Thursday, 6 November 2014

Essential Online Resources for Personal Care Formulators

Essential Online Resources for Personal Care Formulators

George Deckner


Whether you need to research patents, find materials data, order competitive products or just browse articles for inspiration, the internet can be a powerful tool to increase productivity. But with so much information at your fingertips, where do you start? The sites below are reliable resources that I use personally in my work and would recommend to fellow formulators.

Prospector is the top internet resource for quick access to personal care ingredient information and samples. I use it extensively for both purposes.

Dermstore provides product and active information. It claims to be the #1 internet site for skin and beauty information. is an excellent site to get information on US personal care products and to order competitive products.

This useful site provides a wealth of patent information. Check out my article from earlier this year for more information on mining expired patents as a strategy for developing new IP / products.

The Society of Cosmetic Chemists

The SCC has developed a new digital archive. All issues going back to the first issue have been digitized and are online and fully searchable. While most of the archive is available to the public, only members can access issues from 2006 forward. You can access the archive by clicking here.

BASF Skincare Forum

The BASF Skincare Forum has excellent articles on a broad range of different personal care topics. is a pubic web site that allows you to both search and post public disclosures. These public disclosures are used to create prior art. In addition to providing ease of use, the prior art database has extensive safe guarding measures to provide evidence of document integrity. They also date-stamp in the event you need to present at trial.

ELibrary Research

ELibrary Research allows you to search any topic using a database of current newspapers, magazines, books and more.

Encyclopedia Britannica

An online version of the encyclopedia is always a great resource!

Internet Public Library offers an exclusive collection of over 20,000 books.

Library of Congress

Easy to use reference catalog for accessing the Library of Congress collections.

This useful site gives information about skin lightening science and ingredients. Topics covered include skin types, melaninsynthesis, pigmentary disorders, top skin-whitening agents, and skin-whitening agent types.

The Antimicrobial Index

This site is great for discovering newantimicrobials, cross referencing antimicrobial potencies, finding the most effective antimicrobial for your needs and locating literature relevant to your research.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Antimicrobial Potentiators

 - Antimicrobial potentiators are cosmetic materials that have weak activity on their own but work synergistically with known preservatives. They can be very useful in reducing the preservative level in formulations, and they typically provide other useful benefits, as well. Here, I’ll explore product resources for the classes of potentiators, which include chelators, polyols/diols, ethers, and esters. In general I don’t suggest using more than 2% polyols/diols, ethers, and esters in formulations due to potential skin irritation.
Chelators work by binding trace metals like iron, which are needed for survival by microorganisms. They also are useful in helping to prevent formulation discoloration and oxidation. In shampoo formulations, they can improve foam and prevent hard water bathroom deposits.
•             Disodium EDTA (EU) by Dow Chemical.
•             Sodium Phytate (EU) by Deckner Consulting Services LLC (EU) is a naturally derived chelant that is an excellent replacement for Disodium EDTA. It has been shown to help moisturize skin and normalize sebum in both dry and oily skin types. Improved skin lightening is also claimed.
•             Dissolvine G-47-S (glutamic acid, n.n-diacetic acid, tetra sodium salt) is a biodegradable chelant by Akzo Nobel.
•             Trilon M (methylglycinediacetic acid trisodium salt) is a biodegradable chelant by BASF (EU).
•             Baypure CX 100 (iminodisuccinic acid tetra sodium salt) is a biodegradable chelant by Bayer Material Science.
Polyols (EU) / Diols (EU) work by promoting the penetration of preservatives into bacterial cell walls. They are also useful as solvents. C5-10 diols are also claimed to have moisturization benefits.
•             MP Diol (Methylpropanediol) by Lyondell is made by fermentation and considered to be a naturally-derived alternative to propylene glycol (EU).
•             Hydrolite 5 (EU) (Pentylene Glycol) by Symrise (EU) is claimed to reduce emulsion particle size and help improve stability and formulation aesthetics.
•             Hydrolite 6 (EU) (1, 2 Hexanediol) by Symrise has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity of .6-2.5%. It is also one of the best solvents I have evaluated for helping to solubilize oils into water.
•             Purolan OD (EU) (Caprylyl Glycol) by Lanxess Distribution (EU).
•             Symdiol 68 (EU) (1, 2 Hexanediol and Caprylyl Glycol) by Symrise is a synergistic diol mixture that significantly boosts the antimicrobial activity of preservatives. Symdiol 68 at .5% in a finished formulation was also clinically shown to be comparable to 3% glycerin for skin hydration (Corneometer) and better at reducing TEWL.
•             Symdiol 68T (EU) (1, 2 Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tropolone) from Symrise is claimed to be a synergistic blend.
•             SymClariol (EU) (Decylene Glycol) by Symrise has broad spectrum activity from 500-1000 ppm. It has also been shown to reduce sebum (30% after 28 days).
Ethers are an interesting class of materials due to their excellent stability at low and high PH. Ethers act as solvents to promote the penetration of preservatives into bacterial cell walls.
•             Sensiva SC 50 (EU) (Ethylhexylglycerin-Schulke (EU)).
•             Sensiva SC 10 (EU) (Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylyl Glycol-Schulke) by Schulke has better antimicrobial activity and moisturization activity claimed versus Symdiol 68.
Esters act as solvents to promote the penetration of preservatives into bacterial cell walls. They can have hydrolytic stability problems, so I recommend formulating them at a PH of around 6-7.
•             Colonial Monolaurin (Glyceryl Monolaurate – 90% mono).
•             Capmul 907P (Propylene Glycol Heptanoate) by Abitec.
•             Capmul 908P (Propylene Glycol Caprylate) by Abitec.
•             Capmul 708G (Glyceryl Caprylate) by Abitec.

