UT College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences News

Posts Tagged ‘formulation design’

Cosmetic Science students in national spotlight

Dr. Gabriella Baki, far left, with students from the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design program

Dr. Gabriella Baki, far left, with students from the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design program

In fall 2015, the P1 and P2 Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design students attended an educational seminar about advanced skin care organized by the Michigan Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) chapter. SCC is the national organization for the cosmetic and personal care industry. At the seminar, which was held in Grand Rapids, Mich., most of the P2 students presented posters to the industrial attendees.

UT students represented the only population of students at the meeting, as our college’s Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design program is the only one of its kind in the nation.  The Michigan SCC chapter covered the cost of the 2016 SCC membership fee for UT students.

Five UT cosmetic science students – one from the MS in Industrial Pharmacy program and four P2 Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design students – were invited and sponsored by the national SCC office to attend the annual SCC meeting, which took place in Manhattan, NY in December 2015. Each of the invited students presented posters at this event, which welcomed nearly 1,000 attendees from all over the US and Europe. Students received complimentary registration and hotel accommodations in addition to $250 toward travel expenses.


Alison Wery, BSPS ’14, embarks on a career in cosmetic formulation

weryAlison Wery, BSPS ’14, may not realize it, but she is a pioneer. One of the first students to graduate with the nation’s only Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design bachelor’s degree, she has a unique set of skills and knowledge to apply in the cosmetic industry. Now a formulation scientist for ACT Solutions Corp., Wery’s internship experience at Earth Supplied Products, LLC. in Naples, Florida helped to establish her career path while she was still a student.

“I was supposed to be working under the lab manager,” Wery said, “but I ended up being their only chemist for an entire summer. This gave me the opportunity to do a little bit of everything. I made samples of raw materials like extracts and butters to send to companies. I also dealt with international and domestic shipment of samples, and I oversaw production of raw materials, technical service, organic certification, reformulation of all natural and organic lotions, creams, and scrubs, along with microreview and analysis, and stability analysis. It really influenced me to want to formulate and be in the lab.”

Wery’s work deals with contract manufacturing, which includes matching the formulations of products that are currently on the market with only the ingredient list as a guide. It’s like solving a mystery, one ingredient at a time.

“Trying to match a product with mislabeled or missing ingredient information is difficult, especially when the client doesn’t want any deviations from the ingredient listing. Also, certain ingredients don’t have to be listed on the label depending on their overall reason for use, solubilization for example. Ingredients also have different forms, and figuring out which form was used can be tricky; dimethicone, for example, has different grades – 5, 10, 100. 200, 350 – all of which give slightly different textures to a lotion or cream,” Wery explained.

The work is complex and challenging. Fortunately for Wery, her work is directly related to the coursework and lab experiences she had in the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design program at UT.

“Knowing what each ingredient is – emollients, surfactants, and thickeners – along with the percentage to add and manufacturing procedure are all keys to what I do on a daily basis at my job,” she said.

What Wery most enjoys about her work is the success of the finished product.

“It is a lot like research in that you can do something a handful of times and it might not be quite right,” Wery said, “but once you tweak things, boom! You’ve got it!”

As her career progresses, Wery would like to move toward advanced formulation that includes revolutionary active ingredients, including transdermal drug delivery systems within the cosmetic field.

“A big issue in the cosmetic science industry right now is the delivery system for anti-aging ingredients and the goal of getting them into the deeper layers of skin for better results,” Wery said. “I would like to advance the research in this area.”

Even as Wery moves forward in her career, she appreciates what she learned in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Her class notes still come in handy, too. “I still look back at them sometimes for manufacturing procedures for certain products that we made in lab and even for information about the structure and pH of the skin, hair and nails,” she said.

Wery, who calls herself an “avid shopaholic,” is excited to have found a career path that blends her love of science and research with her desire to create personal care products like those she finds in her favorite high-end cosmetic boutiques. As the college continues to increase enrollment in the Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design major, more graduates like Wery will redefine the many ways we improve the human condition.