed by European Regulations.
Speakers at this year’s Summit will address all the above and much more in what is going to be an interesting and inspiring debate. To conclude the day, we will also have an update on another important topic: Brexit. Here, industry experts will help our audience understand how it is affecting our industry.
Moving onto Day Two (30 November), the focus will shift towards sustainability and emotions. Sustainability has been at the core of our industry for many years. However, if not already evident from the changing climate, the pandemic has shown that the impact of human operations on the planet can be dramatic. From debunking the myths surrounding plastic materials to understanding more about the highly-debated palm oil, we will learn how cosmetic formulators and manufacturers can implement robust elements of sustainability across all aspects of the supply chain.
And, if we have realised how fragile life, in all its manifestations and nature are, then one cannot help but reckon that the pandemic has put an enormous strain on our emotions. Speakers will explore the effect of the use of beauty-care products on our emotions and how this can result in physical reactions, which then, in return, affects our mental health. From fragrances to make-up, we will hear that a more holistic approach to beauty and health is possibly the way forward.
For more information on the in-cosmetics Formulation Summit 2021 and to register to attend,