Listen to Victoria Discuss Key Trends she Saw at NYSCC Suppliers’ Day Here:

Discover how the worlds of beauty and chemicals merge to drive innovation in the cosmetics and personal care industry from NYSCC Suppliers Day in New York City. Victoria Meyer takes you behind the scenes of this event, accompanied by industry experts Bob Jacobs from Hydrosome Labs, Jack Drawdy from SCT, Petia Tatarska from Innova BM, Dennis Abbeduto from Colonial Chemical, Yann Chilvers from Cavalo, and Daina Catanese of Integrity BioChem.

This week’s episode of The Chemical Show is packed with firsthand insights from industry leaders at the forefront of the personal care landscape. They discuss trends in sustainable and clean technologies, the impact of AI and digital solutions on supply chain transparency, and the integration of biotech innovations that promise enhanced efficacy and environmental stewardship. Join us for thoughtful exploration into how today’s trends are paving the way for tomorrow’s consumer products.

Topics discussed in this week’s episode:

  • NYSCC Suppliers’ Day Conference: the future of cosmetics & personal care
  • Key trends driving cosmetics
  • Sustainability and sustainable chemistries in cosmetics and personal care
  • Digital solutions for sustainability
  • Role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Innovation


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Watch Victoria Interview Attendees on at NYSCC Suppliers’ Day on Youtube Here:

Trends Shaping the Cosmetic Industry: Insights from NYSCC Suppliers’ Day

Hi, this is Victoria Meyer. Welcome back to The Chemical Show, where chemicals means business. Today’s episode focuses on the cosmetics and personal care business. If you’re not in the industry, you might be wondering what the heck does chemicals have to do with cosmetics and personal care? If you are in the industry, like many of my listeners in our audience, then you know the answer to that is, everything. This past week, I attended the NYSCC Suppliers’ Day. That is the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists Suppliers’ Day, which is held in New York city every year. It is the biggest North American conference and trade show where the chemical industry intersects and meets with the cosmetics and personal care industry.

There are thousands of attendees and booths and a lot of buzz. Formulators and cosmetic chemists from big brands and small brands are meeting with ingredient suppliers, chemical companies, packagers, and all the service providers that meet together to fulfill the requirements for the personal care industry. At the event, you see some of the same chemical companies that you see at many other events, as well as a lot of small niche boutique and specialty chemical companies, innovators, raw material suppliers, and other folks that are there specifically to bring magic. In many cases it really is magical to the personal care industry.

It was fun to walk the floor, to see what was happening, to hear the buzz, to see the new innovations, to talk to people that are doing some new and novel chemistries and creating some really cool products that are eventually going to end up on store shelves. What was really awesome was just to witness the passion across the entire event and people everywhere who are really passionate and interested in personal care and in delivering products to real people, real consumers. It’s something we can all recognize, we touch and we feel, and we interact with on a very personal basis every day.

So that makes this event really unique and really important. First of all, I want to give a shout out to the NYSCC organization and all the people that work together to put on the event. It was great. I enjoyed being able to attend and actually even got to do some behind the scenes VIP media tour stuff, which was really fun and I saw some new indie brands, that I am not going to cover that today.

cosmetics trends

So today’s episode focuses in really on the three key questions I asked a variety of people in the industry, and you’re going to hear from each one of them in their own words. What I think is really interesting is there’s a lot of alignment and there’s also some opposing points of view. You’ll see that when it comes up.

Key Trends

I’m here with Bob Jacobs from Hydrosome Labs in the innovation space here at NYSCC. What are the key trends that you see driving cosmetics and personal care and then how do you guys fit into that?

Bob Jacobs: Yeah, we’ve spent a lot of time looking at this and we’ve walked the show. I think clean beauty is a really big trend. That is probably no surprise to anybody. Efficacy is another one, so really driving product performance and getting a little bit more out of formulations of active ingredients. We tie into both of those. So our technology is a clean technology, and our technology is one that improves the performance of active ingredients.

I am here with Jack Drawdy from SCT. Jack, what do you see as the trends that are really driving cosmetics and personal care today?

Jack Drawdy:
Well, it’s a great question. As luck would have it, we are launching a dry product this week. One of the trends that we’ve seen is this trend toward less plastic and less water. So we’ve created a product called Sopal Zero, which is a dry soap. It has the ability to be used as a powder or it has the ability to be pressed into a bar. But either way, we see trends that are going more towards less plastic, less water, less cost. That’s the reason for us to develop these types of eco friendly products, dry products.

Next. I’ve got Petia Tartaska, CEO of Innova DM.

