Around 130 people attended the second edition of the 2-day conference at the Sheraton Hotel in New York, to hear presentations from some of the biggest names in natural and organic cosmetics.
Numbers were down on last year when about 240 people attended the event. Amarjit Sahota, the director of Organic Monitor, which co-organized the event with Beyond Beauty Paris, told CosmeticsDesign.com that the recession had affected attendance.
However, Sahota said the organizers were happy with the attendance, especially given that other conferences, like HBA X-Ceuticals, had to be postponed this year because of the recession.
Among the speakers at this year's event were Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Intelligent Nutrients, Ido Leffler, CEO of Yes To Carrots, and Steven Mirshak, president of DuPont Tate & Lyle.
The presentations looked into the latest trends in organic cosmetics, formulation challenges and regulation issues.
Organic and natural standards
Representatives from leading certification bodies including Harald Dittmar, managing director of COSMOS, Gay Timmons, chair of Oasis Board and Joe Smilie, senior vice president of QAI/NSF, all attended the conference to discuss their initiatives.
European certifier Natrue chose the event to announce that it is entering equivalency agreement with the natural cosmetics standard of NPA. With Natrue already in a similar agreement with NSF, the Natrue standard is fast developing an international presence.
Certification has presented companies with formulation challenges as they try to adapt their products to the criteria of the new standards.
A half-day workshop was held by Judi Beerling, technical research manager at Organic Monitor, to go through formulation and technical issues facing organic manufacturers. Some 50 technical professionals attended the workshop.
Hot topics - food ingredients and sustainability
Meanwhile, other presentations at the conference looked into some of the hottest trends in organic and natural cosmetics.
Representatives from big names like L’Oreal, Estee Lauder and Clarins heard how food ingredients are increasingly being used in cosmetic products.
Case studies of successful products using food ingredients and presentations focusing on some of the formulation challenges completed a morning session on the topic.
Another session at the conference focused on sustainability and best practices in the cosmetics industry. Case studies of cutting edge sustainability initiatives were presented in a session that covered green topics including ethical sourcing, carbon offsetting, eco-labeling and ethical retailing.