The Society of Cosmetic Scientists’ (SCS) symposium, ‘Naturals in cosmetic science’ was held on 30 April –1 May 2013 at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Mike Harrington and Chris McLeod report
The Society of Cosmetic Scientists’ (SCS) sixth annual scientific symposium discussed ‘Naturals in cosmetic science’. Keynote speaker, Sian Jones, is one of the co-owners of the award winning natural beauty brand Balance Me. Jones talked passionately about following your instinct to find a particular gap in the market. The selling point for ‘Balance Me’ is based around the idea of using natural ingredients without compromise; specifically, naturals that include sophisticated blends and formulations created with extremely subtle textures and complex fragrances. This use of such appreciably natural fragrances has proven to be the “initial and lasting impression” for most customers.
Jones spoke about her ideas; that a belief in her product, attention to the smallest of details, the use of her “real social network” of family and friends for feedback and, of course, grasping opportunities with both hands were all key ingredients for her success. She commented that marketing and opportunity are both hugely important and are, perhaps, even more important than the science underpinning a brand’s production in order to create an aspirational and thriving brand.
Jo Fairley of Green & Black’s and The Beauty Bible presented how both these brands have become popular, desirable and, moreover, iconic in their relevant fields. Once more, the message was that with determination and persistence, a company and brand will make its own luck. This, Fairley explained, was how the Green & Black’s packaging was transformed by the Pearlfisher agency to become the distinctive brand it is known as today; she mused that the drive to create this iconic brand image was fuelled by the fact that Pearlfisher used to provide their services in payment of chocolate in the early stages.
Fairley moved on to explain that providing the target demographic with a product and brand that they like, can understand and can make an emotional investment in, will consequently allow them to appreciate it and provide brand loyalty for the future. Provide your audience with something they do not and it will never be a success. Fairley said that, whilst she craves a single clear worldwide standard, she prefers to use a simple three daisy standard in The Beauty Bible to illustrate the natural and organic composition of the products. For eight years, she chaired the Soil Association’s Health and Beauty Products Committee but despite this declared an unease at how confusing the plethora of standards was.
Dr Natasha Williams O’Hanlon, the Sustainability Manager in Product Development for Oriflame, believes that sustainability, naturals and organics are not only necessary at a product level but at a corporate level too. She believes that this is much more difficult to achieve on a mass market scale and can only succeed from a top down management approach.