SCS Formulate – the clue is in the name

Published: 1-Dec-2010

Always an intimate, focused show, the Society of Cosmetics Scientists’ SCS Formulate is popular because it attracts exactly the audience it is looking for – formulators. SPC reports from a successful 2010 event

Always an intimate, focused show, the Society of Cosmetics Scientists’ SCS Formulate is popular because it attracts exactly the audience it is looking for – formulators. SPC reports from a successful 2010 event

Now in its 11th year, the UK’s SCS Formulate, which returned for a second year to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena (9-10 November), achieved record attendance figures. Organiser Step put the total number of seminar delegates and exhibition visitors at 1,014, a significant increase on 2010’s 835, with the first day attracting a slightly higher footfall than the second. Meanwhile exhibitor numbers were a record 176, up on last year’s 164, which had dipped from a previous high of 170 in 2008.

Exhibitors praised the 2010 event for the quality of visitors and the amount of one-on-one time it afforded them. “When they call it Formulate that’s exactly what it is – there’s a very high calibre of visitors here and the majority are formulators,” said Cark Maunsell, md of first time exhibitor Oat Cosmetics. “It’s also more intimate than something like in-cosmetics and Suppliers’ Day.” Fellow exhibitor Jane Tiedtke, head of marketing at Cosmetochem, added: “With a lot of bigger shows it’s usually the people higher up who go, not necessarily the people who do the work on the products, and I think Formulate is different from that point of view. There are a lot more people who get their hands dirty in the lab.”

Sam Gardner, marketing manager of Innospec’s active chemicals business, also praised the event’s sense of intimacy. “in-cosmetics is a showcase, whereas here we can set up meaningful meetings,” she told SPC. “It’s more intimate and people will go off and have meetings for longer. It enables us to follow up on leads.”

Last year Cornelius had chosen not to exhibit but had run a virtual cosmetics exhibition of its own. “We felt the show was getting a bit tired for us and people were saying there was nothing new so the only reason we could find to do it was that we couldn’t afford not to, which is not a good enough reason,” said Trevor Barker, business manager at Cornelius, which was back with a stand this year. “We have a great IT department and we wanted to show that we’re a bit innovative. This year we’re doing a lot of marketing activity here around rebranding and repositioning. We’ll have a stand next year if it feels like the right thing to do.”

While the 2010 show offered attendees the chance to catch up with existing clients, many exhibitors also commented on the new business opportunities it presented. “It’s been about a 50:50 split between existing customers and new leads,” commented NK Chemicals’ sales manager Ben Brockbank, while Richard Eyles, sales director for natural oil specialist Seatons noted “there are more visitors looking to start up businesses this year,” suggesting the cosmetics market is once again becoming an attractive prospect for newcomers as the UK’s economic environment begins to feel healthier. Pippa Bailey of MMR, a full service market research company specialising in fmcg, had the same feeling. “We’ve had some really good contacts, but that’s all you need – and we’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs,” she said.

For Orean Personal Care, the sole exhibiting contract manufacturer, Formulate also presented plenty of leads. “We seemed to have a constant stream of people wanting to discuss contract manufacturing options... and significantly were introduced to a number of new contacts,” said commercial director Peter Kelly. “Definitely considering booking for next year!”

And attendees on the show floor seemed equally pleased. “It works for me,” commented Grace Abamba, quality assurance manager, QVC. “Most of what you see at other shows you see here and this is more compact.”

Chris Flower is director general of the CTPA but also the current president of the SCS. “Although I have visited relatively few exhibitions, SCS Formulate stands out because of the buzz in the room,” he said. “Everywhere knowledgeable and enthusiastic suppliers of ingredients and services were deep in conversation with equally knowledgeable and enthusiastic customers, where ideas, views and opinions flowed. This was augmented by a series of short lectures and presentations on specific topics as well as some longer talks in The Knowledge. To me it was a wonderful example of bringing together the many different skills and the high degree of scientific expertise necessary for the innovation that underpins today’s effective, high quality, cosmetic products.”


Not surprisingly, ingredients suitable for formulating natural, organic or free-from products were still a big story this year.

Rhodia, for example, promoted a vegetable alternative to SLES. “There’s been a lot of interest in this ingredient. I’m actually surprised how much, because as you can imagine it’s quite expensive compared to conventional SLES,” Barrie Shelmerdine, tech-service manager for Rhodia’s Novocare business told SPC. “But people are willing to pay more for a natural ingredient.”

And as Lars Jung, product manager, Cremer Care pointed out. “In the past natural cosmetics just had to be natural but now the consumer wants performance and natural, which can be hard so there is room for development.”