Correction: In the original publication of this article, the product MP Diol was improperly attributed. MP Diol (Methyl Propandiol) is produced by Lyondell and not Dupont Tate & Lyle Bio Products.  Zemea (Propanediol (EU)) is made by fermentation and considered to be a naturally-derived alternative to Propylene Gycol. Both have been used as preservative potentiators. I will try to post a correction.

Launching Your Own Product Line

Arun Nandagiri- Many of you have at one time or another considered starting your own business or launching a product line. After all, with your extensive experience working at different companies and your knowledge of this industry, you should be able to make it on your own, right?
Before you make the jump of leaving a secure job with a steady paycheck every week, step back and consider the following four points. If you feel confident on each of these fronts, you’ll have what it takes to become a successful business owner.
1. Finances
Most businesses fail because they don’t have a good grasp of the finances needed to sustain the business until there is a positive cash flow. My advice:
  • Put together a budget that lists the various expenses such as investments in R&D, manufacturing, sales and marketing. Included in such analysis should be a timeline with specific goals to be attained. Goals without timelines are just dreams.
  • Secure a line of credit from your local bank or your credit union. If these don’t work, investigate alternate ways of raising capital such as government business loans (SBA Funding), venture capitalists, angel investors or family members.
  • Have sufficient capital to cover anticipated expenses before your begin your project.
2. Marketing Message
Often overlooked is the business proposition. What is it that you’re offering, and how does it fill an unmet need in the market? My advice:
  • Ask yourself these questions – Why would someone want to buy my product? What am I offering that my competition cannot? Customers don’t care about the technology you use, if there is no recognizable advantage. They are more interested in the end benefits your product provides and whether or not it solves a problem they have.
  • Create a marketing plan that focuses on your customer.
3. Pricing and Selling
Pricing is a market driven decision based on your product’s niche. Where and how you market also influences the final price. My advice:
  • Don’t ask too much or too little, as they both can hurt.
  • Price your product so that you have a decent profit margin based on the value you deliver. For consumer products, it can range from 50-70%.
4. The Technical Stuff
Last but not least, pay attention to your product formulation. My advice:
  • Check your formula for raw material incompatibilities, performance, product and package stability, including ship tests, preservation, patent infringements safety, and finished goods specification, etc.
  • Check your label copy to see if it is compliant with regulations and if the claims are substantiated.

This is just a partial list of items to be considered before your launch. If it feels overwhelming, keep sight of your dream, and don’t get discouraged. Working for yourself and your family can be very rewarding. Your success is in your hands. Make the best of it!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

وهم الداخل... الخوف

الخوف عندما يصبح ظل الحياة، يفقد الحياة معناها.. فلماذا علينا أن نقضي حياتنا كلها في رفقة الخوف؟ 
يتسلل عادة الخوف الينا دون أن ندري أنه الخوف.. نظنه أحيانا الحرص و الرغبة في تحقيق الأفضل، لكنه في الواقع هو الخوف من الفشل أو عدم النجاح.. هذا الحرص يكبلنا و يجعلنا عاجزين عن اتخاذ القرار و العيش بشكل طبيعي.. يتطور هذا الخوف حتى يصبح وسواسا داخليا يوجع حياتنا و يجعلنا نتمنى أن لا نحياها.. 
قصص مثيرة و كثيرة تحدثنا عن الخوف، الا أن التجربة الشخصية هي الأكثر قدرة على تبيان حقيقة الخوف و حقيقة دوره في حياتنا.. الانسان لا يتعلم الا من "كيسه" .. هذه حقيقية.. التجربة هي خير برهان دائما... 

صباح القهوة

القهوة مرتبطة بالصباح... فلا صباحات سعيدة بلا قهوة... أضحت القصة ثقافة تورث جيلا بعد جيل... لا أحد يعرف تاريخ هذا التقليد.. ربما هو قديم قدم القهوة...  المهم أن الصباحات التي لا تترافق مع فنجان قهوة تكون كئيبة... فاقدة للروح... و فاقدة للحياة..