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International Women’s Day 2022 – Celebrating how our women in chemistry support women around the globe

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually across the globe to promote and campaign for the social, cultural, political, and economic equality of the sexes. On this day we highlight the incredible achievements of women around the world and encourage everyone to challenge gender-based stereotypes and to ultimately #BreakTheBias. 

This year the theme for IWD 2022 is “gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” highlighting that gender parity is crucial to sustainable development, and pivotal to attaining human rights for all (1). Although, the link between gender equality and sustainability isn’t always obvious… 

Sustainability is frequently associated with environmental campaigns for a greener planet and the protection of natural resources. However, sustainability is a much broader concept composed of three main dimensions: environmental, economic, and social. This means gender equality is fundamental to our sustainable progression and achieving each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda which seeks to “achieve gender equality and empower women and girls”. The United Nations Entity also established UN Women over a decade ago spotlighting the prominence for “promises to be turned into action” and to attain gender equality with the empowerment of women. 
5 female scientists in the UK labs at croda wearing glasses and lab coats

We have established a new societal standard where equality, inclusion, and diversity are now expected within our communities, where its absence is glaringly noticed, and its presence is highly celebrated.  At Croda we strive to be a progressive organisation that actively supports women to forge an inclusive and diverse professional community where women can thrive. We hold a strong connection between our sustainability focused commitment and gender parity recognising the importance of women in chemistry’s contribution to supporting women globally. So, let’s meet some of our women in chemistry in our Croda Personal Care team and learn how they help to support women around the world… 

Farahdia Edouard
My name is Farahdia Edouard and I am currently a Research & Technology Manager in Personal Care, responsible for coordinating the development and launch of innovative Hair Care technologies at Croda.  I’ve always loved science and knew at a very early age that I would pursue a career in a scientific field.  I never imagined that this love would lead me to a career in the Cosmetic Industry.  Who knew that there was so much science behind the making of shampoos, conditioners, face creams, or any other cosmetic products we use on a daily basis!  I certainly didn’t have a clue 20+ years ago.  

After 18 years in this field, where I’ve held various R&D roles, including roles in formulation development, product testing and claims substantiation for a variety of Personal Care applications, with a focus on Hair Care during the last decade, I’ve developed a real respect and appreciation for the art and what it takes to get a successful product out to the market.  When I meet people who don’t know anything about the Personal Care industry and they ask me what I do for a living, I like to say that “I help develop products that make people look and feel good about themselves”. And that’s something I’m extremely proud of, having the ability to play a small part in helping to improve our customers and consumers’ lives.  

So much about hair care plays to our emotions.  As a woman, I know when my hair looks good, I feel good; I’m more confident.  There’s a real mood improvement when I’ve achieved the look that I want with my hair, and that comes down to choosing the right product that will meet my hair needs.  Meeting our customers and consumers’ needs is at the forefront when we strive to develop new hair care technologies.  I feel that as a woman and as a consumer, I can relate to that and therefore can play a role in helping to develop and provide solutions for diverse women’s needs in the Personal Care market.  

As Farahdia shows, it is essential to have female voices represented in chemistry when providing solutions for women in the personal care market. It is also important to appreciate that the needs of women are different around the world, - let’s talk with Helene Hine, our Marketing Manager for Solar Protection on how we meet these requirements in our sun care sector…

Helene Hine
I’m Helene Hine and my role is to anticipate the varying consumer needs around the world and to help our customers meet those requirements. One key element is ensuring we are developing the right products and the right formulations to deliver on those needs. On this IWD I want to share with you some of the key challenges women across the globe women face with solar protection and the solutions we can offer…

Across the globe different women also have different formulation needs. For example, in East Asia having an even and fair skin tone is desirable, and therefore formulations that have a high SPF and UVA to prevent pigmentation and age spots, as well as providing skin coverage and tone-up effects are highly sought after. At Croda, we have developed numerous formulations that have this hybrid of benefits, such as this Correct and Glow Fluid Tint. Inspired by the latest Korean beauty trends, the ultra-low viscosity fluid takes the BB cream trend to the next generation with a feather-light texture. Solaveil XT-100 offers advanced UVA, UVB and High Energy Visible (HEV) protection to prevent the visible signs of ageing while its combination with pigments leaves a dewy glow on the skin. 

older asian woman applying a light bb cream to her face whilst staring at the camera

In contrast, Caucasian women in Europe and North America, often desire sun kissed skin, so self-tanning products are a popular application. In this case, a completely transparent sunscreen is vital to reducing the whitening effect often caused by UV filters. At Croda our Solaveil Clarus technology has been designed to offer transparency on skin to rival conventional organic sunscreens. The Titanium Dioxide-based Clarus range is available in both powder and dispersion form which means that these mineral UV filters can offer great versatility for the formulator. The dispersions in particular are very easy to formulate with, the video below shows how to incorporate them, as you can see no special handling or processing equipment is needed. 

