Students Attend Virtual Lecture on Cosmetic Chemistry Then Formulate Product at Home
During this time of online learning, Cosmetic Chemist Amy Chang is ensuring her students don’t miss out on the real-world projects FIDM is known for. Beauty Marketing & Product Development Students in the Principles of Beauty Science course (COSM 2620) were sent kits with equipment and ingredients to make hand sanitizer at home during a recent Saturday morning lecture on cosmetic chemistry.
Ms. Chang invited FIDM Grad and fellow cosmetic chemist Laura Lam-Phaure to lecture on polymer science before they got into the lab work. “Polymers are viscosity modifiers,” said Ms. Lam-Phaure. They help minimize the effects of temperature changes that beauty products undergo in shipping. “When you formulate a product, it must have good structural integrity, so the end consumer can use the product for a long period of time.”
Next, Ms. Lam-Phaure introduced Carbomer, a unique polymer which gives beauty products that “water-like” feel. “Carbomer is a tightly coiled dry powder,” she said. When you add water, you get swollen hydrogels. Carbomer also holds alcohol really well, she said, so it’s a great ingredient to use in hand sanitizer products.
Early in the pandemic, back in February, when hand sanitizer started selling out, there was a shortage of Carbomer, Ms. Chang told the students, which sent smaller beauty companies scrambling to find a substitute. The result was hand sanitizers that created a slip and residual build-up.
Ms. Chang walked the students through the kit they received from FIDM to make their hand sanitizers. The equipment included goggles, beakers, mixing sticks, pipettes, and the final component. The ingredients were distilled water, isopropyl alcohol, polymer, glycerin, aloe vera juice, and essential oils. She then led the students through the step-by-step process of making the hand sanitizer.
In Principles of Beauty Science, students gain an understanding of the principles of chemistry and their vital importance to beauty technology. They examine the complex process of product development from raw materials and ingredients to formulations, applications, and finished products. Students then apply what they have learned to actual on-site product development. They also study the legal, regulatory, and technological standards governing beauty products.
Instructor Amy Chang received a B.S. in Chemistry and a M.S. in Engineering from Purdue University. A chemist by training and creative formulator by practice, she has worked as a cosmetic and skincare product innovator for more than 15 years at companies such as Algenist, SpaRitual, Kate Somerville Skincare, and GLAMGLOW. Along with teaching in the General Studies and Beauty Merchandising & Marketing departments at FIDM, she is the Senior Director of Product Innovation at Tapia Beauty Group.