International Standards: ISO and Cosmetics

Jay M. Ansell, Ph. D., DABT (VP Personal Care Products Council)

It is no exaggeration to state, “The personal care products industry is truly global”. As a simple demonstration all you need do is stop by the cosmetics counter the next time you are shopping. You will quickly find American, European or Asian based companies selling products manufactured around the world. Thus the cosmetic industry has long strived to advance international harmonization.


In today’s presentation Dr. Ansell will focus on one such effort: ISO and in particular ISO Technical Committee-217 Cosmetics.  Established in 2000, today ISO TC-217 has issued twenty eight (28) international standards and technical reports in the areas of Microbiology, Analytical Chemistry, GMPs, Sunscreen methods, Terminology and Packaging and Labeling. This talk will look at history of ISO, the standard writing process and highlight a number of important Standards which are explicitly or implicitly referenced by regulatory authorities such as ISO 22716: Cosmetic GMPs and ISO 24444: In vivo determination of the sun protection factor (SPF) and those we expect will become increasingly important in the future like ISO 16128: Guidelines on technical definitions and criteria for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients and products -- Part 1: Definitions for ingredients & Part 2: Criteria for ingredients and products.

Microbiomics for Cosmetics

Denis Wahler, Ph.D. (Givaudan Active Beauty)

Skin microbiomes are very diverse communities of microorganisms which live on the deserts of our forearms or calves, the tropical forests of our armpits, or the abundant plains of our forehead or cheeks. With the advent of metagenome and biogenetic technologies, researchers were able to measure the importance of skin microbiome in hygiene and personal care, and cosmetic scientists are now turning it into an unavoidable solution for beauty and well-being. But communication to the consumer is key and their adoption of the products comes with their education.


As the only fragrance company with in-house microbiome research capabilities, Givaudan remains committed to the development of new, innovative, cosmetic ingredients that push the boundaries of the microbiome trend. From probiotics and prebiotics from gut microbiota research that promote beneficial effects to the skin, to skin microbiota-protective actives and to more sophisticated cosmetic precursors activated by our skin microbes developed by Givaudan’s Applied Microbiomics Centre of Excellence, microbiota approach is part of future formulations.


Learn of what’s happening at Givaudan Active Beauty and discover how to address consumers’ requests and needs on the skin microbiome as a full player in beauty and well-being.  

The State of International Regulations for Marketing Organic & Natural Cometics

Gay Timmons (Owner, Oh Oh Organics)

The demand for “Natural & Organic” Cosmetics poses a challenge both for formulators and labeling. We will discuss and define what these words, as well as words like “green” and “clean” mean in the context of the Standards and Laws that come into play both in the US and the EU. An historical review of the development and implementation of public law and private standards will provide a base line to support the labeling of “Natural and Organic” Cosmetics.

Natural Compounds in Cosmetics - Standardization, Safety & Claims

Nava Dayan, Ph.D. (Owner, Dr. Nava Dayan LLC)

Unlike synthetic compounds, naturally derived ingredients present unique challenges into the research and development path of cosmetic products. Perhaps the most important aspects are the composition, authentication and standardization. In the food industry labeling a product “natural” is one of the most profitable strategies. This attractive claim gave rise to launch of variety of products that their “natural” origin and composition may be questionable and dependent upon one’s definition of the term and understanding of the concept. The FDA defined “natural” in a regulation from 1993 as “nothing artificial or synthetic (including all color additives regardless of source) has been included in, or has been added to, a food that would not normally be expected to be in the food”. With great advancement in plant extraction and processing, bacteria and fermentation technologies this definition may need to be expanded. The Natural Products Association in the US (NPA) suggests that only about 20% of natural personal care products are truly natural and NAD and FTC review claims associated with 100% natural products. There are several standards regarding the definition of “naturals”, “green” or “organic” in personal care products, a situation that spreads confusion. Adding to this uncertainty is the perception of “natural” as “safe” and compounds that have been used in the industry for many years and on which complete toxicological profiles were generated are attacked for bad publicity and are perceived as “non- safe and non- natural”.  There is also the misconception that only synthetic compounds can be effective. Following this puzzlement and the massive market introduction to the naive layman consumer, a major issue is the true value of use of naturals in topically applied formulations. In reality, many of these compounds are included in the product in minuscule amounts, or in a non- active, non-stable form just so an inclusion claim can be published. In that sense although a wealth of research on many of these ingredients might exist, it is often not used to formulate an effective and safe natural cosmetic finished product. My talk will describe a few key aspects to consider as milestones in the development of natural cosmetics, composition, safety and claims. 

The New Age of Naturals and Organic Consumerism

Jennifer Stansbury (The Benchmarking Company)

For more than a decade, organic and natural products have lined the beauty shelf. But, terms like clean, green, chemical-free, natural and organic mean something different to the beauty consumer today. This session offers a comparative study in the in the results from The Benchmarking Company’s 2008 PinkReport™: The Age of Naturals to our 2018 PinkReport™: The New Age of Naturals. Attendees are invited to take a detailed look at changes in the past decade of US beauty consumers’ interest, understanding of, buying habits, brand favorites and pricing thresholds for beauty products claiming to be natural or organic. The session will explore; how her interest and level of understanding has changed, her demand and opinions about ingredients she does and doesn’t want to see on an ingredient label, and the level of efficacy she expects from products claiming to be green. This session will examine the results of brand new primary research, where thousands of US females reveal what they’re looking for in natural/green/clean and organic beauty, how her interests have changed during the past 10 years, which natural beauty brands have moved the needle, which brands are emerging, and natural products and ingredients she believes will be an important part of her life and purchasing decisions in the next 10 years.

Colorants and Natural Cosmetics

Kelly A. Dobos (Sun Chemical Corporation)

Developing truly natural cosmetics presents many formulation challenges, especially color cosmetics because of the very limited amount of natural colorants that are permitted for use by the FDA.  Instead we focus on the concept of clean beauty, where both synthetic and natural ingredients are embraced with the focus on safety over source. A history of colorant regulations and the chemistry of cosmetic colorants will be presented. 

Essential Oils: Production and Industrial Use Overview


Where do the current essential oils come from?

How are they produced?

What are the current challenges of this industry?

What are the main industries using essential oils and why do they use them?

The goal of this introduction is to provide an updated overview of this world wide industry which takes its origin from the ancient times.

Responsible Sourcing in Natural Cosmetics

Shannon Hess (Burt's Bees)

As the natural cosmetics market rapidly expands, expectations are escalating regarding impacts of upstream supply chain practices. Consumers, NGOs and even regulators, want to know where an ingredient, packaging component or product comes from and how it’s made, while, at the same time, cosmetic brands want to ensure that practices of suppliers uphold their own brand values and commitments. These factors are culminating in increased importance of transparency and traceability while developing, manufacturing, and distributing cosmetic products globally. Leaders in responsible sourcing are harmonizing efforts and partnering with other sectors to accelerate progress. 

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