The 32nd Congress of the International Federation of the Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) Congress, held Sept. 19-22, 2022, in London, took place during a somber time as the nation mourned the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The first day of workshops was cancelled, in honor of her, and evening festivities planned for Central Hall Westminster Abbey were relocated. During the opening ceremony, Judi Beerling, IFSCC steering committee chair, led attendees in two minutes of silent reflection to show respect.
However, the show must "go on," as the adage says, and will move forth as planned with the overarching theme, "Where Beauty, Science and Innovation Meet." Incoming president of the congress host society, the Society of Cosmetic Scientists (SCS) UK, Sam Farmer briefly welcomed attendees, stressing the importance of giving young cosmetic scientists a voice.
Current IFSCC president (2021-2022), Eva Ramos, expressed her gratitude to see everyone in person. "The first in-person IFSCC scientific event since Milan in 2019 opens [today] and I am incredibly excited to be visiting London for the 32nd IFSCC Congress as well as for our autumn Praesidium meeting. ... Of course, Congress time also means I will be coming to the end of my year as IFSCC President," she wrote, in the program's final announcement.
"It has been my absolute pleasure to have this opportunity to serve the federation and this wonderful scientific community, and I am so happy that we were able to start meeting again properly over the last year." Ramos will hand off the IFSCC presidency to Tony Gough at the closing ceremony on Sept. 22.
To honor tradition, industry award winners in recent years who had been named during virtual congresses were recognized during the live event. In addition, incoming and outgoing presidents and presidents-elect were honored who had "passed the gavel" digitally during the recent virtual events. Honorees included Past President Emanuele Piras, of Italy (2019-2020), and Immediate Past President Katsunori Yoshida, Ph.D., of Japan (2020-2021).
Tony Gough, Ph.D., IFSCC president-elect (2022-2023), opened with the acknowledgement of how profound it is to be holding this year's event beneath the shadow of losing Her Majesty. He gave descriptions of what the IFSCC is, underlining its focus on education and fostering relationships in the industry, and the event itself. "Like those before it, IFSCC 2022 is an international event featuring science, products and the best practice driving cosmetic innovation."
"The 32nd IFSCC Congress, London, hosted by the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, is back in the UK for the first time in twenty years. It is three days of the best in international cosmetic science and technology," he added, and "I look forward to a great year ahead and to the program this week." He also took a few moments to honor silver and gold event sponsors including L'Oréal, Mageline, Croda, Chanel, Shiseido and Greentech. As he wrapped up, before leaving the podium, he added, "God save the king," in recognition of the new UK monarch.
Beerling returned to the podium to share information on the event's first app, which both in-person and virtual attendees can use to manage their attendance to, or viewing of, some 77 podium presentations. These will be accessible for 90 days post-event. She gave attendees and overview of this year's social program as well. "It's amazing we got here," she said, alluding to the pandemic. "The world threw everything it had at us."
Perry Romanowski, IFSCC education chair, and Frederic LeRoy, outgoing education chair, then presented the aforementioned awards to recipients who won during the digital congresses. These included the 2021 Maison G. DeNavarre award to Jin Hui Zoo, of China; the 2020 Henry Maso award to Ka-Heng Lee, Ph.D., of Wipro Skin Research and Innovation; the 2020 IFSCC Congress poster award to Hisashi Mihara, of Takasago; the 2020 Basic Research award to Tomonobu Ezure, Ph.D., of Shiseido; the 2020 Applied Research award to Sascha Salameh, Ph.D., of L'Oreal; the 2021 Johann Wiechers award to Moe Tsutsumi, Ph.D., of Shiseido; the 2021 Host Society (Mexico) award to Luis Serrano, of UNAM; and the 2021 IFSCC poster award to Tomomi Suga, Ph.D., of L'Oreal Japan. The 2022 awards will be presented on Sept., 2022.
Ramos returned to the podium to add the latest IFSCC Fellowship, honoring to those making a "lasting contribution" to the society: John Staton, Ph.D., the scientific director at SciPharm Pty Ltd.
Ramos closed, "Thank you to the rest of the Praesidium for their support this year and thanks in particular to our IFSCC Secretary General Mary Lynn Halland who makes sure we all know what we are doing and ensures that everything happens when it is supposed to."
Ending on a high note, the closing act featured a group of live vocalists who performed songs ranging from classic rock and the Phantom of the Opera, to Disney. Follow us as the congress unfolds this week.