Despite regional differences, there is one need that is ubiquitous to consumers across the globe and that is healthy skin. This is the area of my role that most inspires me and is the reason why I have been dedicated to solar care for almost 20 years of my 22-year career in Personal Care. One of our Hero Targets within our ‘People Positive’ commitment at Croda is to protect at least 60 million people annually from potentially developing skin cancer from harmful UV rays, through the use of our solar protection ingredients. In the US, it is reported that melanoma is the leading cause of cancer death in young women ages 25-30 and the second leading cause of cancer death in women ages 30-35 (5). In the UK melanoma is the 5th most common cancer amongst females (6). Here at Croda our latest innovations, our formulation know-how, as well as our contributions to research and education in this area, all help to drive us forward to achieve our purpose to use our smart science to protect lives.

It is also important to voice the needs of women at different life stages. For women who are undergoing menopause, as a drop in oestrogen levels leads to a thinning of the epidermis and can lead to increased UV sensitivity. Therefore, these women need products that are ideally suited for sensitive skin. Our latest innovation in UV filters here at Croda, Solaveil™ MicNo®, is ideal for this. The range is based on Zinc Oxide (ZnO) which is inherently mild and non-irritant, and has no concerns around skin penetration, so is the perfect UV filter for sensitive skin. The patented, platelet-shaped structure of Solaveil MicNo (see image below) means that it delivers unrivalled transparency on the skin and high efficiency, making it ideal for use in both sunscreens, and daily-use skincare formats, where high performance and skin mildness is paramount.

solaveil micno under microscope demonstrating flat zinc oxide particles

Helene’s solar expertise is essential to supporting the differing needs of women around the globe. Alongside helping women achieve and maintain healthy skin, it is also important to help people feel good! Let’s learn how our lead applications scientist, Afshan Nayyir, wants to inspire more women to get into the personal care industry so we can be more influential in the formulation of personal care innovation which truly meet the needs of women…


Afshan Nayyir

Happy International Women’s Day! I am Afshan Nayyir, and I am a colour cosmetic formulator at Croda. I am very fortunate, that I work in an R&T environment that is starting to initiate conversations, where we are working towards women’s having the ability to excel and where our achievements are celebrated.

 

I am extremely proud to be a woman in science. I hope that the work and passion, I have for my job can, empower and elevate, the younger generation of women, not only to take up science as a career but also to make positive changes in their daily lives. Together we can break the bias, start positive conversations and celebrate the progress women have made in today’s society.

 

Afshan formulates colour cosmetics that help to make people feel good! Empowering our women in chemistry to be creative with Personal Care formulations is liberating and helps contribute to a sense of wellbeing for consumers globally. Check out one of Afshan’s favourite formulations, Cosmic Jelly Highlighter that she created to help create radiance and confidence no matter how much you want a glow-up!

Cosmic jelly highlighter formulated by Afshan Nayyir

Empowering our women in chemistry to be creative with Personal Care formulations is liberating and helps contribute to a sense of wellbeing for consumers globally. Why not get creative yourself to celebrate IWD? There has been a rise in IWD activities and celebrations worldwide, meaning gender is top of the agenda. At Croda, we are proud to celebrate our women in chemistry, supporting gender parity, working towards a sustainable and an equivalent future. Let’s work together to #BreakTheBias and create a global community with inclusive behaviors, diverse representation, and progressive mindsets. Share your experience as a woman on our socials and how women around the globe support one another. 


References:

1. https://www.internationalwomensday.com/2022Theme
2. https://sdgs.un.org/publications/transforming-our-world-2030-agenda-sustainable-development-17981
3. https://www.unwomen.org/en
4. https://internationalwomensday.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images/2022/WEF-Global-Gender-Gap-Report-2021.pdf
5. https://skincancerprevention.org/learning/melanoma-facts-statistics/
6. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/melanoma-skin-cancer/incidence#heading-Zero

 

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Published by

  • Hannah Power Digital marketing associate (Graduate Trainee)
  • Helene Hine Marketing Manager, Solar and Colour
  • Afshan Nayyir-Mazhir Lead Applications Scientist
  • Farahdia Edouard Research and Technology Manager
Woman looking at a flower under a magnifying glass.

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