Meeting for Cosmetic Reasons

The 76th Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ Annual Meeting & Showcase reunited members for networking plus a program designed around a ‘Future of Beauty’ theme.

Author: Casey Gale       

SCC’s Annual Meeting & Showcase

Date: Dec. 12–14, 2022
Location: JW Marriott LA Live, Los Angeles, California
2022 Attendees: ~800
Pre-COVID Attendance: ~1,000

Illustration by Carmen Segovia

Where do professionals who are foundational to the makeup industry, the scientists behind the development of toiletry and cosmetic products that line retail shelves and fill online shopping carts, go for their continuing education? To the Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ (SCC) Annual Meeting & Showcase, which has been held nearly every year since the society’s founding in 1945.

The Annual Meeting attracts a variety of industry members, including domestic and internationally based research and development professionals, formulators, raw materials suppliers, technology suppliers, academics, government and regulatory agents, students, and more.

“We were excited to see more than 800 [attendees] this year for a number of reasons,” SCC CEO Erica L. O’Grady told Convene. Not only did 2022 mark the return of the organization’s full-scale meeting following a break due to the pandemic, it’s the first time in 75 years that the event was held outside of New York City, where the society is based.

SCC’s program for its 76th edition was designed to give attendees plenty of opportunities to network informally. More formal celebrations included the president’s luncheon featuring peer recognition awards and an awards breakfast for student poster presenters. The program was organized around the unofficial theme “The Future of Beauty,” with an entire half-day specifically focused on the future. The event’s three keynotes, eight technical sessions, and 100-plus exhibits and posters — covering topics like artificial intelligence, diversity in beauty, color cosmetic trends, sunscreen design, and sustainability — were also forward-focused.

“Sustainability in beauty continues to be a hot topic,” O’Grady said, “because it’s really more than just about green or naturally derived ingredients — considerations must include the ingredient extraction process, carbon footprint, shelf life, safety, and more.”

As much it looks to the future, the society also honors the industry’s roots at the event. The Madam C.J. Walker Scholarships, awarded to individuals for their scientific contributions, were presented by the African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and social activist’s great-great-granddaughter. Walker became the first female self-made millionaire in the U..S. by launching a line of hair products for Black women in the early 1900s.

Casey Gale is managing editor at Convene.

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