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Uncovering the science behind beauty claims

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Published on 05 January 2018

BSc Cosmetic Science
BSc Cosmetic Science

Just a few weeks after hosting an international conference on skin metabolism, Dr Kalliopi Dodou, Reader in Pharmaceutics and Programme leader for BSc Cosmetic Science, will feature on a BBC 1 programme on the effectiveness of beauty products.

The Truth about Looking Good, airing on BBC1 at 8pm on Wednesday 10 January, will explore the scientific evidence behind the claims made on beauty products promising to improve and transform – which the UK spends over £9billion a year on.

Dr Dodou said: “It’s been fascinating to work with the BBC on the programme and I was delighted to bring to national television the academic research methods and rigour I would use in my own work and which we teach the students. I haven’t seen the final programme so I’m looking forward to watching it”

The BBC crew filmed nine volunteers in the University’s Formulation Lab at the beginning and end of a five week trial of three different treatments for cellulite.

Morc Coulson, the University's Senior Lecturer in Health Related Exercise, also supported the BBC with the programme: briefing volunteers, conducting ultrasound testing, designing an exercise intervention and providing some of the latest research on cellulite.  

Meanwhile in late November Dr Dodou brought delegates from around the world to Sunderland for the Third Skin Metabolism Meeting, supported by Gold Sponsor L’Oreal Research and Innovation, Galderma, Charles Rivers, Leo, Unilever and DMDG.

The packed programme, held across two-days, included speakers from France, Germany, Singapore, Denmark and more on subjects including the future or dermal metabolism, delivering active molecules into the skin and the harmful synergy between UV and pollutants.

The 28 full-time students on Sunderland’s BSc Cosmetic Science programme, which began in September 2016, were able to attend the Skin Metabolism talks and meet the delegates – giving them great insight into the industry they are preparing to work in and the chance to network with top industry professionals. One student commented: “I am very glad that I had this golden opportunity to attend such a meeting. The most important thing was actually talking to people from the industry that I want to work in the future. Not only were they telling us about what they do in their companies but also they gave us an insight of what the companies do and how we can apply for placements.”

Dr Dodou concluded: “It’s been a whirlwind few months with organising and hosting the conference as well as supporting the TV crew. However all of these real-world connections are excellent opportunities for the undergraduates and really put our University and this very new Cosmetic Science degree programme at the heart of developments in the multi-billion-pound cosmetic industry. Whatever the results of the BBC show on Wednesday, there is plenty of scope for ever more effective beauty products thanks to the real scientists involved in their research and development – who are very likely to emerge from the University of Sunderland.”