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Science AMA Series: We are Dr. Curtis Schwartz and Dr. Janet Windisch here to talk about personal care products and specifically the science of soap. Ask us anything!
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What you put on your skin or in your hair is personal. Whether it’s because of vanity or hygiene, it’s good to have an understanding of what’s in your personal care products and what makes them effective. Together, we’ve spent the last five decades improving the science in this area and we’re “lathered up” about soap as a method to prevent disease. For a technology that is as fundamental as soap, there is a surprisingly large amount of technical development activity in the area. The early days of using fatty acid and pot ash to create soap are behind us and new trends are driving innovation, including formulating for improved sustainability, new sensorial benefits and multifunctional traits. The need for washing with soap is clear. From bar to liquid and even powder, soap is used globally in different ways. We’re here to talk about what’s required to make a good soap, the challenges that are driving new research and how we can deliver solutions that will have a positive societal impact. CURTIS SCHWARTZ: I am an R&D director at Dow and have spent the last 30 years in industrial science working on formulations to improve the performance of personal care products, including everyday items such as laundry detergents, soap bars, hair sprays, shampoos, body washes and sunscreens. I received my Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Illinois and hold over 10 patents. I was part of the POLYOX – Lifebuoy collaboration that was recently awarded a GOLD Edison award for our work with Unilever. JANET WINDISCH – I have a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and have spent the last 25 years working in the polymers and specialty materials space for personal care, adhesives, coatings and medical applications. I have authored 8 papers, hold 1 patent and enjoy talking all things science. Ask Us Anything! Note: We will start responding to questions at 1:00 PM Eastern Time (10 am PT, 5 pm UTC.) Edit: Minor technical issues, we’re here and trying to post!