Visionary Ideas & Inspiring Leaders along the Cosmetics Supply Chain

Euro Cosmetics Magazine - Deanna Utroske
deanna utroske
Editor, Writer, and Beauty Industry Commentator

Editor’s Note:
This time, Deanna’s column gives insights about her collaboration with the Cosmoprof Worldwide team. Deanna took the concept of the CosmoFactory initiative and transformed it into a new podcast this year. The CosmoFactory podcast launched in early June, and you can read excerpts from select guest interviews in this column.

“Is our industry ready for this technology?” That’s one of the questions I asked Francesco Ringressi, Cosmetic Business Development Manager at SEA Vision, in a recent interview.
SEA Vision is a global vision system provider, helping cosmetic and life science companies boost the quality and efficiency of their processes. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Pavia, Italy, SEA Vision has been part of Marchesini Group since 2022

Using Artificial Intelligence to Automate Manufacturing

The technology we were discussing is SEA Vision’s “a-eye lipstick system”. And it is the world’s first AI-based automatic quality control inspection technology for lipstick production.
“I hope so,” answered Ringressi, acknowledging that cosmetic manufacturers are only starting to integrate automation control into their processes. Early vision-system adopters, he explained, are using this tech for print quality or code reading. And now, they’re using it for quality control in the color cosmetics manufacturing process too.

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Visionary Ideas & Inspiring Leaders along the Cosmetics Supply Chain • Deanna Utroske • Deanna Utroske
Francesco Ringressi of SEA Vision (right) in conversation with Deanna Utroske in the CosmoFactory podcast booth at Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna

At Cosmopack, the supply-side trade show collocated with Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna this past March, where Ringressi and I met, the “a-eye lipstick system” was on display at the Marchesini Group stand. There, attendees had the chance to see the technology firsthand and learn about how the system’s five-megapixel camera and AI software work together to recognize, tag, and analyze any lipstick. The system has a 360° view of the product, tags and analyzes 5 million pixels in real time, and identifies defects including, pinholes, scratches, contamination, wrong insertion of the bullet as well as variations in color, shape, and dimension.

This innovative technology, as Ringressi notes, doesn’t replace the QA operator, but gives them a more rewarding job in the company. You can learn more and hear my full interview with Ringressi wherever you listen to podcasts, just search for CosmoFactory (or visit www.cosmoprof.com/en/events/special-projects/cosmofactory/). I’ll share more about the new CosmoFactory podcast later in this article.

Building a Globally Scalable Single-Country Supply Chain

The biotech startup Macro Oceans launched their first cosmetic ingredient, a hydrating marine polysaccharide, late last year.
“People say to us, ‘Wait a minute; this is manufactured locally in the United States? And you could tell us what farm it came off?’ People just don’t believe us, because it’s really not something that’s been done,” said Macro Oceans Founder and CEO Matthew Perkins, in our interview for the new CosmoFactory podcast.And the demand for fully traceable ingredients is working in the company’s favor, as is reshoring and the expectation that suppliers are “bringing production closer to home,” says Perkins.


Macro Oceans has partnered with Alaska Ocean Farms, a marine agriculture venture that cultivates seaweed. Using a zero-waste production process, the California, US-based startup makes a Hydrating Marine Polysaccharide for the skincare (and hair care) ingredient marketplace. The remaining materials become an alginate for use in the food industry and pulp with applications in paper and packaging.

But what Macro Oceans is really doing is helping the cosmetics and personal care industry transition away from petrochemicals. And Perkins sees potential for this particular climate-friendly ingredient sourcing strategy to be replicated in many countries around the world, so long as they border an ocean. He and his colleagues have had conversations with folks in Asia, in Northern Europe, South America, and Oceana.

“We’re planning on doing that in lots of geographies,” confirms Perkins. “It would be then production wherever the seaweed is cultivated … If you’re a European company, why do you want to buy this bioactive from Alaska? You want to buy the bioactive from Norway or somewhere that’s close and that people feel more affinity to and have more local connection to; that’s part of your marketing story, but it’s also part of your sustainability promise. You know, this thing should be as local as possible.”

Making Transparency a Regular Part of Cosmetic Manufacturing

Indie brand leaders were the first to ask if they could film the production process at Ancorotti Cosmetics. And as a result, “they were the first to share this behind the scenes, the industrial process, the research process, the lab,” explained Arwen Imperatori, Communication Manager for the Crema, Lombardy, Italy-based manufacturer of color cosmetics and skincare.

“They are really interested in sharing with their audience, with their followers, the behind the scenes of the products they sell. It’s a matter of transparency,” Imperatori told me in our
CosmoFactory interview. “They have a very direct relationship with their audience,” she added.

It’s deceptively simple; but the Ancorotti Cosmetics “Film in Factory” initiative is an industry changing innovation. It opens a new and engaging channel for consumer education – an opportunity to literally show the safety, the quality, the science, the creativity (and more) that goes into the products our industry produces.

