Things to know from the world of cosmetics

How are cosmetics actually developed?

The development of a cosmetic product takes place in 4 phases:

  • Product concept and formulation
    Based on an idea from the market, R&D itself or the marketing team, the R&D departmentdevelops several samples of the potential product. These samples are tested either in-house or externally, and a formulation is determined.
  • Product testing
    Once the formulation is selected, it must be tested for stability. Stability testingdetermines the shelf life of the product and ensures that it will not change or interact withthe packaging over time.
  • Scale-up
    The formulation developed by R&D is produced in a laboratory in smaller quantities(usually about 1 kg); in this step, the process engineering team scales up the process forthe final production size.
  • Manufacturing and launch
    The product is ready to be manufactured in commercial quantities; the product dossier is
    compiled and reported to the Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP) in Europe. The
    marketing team prepares the launch activities.

Which “marketing claims” are allowed?
Proof of the effect of a cosmetic product is an important part of the so-called ProductInformation File, which must be made available to the competent authorities. Cosmeticadvertising claims can be based, among other things, on available literature data (e.g.publications on the respective ingredients) or on studies conducted by the manufacturer.Manufacturer studies differ significantly in scope and scientificity. In general, theResponsible Person must ensure that sufficient and appropriate evidence is available.

What does the crucible symbol – PAO mean?
The Period-After-Opening (PAO) symbol is a symbol on cosmetics that indicates how manymonths a cosmetic product has a shelf life after it has been opened and used for the firsttime by the consumer.The symbol consists of a jar with an open lid and next to it or in it the number of months.For products with a shelf life of less than 30 months, the date “Best before” should beprinted, usually next to an hourglass symbol.However, based on the stability data of the product, every single product has a specificshelf life and hence, also a specific expiration date.

“Generation sustainable”?

When the word “sustainability” is mentioned, there are often accusations, the eternal search for scapegoats and utopian ideas of a lifestyle bursting with environmental friendliness. But aren’t there essentially other values that make up this term, which has become louder andlouder in recent years, especially among us young people?

Personally, I don’t think living sustainably means blaming each other, demonizing flights, and going on a week-long environmental awareness cure à la “crash diet”. Sometimes it seemslike sustainability is an unattainable utopia, a black-and-white – you flew once this year andate a piece of meat on holidays? Guilty. You don’t go without any luxury product, treatyourself? Guilty.

However, we don’t have to go for radical abandonment – because there are increasingly somany ways and alternatives open to us to take care of our environment. Sustainability is avery present topic, especially for us as a young generation. Sometimes it almost feels as ifresponsibility is simply being passed on to us. How often have I discussed with grandma andgrandpa to leave out the fish for once – only to thunder into the “it’s always been this way, why should we change it now” wall with bare nerves and top speed. Or how often do you hearthat it’s up to us, the youth, that we have to save the world. But if you talk in school for the fourth time in a semester about how lost the planet is and how mankind seems to be “failing” , I don’t think this is the right way to encourage a sustainable lifestyle, but only a gloomy discussion of the problem.

Especially as a teenager you quickly feel confronted with the big questions of life and theproblems of the world – Corona, war, climate crisis. That’s exactly why it’s so incredibly important to stick to the solution and not the problem. When you’re busy trying to find your own way in the here and now of life, it’s really scary to think about the generations to come and everything that could (or will, if we don’t act) await us in the future. But it is not only the task of us young people to indulge in these thoughts and to look for ways to give something back to our planet bit by bit. All of us, no matter how old, can act.

Sustainability begins anew each time with a decision – like a single purchase against product waste and thus for the conservation of our resources. A simple decision; to walk instead of drive, to buy an organic product or a cloth bag. Or that we consume products that already exist – as Great by Date allows us to do. A concept that combats an authoritative problem inthe throw away society we live in: product waste. It’s companies like this that we young people are looking for: Companies that lend us a hand and enable sustainable choices. And when you think about it like that, it’s a lot more fun to know that when you buy a product, you’re making a contribution to combating the climate crisis – and without having to tie yourself upin a corset of doing without.

I personally believe that this joy is a fundamental key point. Environmental protection is more often associated with a “must” – just as school, graduation or the world of work is not rarely drummed into us as a compulsion rather than a joyful opportunity. Why not replace the “must” with a “want”? After all, isn’t our planet a great concern to all of us?

How can it go on for all of us here?

A glance at the daily newspaper, the morning radio news, conversations with friends andacquaintances – crisis mode is omnipresent and there seems to be no escape. Thetemptation is great to isolate oneself from the devastating news, to enjoy one’s happinessto the fullest for as long as one can. Most people at least manage to find a safe haven froma pandemic or a war – but where can we hide from the climate crisis that is becoming evermore apparent?

And then there is the anxious look at our own children and their future. What are weleaving behind for the young ones whom we love so much and for whom we feel we havedone everything humanly possible to ensure that they have a good and worthwhile life hereand now? And the agonizing question: have we really done everything?

And again, the always same, tempting thought shoots in: what can I change on my own -either everybody does it, or it won't work. As long as China and America are still suppliedby coal-fired power plants, what difference does it make what we do here in Europe? Evenif Europe would be a role model in environmental protection, it will not change theclimate situation of a whole planet! And anyway: the atmosphere is already heavilymarked by at least 250 years of burning fossil raw materials – a large part of the energy,which was locked up for millions of years and could mature, is brought out with a blink ofan eye and burned, utilized and exploited for the purpose of never-ending increase of thequality of life without consideration of losses. Obviously, that cannot work.

As apparent as this thought may be and as well-worn as the slogans of "everyone can andmust make his contribution" may sound, it is of no use. We live in this time and have onlythis moment to make a difference. Neither can we undo the past, nor will it help ustoday to tell ourselves that man has always found solutions to everything and thatbreakthrough technologies will eventually help us then when they are really needed.

The simple fact is that we have to set a good example and do what is possible here andnow, what we can influence. No more and no less is required of us, no more and no lessshould and must be required of us. Is there any alternative?

To start with the simplest and most obvious, hence is not a bad idea: what is alreadythere must be consumed, used and enjoyed to the fullest.

Use what’s produced!