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What Will The IFSCC Find Down Under?

October 2, 2009

Well I for one am going along to find out!

The IFSCC  or International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists is our (Cosmetic Chemists) global representative body.  To date membership spans  over 15,000 members from 46 representative countries. That’s a lot of chemists creating a lot of products in a lot of locations. So, what on earth does this federation do and what are they going to find in the merry old land of Oz Dorothy?

The main aim of the federation is to foster international cooperation in cosmetic science and technology. It started out in Europe in 1956 and has gone from strength to strength reaching out to its members via a congresses (like the one in Oz next week), the publication of position papers, monographs and a quarterly magazine and through the Kosmet database.  Cosmetic chemists starting out in their careers often join their local society in order to find out what’s going on, learn a little and make friends. Membership of the local society automatically entitles you to IFSCC membership. And so the party begins.

So, what will this merry bunch of scientists find in Australia?

Australia is a small market on the global scale. Not many people, high development costs and distribution costs and shear distance keep Australia out of the big league. However, for a small (population) nation we do play pretty hard!

Our sunscreen development is world renown with many of our manufacturers exporting much more than they keep here. We are also doing great stuff when it comes to small brand development with many entrepreneurs finding that with the rise of the internet shopper, being stationed in the outback is no barrier to trade. We are also the aroma capital of the southern hemisphere (self proclaimed probably) with abundant and high quality Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Mint and Sandalwood.  And in addition to the big movers there are all of the boutique oils that Australia is world renown for – our Blue Cypress, Rosalina, Aniseed Myrtle, Lemon Myrtle and Blackcurrant oils.  The Australian hills are certainly alive with the sweet smell of essential oil – the smell hits you the moment your feet hit the tarmac at the airport.

Brand wise we have our fair share of international movers and shakers. We should probably classify them to make it easier for me to remember what’s what.

Natural Hero’s

Jurlique has done great things for Australia, for natural products and for our export trade balance sheet and then Aesop – a great looking brand who have spread their wings internationally and are now in Paris, Perfect Potion who are going great guns in Japan, Waterlilly Spa range which is both sophisticated and  indulgent and the newbies but greatly innovative Pure and Green showing that great things can come in green packaging!

Colour Cosmetics:

There is Model Co a vision in pink that makes you the supermodel! Oh, and we can’t forget Poppy King, the Lipstick Queen. Bloom with their funky packaging designs and must-have colour ranges and the big man –  Napoleon Perdis with his totally outrageous passion for glamor.


There’s the O&M crew with their high performance colour system built on a natural platform which is easier and safer to use than traditional hair dyes.  We can’t forget De Lorenzo – the Italian king of hair care who dedicated his life to improving the look and feel of your tresses. His products have remained highly effective, hi-tech and in high demand.  Then there is Unilever who are probably the last remaining multinational on Australian shores. Their extensive range of haircare products have kept Aussies looking fresh and tamed for many years.

Science Brands

Ultraceuticals spring to mind here with their fresh and funky lime green and white packaging and ultra concentrated vitamin blends. Their water free formulation bases also ensure that the good bits stay where they are needed. And then there is Dr Lewinns who have been doing lots of R&D over here and are making a few products in Australia now.


Think Invisible Zinc,  Le tan, Face of Australia, Sunsence, Quadblock in fact think Australia and you think of those cricketers with whited out noses, of kids playing on beaches, of the Australian family huddled around a barbeque or of the farmer struggling to keep away the flies in the outback.   If there was ever a country that needed sunscreen its this one….

Anyway, there are many, many more brands that I have neglected to mention but you get the picture. For one so small we have and still are developing some great and truly innovative new products and are taking our place on the global stage.

I am proud to be a cosmetic chemist and proud to call Australia home.  With that in mind I will look forward to meeting up with other IFSCC delegates and swapping notes on what is happening in their neck of the woods.

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