Tuesday, February 11, 2020Congress reports

Discover cosmetic lipids

À la découverte des lipides cosmétiques, par Michel Grisel

They are the basis of cosmetic formulations, ensuring their textures, their functionalities, their effectiveness… But lipids today are also synonymous with new challenges, for manufacturers and research, because of consumer and environmental concerns that threaten the sector. During the Lipids & Cosmetics congress, organized by Cosmetic Valley and Iterg on 29 and 30 January in Bordeaux, Professor Michel Grisel, from the Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry Research Unit of Le Havre, presented a panorama of the world of lipids and their current issues.

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Fats, fats, oils and butters… the story of lipids begins as soon as man is man. They have always been formed and used, first empirically and then in a more studied way.
As early as prehistoric times, he associated animal fats with minerals for their decorative virtues (already cosmetic!) and painted his body with them, a tradition that has endured among aborigines and Amerindians, the ancient peoples of Africa and Egypt, and even Japanese geishas…
Lipids kept their decorative function even in the Middle Ages to adorn the complexion or dye the hair, or in the Renaissance with its famous touches of blush…

“Today’s make-up was born in the 19th century,” said Michel Grisel, “thanks to Joseph-Albert Ponsin, an actor-cosmetician, who creates make-up for the needs of the actors in his theatre. The business will be developed by his associate, Alexandre-Napoléon Bourjois, who, in 1879, creates the mythical ‘Poudre de riz de Java’ (Java Rice Powder), already proposed in a small round box . The future of make-up, and its innovations, are rooted in this long past.”

When history becomes scientific

The first researchers to take an interest in fats were doctors, through the discovery and study of kidney and …

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