Away from ingredients, cleaning product specialist Doronwell showcased its new ecological range – alkaline DNW Eco-Gold, acidic DNW Eco-Force and Ecocert-certified DNW Eco-Pure – created with Ecover. “Our hope is that the people here who create cosmetics are going to say ‘I get such an ear bending from production because I’ve made this wonderful product that’s a pig to clean’,” said Doronwell’s Kevin Blissett. “We’ve had quite a lot of people who have shown interest in the products.”

Consumers enjoy products with a story attached, a trend that has not gone unnoticed by exhibitors at Formulate, many of whom promoted eco-friendly or ethically traded ingredients with tales of the communities supplying them.

“We’re finding that a lot of our customers are wanting a story,” commented Tom Kerfoot, commercial manager for The Kerfoot Group’s speciality division. “We’ve got a project in Moldova where there’s a growing wine industry and we’re getting the pulp from the wine and using the seeds to get oil. It’s really eco-friendly because there is no waste involved.”

Meanwhile, Campbell Walter, sales and marketing director of first-time Formulate exhibitor Earthoil Plantations, said the company had recently received accreditation from IMO Fair For Life. “We’ve been doing ethical for eight years but we never had it independently audited. We use IMO Fair For Life mainly because when we were seeking independent certification FLO was not ready. We support IMO fully and we believe they’re going to come up with the right criteria for cosmetics.”

It was a very busy two days and SPC January and will be covering the Knowledge seminars and Source presentations.

SCS Formulate will return to the Ricoh Arena next year from 15-16 November

Ingredients for success
•Arkema, represented by distributor Chesham, offered three new products: Orgasol Hydra+, Orgasol Pure and Orgasol Restore. Orgasol Hydra+ delivers hyaluronic acid to the skin for moisturisation, while Orgasol Pure contains lactic acid to treat oily skin. Orgasol Restore replaces missing ceramides in the lipid bilayers of mature skin.
•New texture modifier Lytron 20P from Omnova featured in the decorative cosmetics section of Azelis/S.Black’s What’s new in personal care? presentation. An efficient styrene/acrylic powdered polymeric modifier with a large particle size, the product imparts a smooth, comfortable feel.
•Cremer Care introduced new organic vegetable-based alternatives to petroleum (Cremerlin Pura) as well as organic soap noodles (palm-free, olive and translucent) and organic rye fermentation.
•Ecocert-approved ingredients NatraGem E145 and NatraGem S140 are the most recent offerings from Croda. NatraGem E145 is a versatile, high HLB, o/w emulsifier, proven to produce stable emulsions comparable to steareth-20, while NatraGem S140 is a natural solubiliser said to be capable of incorporating a wide range of lipophilic ingredients into clear formulations.
•Inolex launched three value alternative preservation systems to coincide with SCS Formulate 2010. Benzostat, Aromastat and Phenostat combine Inolex’s CHA technology with budget bacteriostatic aromatic glycols for antimicrobial protection at a lower cost.
•For UK manufacturers looking to source locally, natural oil specialist Northstar Lipids introduced crambe seed oil [INCI: Crambe abyssinica], which has been grown in the UK for many years but is new to cosmetics. It promises emolliency with good lubricating properties and a unique skin feel that provides a natural alternative to mineral oils and silicones.
•Rhodia showcased a range of products suitable for eco-friendly hair and skin care formulations based around its recently launched Rhodapex ESB-70 NAT vegetable-based SLES. Based on ethylene oxide from sugar cane and lauryl alcohol from palm kernel oil, the ingredient is both Ecocert and PC Ecolabel compliant.
•Safic Alcan was promoting a line of seaweed-derived ingredients: Fucorich Organic Fucoidan. The result of a collaboration between Australian biotechnology company Marinova and Argentinian organic seaweed supplier Soriano SA, products in the Fucorich line contain a minimum of 50% fucoidan seaweed. Fucorich comes in powder form and is recommended for use in nutricosmetics.
•Axolight [INCI: Triticum aestivum extract] is a new Ecocert validated lightening active from Soliance, said to inhibit tyrosinase by 25% and TRP-1 by 88%. Rich in arabinoxylo-oligo-saccharides, extracts from wheat bran, it is suggested for use in skin lightening and for age spot prevention in anti-ageing products.
•Botanica-VgSO2 Fluid, introduced by Whisper International, is a combination of vegetable squalene from olive oil, perfluorodecalin, oxygen, 3-0-ethyl ascorbyl ether and tocopheryl acetate. Said to penetrate the skin rapidly, it is claimed to improve the formation and synthesis of collagen, actively delivering oxygen to the epidermis and dermis. The vitamin C in the form of 3-0-ethyl ascorbyl ether is said to be absorbed into the skin, reaching the dermis where it is metabolised.

You may also like