Petia Tatarska: The big trends are natural and sustainable. But let me say that, as always, women value mostly efficacy. We want our cosmetics to work, and this is priority number one. But within the realm of cosmetics that work, natural is big and I believe it will always be big because we are kind of natural, beautiful flowers and we prefer to work with natural ingredients and natural cosmetics. Also, sustainability is getting deservedly more and more attention because we realize we have to be environment conscious and to contribute to saving our planet.

I also asked Dennis Abbeduto from Colonial Chemical. So Dennis, let’s talk a little bit about the trends. What trends do you see influencing and shaping personal care cosmetics right now?

Dennis Abbeduto: I mean certainly the discussion has been primarily around sustainability, making sure that there’s less harm to the environment with products that we’re producing. That goes really all throughout personal care from ingredients to packaging to transport and all the different things that are interrelated in that regard. So that’s the overarching, driving force behind what’s happening now within the industry.


Then we turned our focus into sustainability and sustainable chemistry.

So I’m here with Yann Chilvers from Cavalo, which is a digital solution provider for personal care and cosmetics, among some other industries. So, Yann, how do you see advancements in sustainability and sustainable chemistry shaping the future of cosmetics and personal care?

Yann Chilvers: We’re in an age of a lot of greenwashing, and so we see a big trend toward, really being able to substantiate the sustainability claims that the suppliers and the brands have. That has a big link today with all the traceability and the supply chain control. So being able to go all the way to the person that picked up a plant, for example, through all the manufacturing process and controlling that supply chain, will be one big key that we see in that sustainability journey.

Is that something that you see your technology platform helping with in the future?

Yann Chilvers: Absolutely. So we are trying to really offer full transparency on the ingredients. We give the control to the suppliers of course to control who access that data. We don’t want to have data leakage to competitors. On the other side, being able to share that information with friends is key. In Europe in particular, you have a big push to our traceability and substantiation. So by 2027 with the green deal, all the brands will need to be able to prove the origin of the ingredients. Therefore a digital platform will play a key role in this.

aerosol tube for medicine or cosmetics on white background trends

Here’s Petia with her perspective.

Petia Tatarska: So sustainability is a big trend and I believe it will get bigger and bigger. I’m happy to say that Innova BM is contributing greatly to the choice of sustainable ingredients in the cosmetics industry. These are biotech products and biotech ingredients that are cultivated in the lab. This way we save and we don’t do soil depletion. We save the cultivation of the land, pesticides, fertilizers, tractors, energy, water. Also our patented technology works with protected and rare plants by producing protected and rare plants in a biotech factory. We are able to help preserve biodiversity and we are really proud of this. And most importantly, these ingredients work.

Daina Catanese of Integrity Biochem provided a perspective on sustainable chemistries and really the importance of performance along with sustainability.

Daina Catanese: I believe that the performance aspect of sustainability is really what makes these sustainable materials really credible and gives them the backing to give customers what they’re looking for on top of their sustainability goals. So when we say performance, we’re saying, what does it do in the product? What is it adding and what is it giving to our customers that they so desperately need? So on top of the sustainability goals that we have always reached with our materials and with other materials in the industry, we want to see the performance increase on top of that.

Jack Drawdy: I think you’ve got to go back to these things, for instance, the Dextera product. It comes from a byproduct of corn and wheat. You’re not impacting the food source. These are things that are byproducts of the food source. But you’re upcycling it. It’s a great story in utilizing things that were once being thrown away. The same thing with the Sopal Zero, you’re not having to dispose of the plastic once you start using these. It’s like you’re going to hotels now and you don’t see the little bottles anymore. It’s in the shower, on the wall, and they’re being filled by partners.

Bob Jacobs: So I think sustainability has a couple different aspects, but one is on the contents of the formulation. Trying to reduce the chemicals that are in the formulation, trying to clean the formulation that way. From our standpoint, there’s really nothing cleaner than water, especially ultra pure water. That’s really the basis of our technology. The bubbles in our technology become a delivery vehicle for the ingredients that are in there and allows people to cut back on that. Another one is just the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process, and our technology has a very low carbon footprint when it comes to the energy to create the bubbles, to create these formulations. So we’re checking those boxes, in both those cases.

AI and Innovation

Our conversations also covered the role of AI in innovation. It’ll be no surprise that companies are at various points on the maturity curve with their use of AI. Of course, AI is still in many ways in its infancy when we think about its application in the industry and with formulations and more.

What about AI? AI is the buzz right now, and when we think about AI and its role in innovation, what do you see?

