Q&A

DSM participates in Destination Healthy Skin charity to communicate culture as upstream company

By Ravyn Cullor contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image courtesy of DSM.
Image courtesy of DSM.

Related tags: Spf, Sun, Sun care, Sun protection, Skin cancer, Skin cancer foundation

Ingredient supplier DSM is sponsoring this year's Destination Health Skin charity, which works to spread awareness of skin cancer and prevention. CosmeticsDesign spoke with Stephen Wood, senior director of personal care and aroma for DSM North America about what the charity means for the company.

Can you tell me a little bit about what DSM’s involvement in Destination Healthy Skin looks like this year?

Destination Healthy Skin​ is owned by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an initiative. It is an annual event. DSM is one of the ingredient and solution providers, and consumer finished good formulators who is acting as a sponsor to make the event possible. 

It really starts with the sponsorship of the event this year, but we're trying to take a holistic approach and go beyond just sponsorship. So in addition to that, our involvement and participation will potentially have certain DSM personnel joining some of the city venues during the course of the year and then donating certain ingredients that might go into a giveaway for people who stop by.

Video by DSM.

What's the value for DSM of participating in an event like this?

For us, as an ingredient and solution provider in beauty and personal care, the value for us is really the spirit of collaboration. This type of venue allows us to work with industry associations, such as Skin Cancer Foundation, but also potentially shone a light on a positive effort.

That involves some of our customers as the formulators and also the broader consumer, the general public. The value for us is collaborating with these other players who can help basically provide a positive experience for the consumer, where you're taking that approach to do something meaningful to help people have healthy lives.

How does participating in an event like this play into your company's positioning within the cosmetics market?

We're upstream a little bit as a solution provider. It's good to show people what we value as an organization, and what the culture is at DSM, and you're typically not going to get that through just the success we have of having components in finished goods that a consumer uses.

This may be a line of sight internally into the culture of DSM and wanting to look at opportunities where we can use our business success to help people's lives and help the planet a bit. Hopeful that’s something people will see, what makes DSM tick and trying to strive to do some of these things that really help people.

How is DSM going to measure success with this event this year?

We're looking for a holistic approach to go beyond just simply sponsorships. The way I look at Destination Healthy Skin is it's literally a vehicle that drives around and promotes the importance of protection and prevention of skin cancer, but it's also figuratively a vehicle for education and awareness. 

If we look back a year from now, maybe we got some more partnerships with customers, with different industry agencies, etc, where we could start to have more meaningful dialogues around cancer prevention. That's definitely priority number one for us to say this was a success. I'd say maybe the secondary priority is how we continue that dialogue going forward.

What's the value of upstream suppliers finding these charity events that fit into your area of the business?

It's this ability to seek out partnerships. When you find partners to co-create with, that is where the magic happens. Things start to move quicker, you get different perspectives and you start to think about the people who ultimately utilize your service or your offering. 

If you're really putting those people into the heart of what you do, it's really powerful. In the beauty and personal care space, what we're doing is going on people and they want to connect with something that they feel is powerful, that is doing something to help people improve their lives. When you're upstream a little bit in the value chain I think these are the type of opportunities that can help showcase how you're helping to make people's lives better.

What can other cosmetics professionals kind of learn from or take away from your participation in this event this year?

Back to my point about education and awareness, it's important to have a healthy business, to continue to be a sustainable player in the beauty and personal care space. But it's also important to advocate for certain topics that you believe in and line up the culture of your company. 

The takeaway people should think about is how can you make advocacy for important topics part of your business model. Everybody has limited time and resources, so you have to be very strategic about which one to pick. But once you do that, there's definitely a significant value in being a part of something that has a greater good for the industry.

Related topics: Formulation & Science

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