“Consumers think applying color cosmetics is cheating,” Park told an audience of skincare scientists gathered in New York City last week for the annual meeting of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.
Park, a senior research scientist in the advanced measurements and imaging group at Amway, went on to say that what consumers in fact want is skincare “efficacy comparable to the results of plastic surgery…to look good when they get out of the shower.”
Her work centers on the development of non-invasive tests and tools to measure product efficacy, that thereby support effectiveness claims with laboratory evidence.
Benefits and hazards
In the interest of consumer safety, products are regulated as either drugs or as cosmetics and personal care items. “In recent years, a handful of cosmetic manufacturers have come under the harsh scrutiny of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over marketing claims,” Cosmetics Design assistant editor Michelle Yeomans reported earlier this month.
“When developing products, companies walk a fine line in terms of formulating for efficacy and marketing claims, meaning it is important to understand the regulatory and legal implications of such decisions,” Yeomans cautioned.
Marketing statements that lead consumers to understand that a product will behave like a drug and improve skin health beyond the stratum corneum are not allowed. Claims must abide regulatory limitations even as skincare science advances beyond the existing parameters.
Substantiating marketing claims with data from the lab is a clever next step for brands looking to develop ever more effective products, which is why work like Park’s has particular relevance.
Her presentation to the SCC last week contrasted three objective, visual methods for measuring product delivery: tape stripping, VISIA-CR 1.1 with UV illumination, and confocal laser scanning microscope in fluorescence mode.
The most compelling images came from the microscope; VivaScope 2D surface imaging results in “optical slices of skin….Without slicing, it takes an optical biopsy and plots penetration distribution [of an ingredient],” Park explained.
Park and her colleagues compare testing tools to meet a real industry need: “Interest in novel delivery systems among cosmetic makers is on the rise and with it the need to have a convenient in vivo screening method that would allow quantitative comparison between these new delivery forms,” explained the brief on their study published in the SCC program.