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Alissa Marrapodi

Alissa Marrapodi is the managing editor for inside cosmeceuticals and production editor for Natural Products INSIDER. She has a passion for all things natural, including food, cosmetics and supplements. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University with a bachelor’s in journalism. She loves hiking, photography, red wine and traveling.

Pocket Full of Sunshine


As summer winds down and my weekend escapes on the LIRR to Long Beach are becoming numbered, I keep thinking of sun care—from sun block to sun spots—expiration dates and frizzy hair. What do all three of these have in common? Nothing, except sunburn, spoiled cosmetics and sandy frizzed hair all happen at the beach so …

Over the past several years I’ve realized it’s important to protect myself from UV rays, not just during the summer months, but year round, for anti-aging, skin tone and cancer prevention. So as a result, I am constantly interested in mineral makeup, facial skin care regimens, lip care and other products that offer SPF protection. However, what I’m realizing is more than not, personal care and cosmetic items are void of any sun protection. So my question is: Why don’t all my skin care, color cosmetics, etc., offer some form of sun protection? When formulating with UV protective ingredients, what makes it difficult to incorporate with these types of ingredients?

Next question is regarding shelf life. As I pick and choose what to bring to the beach, as I don’t want anything to spoil due to over exposure of heat, I start noting my products’ expiration dates. What I found was my natural products tended to expire before their conventional counterparts (with parabens). This varied from product to product, but as a generalization, I found this to be true. As manufacturers, formulators, etc., what kind of natural preservatives offer longer shelf lives? Next week, we’ll be posting a slide show on Kemin’s antimicrobial preservative—MicroCurb™—a soy fermented extract that works well in personal care products. What other ingredients do you know of—antioxidant, antimicrobial, etc.—that work well? Vitamin C? Overall, would you agree parabens can offer a longer shelf life than natural preservatives?

Lastly, is frizzy hair. The East Coast humidity has done a number on my hair (and so has the beach). So on my quest to tame the frizzy beast, I’ve been trying to find a natural “tamer", which seems to be a myth. Is there a shortage of natural ingredients that offer smoothing and defrizz effects? Is there a demand for natural defrizzers?

These are just a few questions that have been swarming my head as the summer months come to an end. What kind of requests do you get as ingredient and raw material suppliers? What active and functional ingredients are in high demand?

Hope you’re enjoying your summer.

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