Yann Chilvers: I mean, AI is a definitely a buzzword. You see it a bit everywhere. I like to think that AI should not be like a goal in itself. You need to start with what is the problem you want to solve and then AI can be one solution among others and addressing it. So where we can see AI really delivering value is when you have big data sets, that are structured or unstructured and you want to understand trends or if you want to automate certain processes that can make a lot of sense. But there are other application areas where AI ultimately does not always justify the investment that we make.

Jack Drawdy: So as a company, we’re just now starting to formulate a plan on how and what to use AI for. We’re looking at a number of sources, but I think that in terms of how our technology grows, I don’t think we’ve found that right fit yet. In terms of how we approach our customers, we’re certainly using it to model what we think fits our brands, what we’re doing fits the brands that are out there. That’s how we’re starting to develop that process, but we realize that if we’re not utilizing it, we’re behind.

Transparent vials in a row, analyzing liquid for medical research generated by artificial intelligence trends

Dennis Abbeduto: So, there’s a lot of people here talking about AI, be it for formulating or de-formulating there’s all sorts of new tools that are out there. I think one of the most powerful things that we’re going to see out of AI is the ability for companies like ourselves, producing surfactants, to train models to predict how we can produce new surfactants to fine tune certain performance parameters. These models can be so well tuned that they’ll actually go through routine production mechanisms and eliminate potential chemical candidates that may be not sustainable or too difficult or not able to be produced at mass scale. So this is a sort of the future really of AI to be able to generate our path forward for new chemistry.

One of the reasons that companies attend Supplier’s Day is to learn about new innovations and to be identifying those active ingredients technologies that will help them move ahead rapidly to bring products to market.

One of the things that we’re talking about is just emerging technologies and innovation. What are the emerging technologies that you see that could actually revolutionize the space?

Bob Jacobs: The whole bioprocessing and fermentation space is huge because we can create things that nature’s creating now, but in a more sustainable and repeatable way. Our technology actually has a role in fermentation as well. We’re able to improve the output, the yield, and the speed of the fermentation processes with our technology.

Daina Catanese: Some ingredients and technology that I believe are going to be changing the sustainability space of personal care are technologies that marry performance and sustainability. So on top of the sustainability goals that we have always reached with our materials and with other materials in the industry, we want to see the performance increase on top of that.

Do you see customers and the end consumers really wanting this and being willing to pay for this?

Daina Catanese: Yes. We do see customers that really want the high performance and the sustainability aspect, but I think there’s a level to how much they’re willing to pay for these materials. At the end of the day, that merriment between performance and sustainability is really the key to the future for our consumers.

Dennis Abbeduto: So, certainly here at the show, we’re seeing a lot of the biotech. People that are using microbes of all different kinds, whether it be yeasts or bacteria or sea algae to produce novel materials be them peptides or proteins, or even surfactants, which interplays with what we offer from the manufactured surfactant side. So we’re seeing all these things coming around. It’s really exciting and then some of these are using wild strains of organisms or wild algae, for example, but then some are also doing genetic modification in order to optimize different properties of these materials to really hone in on specific chemistries and things like the bio produced collagen or other types of ingredients are really coming online and you’ll see a lot here at the show.

It’s interesting you mentioned genetic modification. Obviously, GMO is a hot topic and it’s considered a no no of foods, let’s say. Do we see that it’s currently acceptable?

Dennis Abbeduto: Right, so there are a couple things. So, genetically modified organisms have been used for a long time all throughout foods and personal care products, maybe in things we don’t think about too much, insulin is produced by genetically modified organisms. Citric acid, which is a commodity chemical and is produced by microorganisms. A lot of times they’re genetically modified and there are some organizations that do natural certifications who will provide loopholes for these kinds of things. For example, you’re feeding corn sugar or some kind of sugar to the organism, as long as that’s not genetically modified, they allow for the organism itself to be certified, because that all gets removed from the whole equation. But really, when we’re producing these high purity materials, all the GM proteins get removed as well. I think people are more worried about genetic modification of their food, rather than genetic modification of an organism that’s used to produce a commodity type chemical.

So what did you think when you listened to today’s episode, when we think about the trends that are driving cosmetics and personal care today, when you think about the role of sustainability and sustainable chemistry, and there are so many amazing innovations in this space. I talked to just a sampling of folks, there are so many more. I’d love to hear from you in terms of what are some of those innovations and trends that you see driving cosmetics and personal care today? What did you hear at the show? What did you see? Thanks for listening today. Keep listening, keep following, keep sharing, and we will talk with you again soon.