Part.1_Ep. 01 <Beauty Activism>Cosmetic companies taking a stance
Updated: Jan 6
All departments of ACTIVON, a company specializing in raw materials, go beyond producing and supplying products of the highest quality, identify market trends and needs, and develop new technologies and raw materials that reflect them. With the goal of becoming a ‘trend setter in the raw material industry’ that can make suggestions before customer requests come in, we planned an “afternoon chat with staffs of ACTIVON ” as a basic step for building a database. Members of each team-Sales&Marketing, R&D, and Quality control-exchange opinions on current beauty issues based on their knowledge and experiences, and post them on The K Beauty Science's online site, as well as on our official website and social media. The topic of the first session is “Beauty Activism”.
<Members of the 1st session>
NH KIM: Sales & Marketing Team / Deputy General Manager
MD KIM: R&D Center A.T. Part / Senior Research Scientist
JH Jeon: R&D Center N.T. Part / Senior Research Scientist
Jh Park: Manufacturing Headquarter Quality Control Part / Assistant Manager
NH Kim: Hello! Though now is time to feel sleepy after lunch, it's so nice to have a meeting like this as if it's work or a break. This is the first session today, and the purpose of this meeting is to study the issues related to our industry as if chatting comfortably. In fact, I had been thinking of holding a meeting like this for several years by myself. When I sneakily asked the representative for his opinion, then he said, “Do it~ Let them study!”. He strongly recommended it, and after that, I took about six months of preparation time to select the first members and convene the meeting. As each of us repeats the same thing day by day, in a way, we sometimes fall into mannerisms, but when we put this out in a gathering with people with different perspectives, I think there can be a synergy between what I can take from here and what I can help, this is the biggest purpose.
And another one is… I've been publishing ‘Trend View(a beauty industry trend report posted on the ACTIVON Korean/English official website)’ for over two years, in particular, senior researcher MD Kim here is probably one of the most involved research scientist. Actually, asking researchers to write articles is a burden, because that is not their own task. I thought it must have been a lot of pressure to smooth the article and bring in all the references, aside from the content itself. So, since there were not many people willing to participate, this is a place that has been prepared after a long consideration like ‘Let’s make this a little more casual. Wouldn’t it be less burdensome for the researchers if we talk freely like chatting then organize it later based on the recorded file?’. You can feel free to tell me anything from very light to heavy stories, and if there is a professional content that is difficult for me to understand, I will make a separate request and write it later.
NH Kim: We all gathered from different teams, and today we will take time to introduce our work and learn about the first topic lightly.
I am NH Kim, deputy general manager of Sales & Marketing Team. I was in charge of product design and trend analysis at various companies for about 12 years, and I came to ACTIVON in 2018. At first, I joined to design domestic and international exhibition booths and large and small publicity materials, but tasks that went unnoticed when we weren't there kept happening. In commemoration of the 10th anniversary, the CI and official website were also renewed to make it easier for more people to contact and take information, and we are communicating through various channels such as YouTube and Facebook. In addition, as a member of the new product development TFT, I present a lot of opinions from the beginning and participate from the planning stage of new raw materials so that marketing can be carried out more systematically after launch. I am also conducting seminars and collaborations with media to promote the company itself to the public.
MD Kim: I am MD Kim, a senior researcher at the A.T. part of the R&D center. I wasn't someone who used to work in cosmetics. I came across cosmetics for the first time coming to ACTIVON after working in food, pharmaceuticals, and diagnostic kits. My main job is research and development of alternative materials for preservatives. When developing a product, I am involved in the entire process from the planning stage to initial production, and I have developed several raw materials over the past two years, but there are no hit raw materials yet, so this year's goal is to develop a hit product.
JH Jeon: I am JH Jeon, who joined the R&D center N.T. part last October. My major was molecular cell biology, and after receiving my PhD, I worked on biotechnology research at a national research institute and new drug development at a pharmaceutical company. As everyone knows, new drug development does not end in 1 or 2 years. Since it is a long-term project, mannerism came as it took too long. I came to ACTIVON because I wanted to develop products with a faster cycle, gain a sense of achievement, and want to take on new challenges. The work I am currently doing is looking for new materials to be applied to cosmetics and aiming to register cosmetic raw materials. Rather than existing plant extracts, exosomes derived from plants and bacteria can be delivered to the skin much better through strengthening and grafting of existing materials. We are doing things to find stable and stable synthetic new materials. Since it is just starting, we are preparing in various directions, and candidate materials are preparing to apply for patents and turn them into functional cosmetics by verifying their safety and efficacy in target cells. Since similar tasks were carried out in the development of new drugs, I expect to be able to proceed with a little easier and faster in ACTIVON.
JH Park: I am JH Park, assistant manager of the Quality Control Part at the Production Headquarters. I joined the company in 2019, and I am in charge of quality control and quality assurance from incoming raw materials to products. My major was organic synthesis, but I was attracted to analysis while doing synthesis, so I chose a quality control job where I could get a sense of accomplishment by analyzing materials under development and finished products and shipping them directly. Until recently, I was focused on quality management, but now I want to expand my work area to quality assurance work and strengthen my work capacity so that I can do everything from external audits to certification-related work to enhance my professionalism.
NH Kim: Thank you all, it can be a bit embarrassing to introduce yourself anew among people you know, but I think I did well. I also learned some things I didn't know. But I have a question…What exactly is the difference between research and development? As for development, I am also part of the new product TFT, so I understand that you are developing for product launch, but what research do you do? For what purpose are you doing it?
JH Jeon: As you said, development is done with a certain application purpose and deadline, like product launch, and research is something more long-term and fundamental, I think. It's about discovering a new mechanism or revealing a new effect... Even if you don't apply it anywhere, the discovery itself can be published in a famous journal, and you feel academic delight. It might be easy to compare schools and companies. Let’s suppose a researcher said “A has become B.”. While a company responds like “So what, what are you going to do with it?”, in a school lab people will admire you and shout “A became B? Wow!!”.
NH Kim: Oh…I get it now. Research is a discovery that makes you wonder!
Now let's get into today's topic. The first topic is ‘Beauty Activism’.
<To be continued...>
*This manuscript was also published on The K Beauty Science website.