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Visionary Ideas & Inspiring Leaders along the Cosmetics Supply Chain • Deanna Utroske • Deanna Utroske
Photo courtesy of Alaska Ocean Farms

“We are used to working behind the scenes…in a complex industry,” acknowledges Imperatori. “So maybe consumers are not that aware of what is behind the development and manufacturing of a product.”

Sharing the pre-retail life of a product with indie brand communities “is very refreshing,” she tells me, noting that, “Now big brands want that too. I mean, they want to adopt some communication techniques from the indie brands because they … want to showcase or share the manufacturing experience. And I think that’s a great trend, because consumers want to be informed. They want to know where their products are coming from.”

Imperatori also recognizes that this is an opportunity for Ancorotti Cosmetics, “because in some ways,” she says, “[manufacturers] are brands too. I mean we are a guarantee of quality.”

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Visionary Ideas & Inspiring Leaders along the Cosmetics Supply Chain • Deanna Utroske • Deanna Utroske
Ancorotti Cosmetics production process

“Consumers”, she tells me, “feel reassured if they know that a product, for instance, is made by Ancorotti, made in Italy, made with the utmost quality standards. And brands are starting to understand that.” Imperatori is quick to note however that, “The spotlight is not shifting, but enlarging.”

Finding Information and Inspiration on the CosmoFactory podcast

The AI quality control system from SEA Vision; the zero-waste, locally sourced polysaccharide from Macro Oceans, and the Film in Factory transparency initiative from Ancorotti Cosmetics are just a few of the industry shaping innovations that we’re talking about on CosmoFactoryIdeas to Innovation, the first podcast powered by Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna.

“The cosmetics industry plays a pivotal role in the research and development of new solutions, technologies, and sustainable strategies,” said Enrico Zannini, General Manager of BolognaFiere Cosmoprof, on the occasion of the CosmoFactory podcast launch.

“As organizers of Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna,” he added, “it is our duty to give voice to the most disruptive novelties and experiences which are transforming the sector day by day. With the CosmoFactory podcast we hope to create a common platform for our community where they can share motivating case-histories, discover what’s new in beauty, and get inspired.”

Which is to say that the CosmoFactory podcast – launched in early June – is where you will discover the latest innovations along the cosmetics and personal care supply chain, hear thought-provoking conversations with top beauty industry experts from around the world, and find inspiration to turn your own ideas into industry-changing innovations. A new episode is available each Tuesday.

Listen to CosmoFactory wherever you get your podcasts, just search for CosmoFactory (or visit www.cosmoprof.com/en/events/special-projects/cosmofactory/).

In years past, the CosmoFactory initiative was an annual installation on the show floor at Cosmoprof Worldwide, showcasing some of the latest and most dynamic supply chain processes.
This year, I had the immense honor of collaborating with the Cosmoprof Worldwide team to transform the concept into a podcast.

Episodes available now and coming this summer will cover innovations in microbiome skincare, beauty tech, product development, ethical sourcing, production machinery, beauty packaging, raw materials, and more.

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Visionary Ideas & Inspiring Leaders along the Cosmetics Supply Chain • Deanna Utroske • Deanna Utroske
Behind the scenes at Ancorotti Cosmetics

Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, in case you haven’t experienced it yet, is the most comprehensive and important B2B event in the cosmetics and personal care industry, welcoming over 250,000 visitors from 150 countries and regions and nearly 3,000 exhibitors to Bologna, Italy, each year.
And the Cosmoprof international network includes exhibitions in Asia (Hong Kong), the US (Las Vegas and Miami), India (Mumbai) and Thailand (Bangkok). Thanks to its global exhibitions,
Cosmoprof connects a community of more than 500,000 beauty stakeholders and 10,000 companies from 190 countries and regions.

EURO COSMETICS Magazine • Deanna Utroske • Deanna Utroske • Deanna Utroske
Deanna Utroske
Editor, Writer, and Beauty Industry Commentator  Website

Deanna Utroske is Editor of the weekly Beauty Insights newsletter and one of the most well-respected critical thinkers in the cosmetics and personal care industry today. She serves our industry as a public speaker, writer, and consultant for supply-side companies.
As a regular contributor to this publication, Deanna writes the Global Perspectives column, covering cosmetic and personal care product formulation trends, emerging ingredient science, and ingredient marketing trends impacting the future of beauty around the world.
As a public speaker, Deanna addresses company teams, higher-education classrooms, and event audiences. She’s spoken at Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna, in-cosmetics global, MakeUp in Los Angeles, NYSCC Suppliers Day, the Anti-Ageing Skin Care Conference, the International Cosmetics Innovation Conference, Cosmoprof North America, the AIRS International Conference on Genomics & Microbiomics, and many others.
Learn more and find a link to subscribe to the Beauty Insights newsletter at www.DeannaUtroske.com

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