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Natural cosmetic paradigm: Rethinking formulation design – Webinar 3 April



Dr Olga Biganska’s research was recognised as a Top 10 Poster at last year’s Congress in Barcelona. Join us on Wednesday 3 April to hear how her team has used hectorite gels as a central brick in formulation to open up a new way of cosmetic product design.


In a planetary crisis context, it is the responsibility of cosmetic companies to develop natural and sustainable products that are as sensorial and effective as conventional products while reducing their environmental footprint and preserving natural resources and biodiversity.

Sometimes it is possible to obtain the iso-structural equivalent of an ingredient using green chemistry or biotechnology processes, thus replacing an undesirable one. We remain within conventional formulation schemes while aiming for continuous improvement, particularly in terms of overall eco-design.

A completely new approach would consist of rethinking the design of formulations as a whole rather than replacing each of the synthetics in the formula with a natural equivalent.

As an example, we propose to use hectorite, a specific natural clay of smectite-type, as a central brick. Its formulation in aqueous media leads to the formation of gels. Following application onto the skin, hectorite gels have the ability to form dry films with long lasting mattifying effect on the skin surface. The hectorite gels allow us to texturize the aqueous phase, to disperse a certain amount of fatty phase and to create a film able to distribute the latter in a homogeneous manner. Combining hectorite with the other bricks, accurately chosen both to fit the formulation constrains and to fulfil their roles (stability, sensory, preservation), leads to a new way of cosmetic product design.

However, formulating hectorite, especially in the presence of some specific ingredients, remains a highly challenging task. To overcome the formulation challenge and provide stable, safe and efficient cosmetic products we need a deep understanding of both the complex behaviour of hectorite and the interaction between hectorite and other bricks and/or ingredients commonly used in cosmetics.

Wednesday 13 March
​​​​​​​8h West Coast USA • 10h Mexico City / Chicago • 11h East Coast USA / Bogotá • 13h Sao Paolo • 16h London • 17h Central Europe / West Africa • 18h Tel Aviv / South Africa • 9h30 New Delhi, 0h Singapore / HK / China / Taipei
Thursday 14 March
​​​​​​​1h Korea / Japan • 3h Melbourne • 5h Wellington

Dr Olga Biganska holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from Mines ParisTech/Université de Nice – Sophia Antipolis. During her thesis she studied natural polymers and more specifically cellulose and its many applications. This proved very useful when she began working at L’Oréal as a research and development engineer in the hair care laboratory. Dr Biganska has worked at L’Oréal for over 15 years in a team that studies natural raw materials or ingredients of natural origin. The challenge for the team is to design and develop natural cosmetics that are as efficient, safe, sensorial and desirable as conventional ones.