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In The News: online cosmetic science courses, online product development tool

P&G teams up with Coursera on cosmetic science and ingredient education, PML launches online interface for brand-manufacturer collaboration

Photo by mostafa meraji on Unsplash

🎓💋professor P&G

In partnership with the online education platform Coursera, OLAY is launching a series of four beauty science courses, all under an ‘Introduction to Cosmetic Science and Ingredients’ specialization and taught by Dr. Rolanda Wilkerson, Senior Director, Fellow of P&G Beauty Care.


Since earning her PhD in Organic Chemistry from Louisiana State University and being hired as a Scientist by the Ohio-based beauty maker, Wilkerson’s entire 20 year + career has been with P&G.


“I absolutely love our brands’ STEM ambition,” Wilkerson commented in a P&G blog during Black History Month post. “It’s one thing to develop products that improve people’s lives or make them feel better, it’s another thing when they believe, by seeing other women in Science as examples, that they can forge their own way and become a scientist too.”


The Coursera announcement was timed to coincide with International Women’s Day this past week. And the series of online courses are part of OLAY’s initiative to increase the number of women working in science, technology, engineering, and math fields.


Which is why OLAY and Coursera are encouraging women and women of color to apply for the $2m in scholarships that the companies are offering over the next 3 years. According to a blog post on the Coursera site, this year, 150 scholarships are available; in 2025, 1,500 scholarships will be available; and in 2026, 3,350 online learners will receive scholarships.


The specialization is comprised of these four courses:

  • Introduction to Cosmetic and Skincare Science

  • Cosmetic Formulation Science

  • Cosmetic Product Development

  • Quality Control and Regulatory in Cosmetic Science

And this is not only an initiative that has the potential to put more women into STEM fields, it’s also a large-scale science communications project and one that has potential to further democratize formulation skills (a space where e-learning venture Formula Botanica has been a major player since 2012, reaching over 20,000 students around the world, albeit with a different focus that of the new OLAY course series: “We are the leading online teaching institution for organic formulation and indie beauty entrepreneurship and we are on a mission to teach the world to formulate,” according to the Formula Botanica site.)


💻🧪💋Software Solution

This month, beauty and personal care contract manufacturer Prime Matter Labs launched an online platform, meant to streamline product development and move brand-manufacturer interactions online.


“In the past, the process of bringing a product to life was opaque, confusing, and disconnected between the customer and manufacturer,” says Aaron Paas, CEO of Prime Matter Labs (PML), in remarks to the press.


Element, as the platform, is called “helps to solve these issues by bringing a new era of brand and manufacturer collaboration to the industry,” according to Paas. “Element will help our partner brands condense timelines, reduce errors, and connect previously siloed processes seamlessly, efficiently and profitably.”


Element is a cloud-based software where brand teams and their manufacturing partners at PML can communicate and cooperate. According to this month’s press release, brands will “eventually be able to perform all major tracking, approval, feedback, and communication tasks directly within Element.”


But the software isn’t entirely new. In a recent LinkedIn post, Paas mentions that PML has been using the platform in-house for the past 2 years. In that post he also describes Element as “a purpose built, vertically integrated software solution that will bring unprecedented levels of transparency and connectedness between our internal teams, our processes, and our brand partners.”


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