Cosmetic Chemistry: What's Food Got To Do With It?

BE attended an educational, fun filled culinary event held by The NYSCC because, well, food has a lot to do with cosmetics!

Table prep pre NYSCC event.  Photo credit:  Cherie Buziak

Table prep pre NYSCC event.  Photo credit:  Cherie Buziak

If you’re not familiar with what or who the NYSCC is, the acronym stands for The New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists.  The NYSCC is a local chapter of the global organization called the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC). Consider respectfully that members of the SCC are a group of mad scientists, biochemists, and raw materials specialists, along with a crew of testing specialists who work behind the scenes formulating and contemplating the next big innovative beauty product.  They are a creative bunch that aligns with product marketers and key corporate teams to help bring to market the next beauty enhancing “it” product.

You may ask yourself, what’s food got to do with cosmetic chemistry?  The answer? A Lot.

Here’s a sampling of how food and food items impact the beauty business:

Inspiration: The culinary arena is one sector that the beauty industry scours for new ideas and ingredient inspirations.  Cosmetic formulas that use naturals, organics, raw food ingredients and the sort, for the most part, found their roots in culinary cuisines.  Not only are ingredients borrowed, a variety of food textures can influence a cosmetic product aesthetic….think of the texture of jello as inspiration for a cooling eye-gel, yogurt as inspiration for a creamy cleanser, or whipped cream as inspiration  for a  cushiony face foundation.

Cosmetic Product Benefit:  You know all of those seeds, herbs, plants, fruits, vegetables and oils we eat?  Well, if you dig deeper into studies, you’ll likely find that when harvested and refined properly, they are beneficial in beautifying the skin when formulated into cosmetic products.  The raw materials that chemists use, even if they are natural in origin, must be carefully selected, with key components of the materials extracted, filtered, and processed so that they work well within the formula and are safe for skin in the long term.  

Trends:  Yes, trends.  The lifestyle and ingredients that tend to trend in the culinary world generally marry to the trends in the world of beauty.  For example, there is a strong Asian influence in cosmetic beauty from Korea and Japan occurring right now.  What was for dinner at the NYSCC’s  culinary event?  An Asian influenced cuisine of course!

See the menu sampling below that reflects current trends.

So, stop for a moment, and think about your beauty items in your personal space right now.  Is there a specific natural ingredient highlighted on the front label of your body wash?  Is your hair care product enriched with  an exotic nut oil or butter?  Is that lip product infused with  a fruit extract? Chances are, the inspiration of those ingredients came from the food industry before being used in your cosmetic product.


If you’re looking for more inspiration on creating products that are influenced from the culinary industry, connect with BeautyEdge at

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