SCS Council and Committees
SCS COUNCIL 2023-2024
How well do you know your SCS Council? Find out a bit more about the Council members and their involvement with the SCS here. The Committees always welcome new faces and opinions so if you’d like to get involved please contact the Secretariat or Committee Chairs. And remember, there are openings on Council every year.
SHONA BEAR – President
Like many people of my generation I fell into the cosmetic industry by accident and more than 30 years later I’m still working in an industry I love. I worked for a number of contract manufacturers as a chemist before joining Marks & Spencer as a technologist in the early 90s. I have enjoyed 3 periods at M&S over a 20 year period as well as time as Director of Quality for a manufacturer and Head of New Product Development for Bulldog. I am currently Quality and Technical Manager for Superdrug leading a team of 10 technologists covering all own brand development across beauty and healthcare. I have been involved with the SCS since I joined the industry and studied for the Diploma in Cosmetic Science during my first year in the industry. I was first on Council in 2015 and chaired the P&R Committee. I have been a member of the Social Committee since 2016 and became Social Secretary in 2021. I believe we still need to raise the profile of our industry and all the good science behind the products we develop.
JOHN LOFTHOUSE – Vice President
I started my working life in the laboratories for Ciba-Geigy (now Novartis) before moving into a commercial role with the chemical distributor Ellis and Everard. At this time (in the early 90s) I was working more with cosmetics companies. Though the early products were more commodities rather than specialities, I began to get interested in the industry. In 1993 I got my first dedicated cosmetics job with a distributor called DF Anstead, then an Ellis and Everard company. I loved the market and the people and joined the Society of Cosmetic Scientists. I continued to work with personal care ingredients throughout my career, always fascinated by the excellent research done in the industry. I had the pleasure of being on Council for 5 years from 2005, chairing the Scientific Program for much of this time. I joined CLR Berlin, the well-respected cosmetic active ingredient developer, in 2007 as Global Sales and Marketing Director. This gave me the chance to work with people all over the world and get deeply involved in the international cosmetics market. This was a great experience. Pleased now to be back on SCS council and focusing once more on the UK industry.
MUSTAFA VARCIN – Honorary Treasurer
Until recently I was working with the Personal Care Association Cosmetics Europe as Head of Science & Research. I was previously responsible for R&I and management of NPD projects in the beauty division of Hammer Holdings. I have a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium and my research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. I served on the Royal Belgian Association of Cosmetic Chemists’ Board as a Scientific Advisor. I was appointed External Advisor for the development of the first UK postgraduate one-year MSc Cosmetic Science course at Liverpool John Moores University. I was also Course Leader for the MSc Cosmetic Science course at UAL, where I was responsible for academic leadership and management, including design, development and delivery of curriculum. I received the UAL Student Union Teaching Award for ‘excellent teaching & guidance of students during their academic development’. I am responsible for two units on the SCS Diploma course. I am also an Associate Member of the British Royal Pharmaceutical Society, a member of CEW UK and the Editorial Board of the IFSCC Magazine. I have served on Council since 2016 and as Chair of the International Journal of Cosmetic Science (IJCS) UK Committee before taking on the role of Honorary Treasurer in 2019. I was also a member of the IFSCC 2022 Steering Committee and chaired the Sponsorship Committee for this.
SARAH GLADSTONE – Honorary Secretary & Membership Committee Chair
Employed by RAHN UK as Technical Sales Manager, I am responsible for sales & customer support in the south of England, a position I have held since 2013. Before this, I joined Schulke & Mayr in 2005 selling preservatives for both technical & cosmetic applications having previously worked in both technical & sales roles in the surface coating industry for more than 25 years. I joined the SCS in 2006, was Social Secretary from 2011 until 2015, a Council member from 2016-2019, has been a member of the P&R committee & the SCS Wales & West Committee & has presented at the PPCS. In May 2020, I rejoined Council following election as Honorary Secretary.
