Panama Beauty Project highlights how the industry can change lives

By Simon Pitman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Panama Beauty Project highlights how the industry can change lives
Volunteers from different parts of the beauty industry will visit the Central American country of Panama to demonstrate how indigenous populations can create a livelihood by making personal care products.

From February 8 to 13, a team of beauty industry professionals that has been put together with input and sponsorship from Acme-Hardesty, Chemyunion, Ashland, Gourmet Body Pastries, Happi Magazine and the New York Chapter of the Society of Cosmetics Chemists, will be working with local organizations.

Named the Panama Beauty Project, will see a team of beauty professional volunteers team up with the Center for Panamanian Women, which works with low-income women located in indigenous areas of the country.

Improving the lives of indigenous communities

The goal of the project is to improve the quality of life of these communities by strengthening their leadership skills and promoting grassroots women’s organizations that are all aimed at enhancing the skill sets necessary to provide women with a viable trade.

The project is the brainchild of Chis Humberstone, who is the president of Humberstone International a company that works mainly fine chemical companies serving the cosmetics and personal care area, by helping them to expand their international capabilities.

The company works with start up to mid-market, distributors or divisions of larger companies, across Europe, the US Asia Pacific, and in the Latin American region, which is how Humberstone has developed his connections with Panama.

Inspired by projects in Haiti

"I was in Panama in January 2018 with my wife Luisa Ruffin and met CEMP executive director Cecilia Moreno Rojas through a mutual friend. We got talking about her work at CEMP and I remembered reading about the mission to Haiti in the SCC Cosmetiscope,”​ said Humberstone.

“Inspired by Marie Renee Thadal's leadership in this mission to Haiti, I contacted her and we started the project for Panama.”

Humberstone set about putting together the sponsors and the team of volunteers, who will all be arriving in Panama to carry out the project work in the course of the next few days, working for a week in total.

The team will provide will provide hands-on practical demonstrations including mixing coconut oil with fragrance, cold blending of ingredients, makeup and hair styling sessions, internal beauty and hygiene discussions and soap-making.


The organizers are still looking for donations to help give the project further impetus. In particular the team is looking for toothpaste, feminine products, deodorant, OTC pain relief, hair products, combs/brush, nail polish remover/nail polish, re-usable tote bags and notebooks/pens. Please contact Chris Humberstone​ by clicking here or emailing directly at

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