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Future Perfect

By: Nancy McDonald and Salvador Pliego
Posted: October 5, 2009, from the October 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Let’s keep this in perspective, my friend. Didn’t you recently make an insightful point in this very column (June 2009) that this “cold shower” we are now experiencing provides the impetus to re-evaluate our approach to business? That it gives us the opportunity to reinstate our “magic?” I would rather describe this as: When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

Coincidentally, though, I’ve also been thinking about our slow state-of-the-business, but I certainly think we are far from extinct. In fact, I have no doubt whatsoever that we beauty-centrics will turn this around. We have attitude; we have know-how; we have passion. And, more than any other time in history, we have proven scientific platforms—cutting-edge and empirically proven. If we play our cards right here, this could be an incredibly exciting time to be a part of this crazy industry.

The one thing that you and I never disagree upon is that the partnership of R&D and marketing is, at its best, amazingly productive. Unfortunately, in too many cases, marketing has pushed the breakthrough jargon to the limit without the proper scientific legs to support it. However, now, with so many of our discoveries being certified through rigorous in vitro and in vivo clinicals, just imagine the wealth of products we can create in the near future as a tribute to consumers.

Nancy: Speaking of the future ... we hear a lot about dynamic DNA, genius growth factors, gene manipulation and how sexy stem cells can be. Ingredient vehicles and delivery systems are being promoted in the industry and by the beauty press as the new frontier in cosmetic products. Is this the future that you are foretelling?

Salvador: I can sense your mind racing with the possibilities already, but hold your horses. These intriguing technologies may be sexy in marketing-speak, but let’s take a closer look at both those that have and have not yet achieved a scientific level of credibility.