PAULINE AYRES – Council member & Honorary Education Secretary
40 years ago I joined the SCS whilst a development chemist at Yardley of London and then moved to being Technical Manager at a leading contract manufacture. In both these roles I worked in R&D on skincare, colour cosmetics & fragrance products. I joined S Black Ltd (which became Azelis UK Life Sciences) and headed up their Technical Services team before moving to the Azelis SA management team as Corporate Regulatory Affairs Manager – Personal Care. In this role I had responsibility for regulatory compliance of the ingredients supplied within the worldwide Personal Care Business Unit with appropriate local regulations, including specifically REACh (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) within the EU.
I have lectured for the SCS on many occasions on colour cosmetics and am the most recent author of the Decorative Cosmetics unit within the SCS’s Diploma. In 2003/4 I was President of the Society and have been a Council Member several times. Since 1991 I have been a Member of the SCS’s Education Committee, chair of this committee on several occasions and I am currently Honorary Education Secretary. I also previously served as a member of the Scientific and Programme Committee and chaired the Social Committee.
As well as my work with the SCS I’ve served on several committees of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA), including as chair of the CTPA’s Raw Material Suppliers’ Working Group.
I retired at the end of 2018 but have remained very active within the SCS Education Committee and also as a guest lecturer at several UK Universities, lecturing on Decorative Cosmetics and some aspects of regulatory affairs.
EMMA CATCHPOLE – Council member
After completing a degree in Medical Biochemistry and after a short time working for the NHS I discovered the world of cosmetic science – joining Boots, now the No7 Beauty Company in early 2002. I started my career formulating lipsticks and since then I have been fortunate enough to work on a number of different brands and technologies across colour, skin care and bath, body and hair. I have remained working in formulation for the majority of my 19 years at WBA, but in that time have also had the amazing opportunity to lead the setting up and organisation of our science apprenticeship scheme. That is what has given me the passion for supporting the education and coaching for those joining or already in the industry. This is my second year on Council.
ANNE-LAURE FONTENEAU – Council member and Chair of the International Journal of Cosmetic Science Committee
I have Masters degrees in Chemical Engineering in Cosmetics (University of Science Montpellier II) and Industrial Cosmetology (Industrial Pharmacy Institute of Lyon) and have worked in the cosmetics industry in R&D for over 15 years. My experience includes defining strong purpose-led formula development strategy and leading teams from all backgrounds to deliver innovation. My responsibilities now include sustainability, an area I am particularly enthusiastic about as I feel the cosmetic industry has a key role to play. I have worked with J&J in France and Italy, Cosmarida in the UK and now work with The Body Shop (Natura & Co Group). I have been keen to join the SCS Council for many years to get more involved in this dynamic and exciting group of trusted experts in the industry that I love. This is my second year on Council.
NURIA LIMA – Council member
I graduated with a Masters in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 2018 and went on to attain the SCS Diploma in 2020. I have been in the cosmetics industry since graduating, starting with roles where I worked with waxes, and then moving on to product formulation in various labs in the South East of England. I am a big advocate for FutureSoc and form part of the committee – I believe being a Council Member will encourage further participation of our members with all things SCS. I am also part of the Scientific Programme Committee and hope to bring valuable insights to both the Council and our Society. This is my first year on Council.
STEWART LONG – Council member & Scientific Programme Chair
A biochemist and cell biologist by background, I accidentally joined the cosmetics industry when Unilever advertised for a cell culture scientist. I am glad I did because it has proven to be an endlessly fascinating and varied career. After 8 years with Unilever in dental, hair and skin research, I joined Boots. I spent 12 years in various roles including claims substantiation manager and Scientific Adviser for Skincare, thoroughly enjoying all of it. I then spent 5 years with Dow Corning, based in Belgium, as Global market Leader for Skincare Ingredients before the opportunity came up to join Cutest in 2015. My current role is CEO of Cutest Systems, providing claims, user studies and safety testing. I was hugely honoured to be SCS President in 2020 and I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
RACHAEL POLOWYJ – Council member and Chair of the Marketing & Communications Committee
I am Development Manager & Product Manager at IMCD UK Ltd. I have a masters degree in Cosmetic Science from the University of the Arts London – London College of Fashion, and my research paper where I studied how to alter the penetration rates of active ingredients into the skin by amending the formulation chassis, was published globally as well as being presented as a poster at the IFSCC congress in Munich.
