As the first month of 2024 is quickly coming to its end, beauty and personal care companies are now settling in for an exciting year ahead full of innovative ingredient launches, intriguing industry trends, and more. Recently, CosmeticsDesign had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Amber O. Evans, 2024 Chair of the NYSCC as we look back on 2023 and forward to the coming year.
From trends in biotechnology and minimalism to overcoming challenges in sustainability and economic factors, for the NYSCC, “the year’s theme of ‘Inspire. Innovate. Celebrate’ and the thought-process behind it is not limited to 2024,” said Dr. Evans. To delve into her insights, including upcoming events, educational opportunities, and more, enjoy the following interview.
CDU: Any thoughts about 2023 as we move forward into the year ahead?
Dr. Evans: 2023 was quite an exciting year in the cosmetic industry. We saw growth in product offerings and consumer interest in various categories, advances in ingredient technologies, shifts towards science taking the front seat in the development and marketing of products and progress on the regulatory front.
The harmony between beauty and wellness from a wholistic perspective really resonated with consumers. The NYSCC embarked on a thoughtful and impactful journey to “reimagine renewal and wellness” to capture this essence. I am hopeful and eagerly looking forward to the continued progress of the industry into 2024 and beyond.
CDU: What are you most excited about at the NYSCC in 2024?
Dr. Evans: This year marks a significant milestone for the NYSCC – 70 years of impacting the cosmetic industry by promoting the advancement of cosmetic science and elevating the prominence of cosmetic professionals. With that milestone in mind, I am excited about bringing our theme of “Inspire. Innovate. Celebrate.” to life through new initiatives that aim to inspire and empower including highly relevant and varied programming, an engaging membership experience and celebrations of our achievements.
The foundation of our efforts will be to draw inspiration from other STEM fields and adjacent industries to help facilitate thinking around technical advancement and innovation in cosmetics. The spirit of cross-fertilization and blue-sky thinking will be prevalent in all our efforts, including the upcoming 45th annual Suppliers’ Day on May 1-2.
CDU: In your opinion, what is the biggest issue currently facing the cosmetics and personal care product industries and why?
Dr. Evans: Two of the biggest issues facing our industry are sustainability and economic factors. While significant progress has been made in sustainability-related efforts, we have a bit further to go in terms of identifying and implementing additional solutions that further address topics such as waste (all aspects), ingredient sourcing and consumer education.
As environmental conservation is a topic that is now top of mind amongst all stakeholders, from developers to consumers, I am optimistic about the future. Lastly, a challenging economic climate has impacted businesses and consumers this year. Going forward, this could lead to consumers shopping more intentionally, which means more focus on ingredients, performance, multifunctionality and value.
Both issues present opportunities for cosmetic industry professionals to rethink business and technical strategies with the ultimate goal of delivering successful differentiated products that address consumers’ needs with less impact on the environment throughout their lifecycle.
CDU: How does the NYSCC plan to address these issues?
Dr. Evans: We will employ a combination of hands-on action and educational resources, keeping in mind that any level of effort can help move the needle and inspire the potential for greater change. For example, our annual Earth Day program will include a service activity for the first time, in addition to sustainability-related presentations. This is one of a few ways that the NYSCC will contribute to sustainability efforts with action. Through our newly commissioned outreach committee, we envision fostering opportunities that can help reduce product waste while supporting communities in need.
With respect to education, we will expand our efforts in informing and elevating current and future cosmetic industry professionals. We will provide programming in relevant areas such as sustainability, biotechnology, and diverse market segments, in addition to encouraging connections and knowledge transfer from other fields and sectors.
Forging mutually beneficial partnerships with other entities will be key. By fostering a highly qualified and multidisciplinary talent pool, the NYSCC can help to inspire new possibilities in sustainable product development.
CDU: How does 2024 fit into the NYSCC’s five-year progress plan?
Dr. Evans: Building on the legacy of the Chapter and its role in advancing cosmetic science, we are allocating further resources and executing initiatives that will have an impact on the industry and communities.
The year’s theme of “Inspire. Innovate. Celebrate” and the thought-process behind it is not limited to 2024. Aspects of it can be applied going forward as we consider the future of the Chapter. Continuing to keep an open mind, take risks and be inspired to look for solutions and opportunities outside of our expertise will help us to innovate from both an industry and organizational perspective.
We will continue growing our portfolio of empowering resources for students, professionals and educational institutions. This includes scholarships and grants, hands-on training through Future Chemists Workshops and Camps, Careers in Cosmetics outreach events, the Mentor-Mentee program and much more.
We will also continue to strategically grow Suppliers’ Day to new levels through a strengthened network of partnerships and stimulating programming, while ensuring that we are continuing to deliver an impactful and value-adding experience for attendees. This May, at the Javits Center in New York, will be the largest edition of Suppliers’ Day to date.
The exhibit floor is sold-out and will feature more than 550 global exhibitors featuring high performance ingredients, formulations and end-to-end services and solutions. We are currently on track to have our biggest international audience with representation from more than 73 countries and over 100 hours of education presented in collaboration with our expanded industry partnerships.
CDU: What are your predictions for the biggest beauty industry trends in 2024?
Dr. Evans: These areas are a few that come to mind:
The use of advanced engineering, AI and AR in various aspects of our industry will continue to create new opportunities for personalization / customization, solutions to unique challenges, new tools and improving the overall beauty care experience.
Biotechnology will continue to be at the forefront of new ingredient development for advanced performance and sustainability.
The blurring of the categories is apparent and now seemingly an expectation as the thought of the mind-body connection and other aspects of a holistic view resonates more with consumers. We will continue to see both the fusion of categories such as beauty & wellness, and the elevation of categories that were previously considered taboo such as intimate care.
Consumers will continue to show interest in simplifying their beauty regimens. They will be open to hybrid products and new formats, but multifunctionality and efficacy will be key.
This one is two-pronged with product marketing moving towards a more science-first approach with ingredients and performance, and a growing force of qualified Sci-comm-influencers that are actively helping to dispel misinformation by educating consumers on the reality of cosmetic products and related topics based on facts. It appears that we will be moving further into an age of transparency and focus.
CDU: As MoCRA deadlines for enforcement come into effect, what is your advice for cosmetics and personal care product companies regarding compliance actions?
Dr. Evans: Cosmetics and personal care product companies should consult with qualified regulatory experts and establish systems with appropriate checks and balances to ensure that the necessary steps are taken for full compliance.
Cosmetic industry professionals of all backgrounds and positions should maintain awareness and a reasonable understanding of MoCRA by taking advantage of the various resources that are offered through entities such as the FDA, SGS and reputable organizations. For example, IBA and NYSCC will host “MoCRA: Tips for Compliance and Preparation”, a complimentary webinar featuring MoCRA experts, on January 31st.
CDU: Anything else to add?
Dr. Evans: The cosmetic and personal care industry is a dynamic field full of opportunity. It is an exciting time as we strive to produce next level products that meet or exceed consumer expectations for experience, performance, safety, and sustainability. The NYSCC is dedicated to contributing to the progression of the field through education and service in 2024. Please visit www.nyscc.org to see all that the Chapter has to offer.