With over 50 articles published, I am also a regular scientific journalist and recently co-authored a chapter in the ‘Discovering Cosmetic Science’ book – published by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, where I debunked common myths relating to ingredients such as silicones or parabens in collaboration with Emma Meredith from the CTPA. In 2022 I won a prestigious ‘Rising Star’ award from the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) organisation.
I am chair of the SCS Marketing and Communications committee and this is my first year on Council.
AMY POULTON – Council member
During my Chemistry Degree at Newcastle University my love of cosmetics led me to discover the world of cosmetic science and I’ve been working in the industry ever since. I started my career at P&G; working in product development for their prestige fragrance brands creating products for Hugo Boss, Stella McCartney and others. I then worked for Coty doing the same job after they acquired this portfolio before moving on to WBA where I worked in formulation for skin care. I now work for Croda in Business Development covering the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region for the beauty care portfolio. This means I get to work with customers across the region, helping them create amazing cosmetics using Croda technologies and constantly learning more about the technology and the cosmetics industry and trends in EMEA and globally. As well as my degree I also have the SCS Diploma in Cosmetic Science. I am one of the founding committee members of FutureSoc, which aims to help more junior members of the society network and learn more about the industry, which is something I am very passionate about.
CAROLINE RAINSFORD – Council member
I first joined the cosmetics industry in 2012, working for L’Oréal UK and Ireland as a Scientific Advisor. In 2016, I moved to CTPA as a Scientific Information Officer and joined the SCS! I have been fortunate enough to increase my knowledge and passion for cosmetic science, safety and communication to become Head of Scientific Services at CTPA in 2019. My background is in chemistry – I graduated from the University of Oxford in 2011 with a Masters degree. My role at CTPA focuses on developing the Association’s scientific strategy, managing ingredient issues and promoting our communications on the safety of cosmetics. I currently represent CTPA on several committees at Cosmetics Europe and I am the Chair of the Expert Team Ingredient Monitoring and Assessment committee, bringing together knowledge and expertise from a variety of ingredients issues. I am actively involved in advocacy with the UK Government on issues concerning cosmetic ingredients and its wider chemicals strategy. I am looking forward to contributing to the crucial work of the SCS through my membership of the Council.
TUMI SIWOKU – Council member
Over the last 13 years in research & development, I have had the pleasure of working across toiletries, haircare, skincare, colour cosmetics and suncare for several global brands and manufacturers. Currently I’m the Principal Chemist at Beauty Science Labs, working exclusively with The Gel Bottle Inc on leading on product innovation in the nail care sector.
Award-winning chemistry professional, (Bsc) Cosmetic Science Alumni, and STEM advocate with an innovative and entrepreneurial flair. Fortunate to have had the opportunity to have spoken at No.10 Downing Street, universities and schools on the importance of diversity & inclusion within STEM careers
MONIKA SZYMANSKA – Council member
Currently working for Superdrug as part of the Own Brand product development team, with nearly 10 years of experience working within the beauty industry. Following completion of my Cosmetic Science degree from LCF, I have developed a strong technical background, regulatory expertise and excellent focus on trends and innovation, whilst working for high end founder led companies, family run businesses and a nationwide retailer. I have gained my experience working in NPD, regulatory, technical and supply roles. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others to help grow the industry and guide other professionals. This is my first year on Council.
DANIEL WHITBY – Council member
I have over 25 years’ experience working in the personal care industry and have excellent knowledge of the current market and future trends as well as expertise in formulation, innovation and clinical testing. I currently work with Smink Laboratories as Chief Scientist, leading the company’s scientific expertise to engage and enable successful development and launches of client products. I have previously worked with Lake, Alba Science, Cornelius and Boots. I am a member of, and previously chaired, SCS RDG North and am a part-time lecturer and course consultant at the University of Sunderland for the BSc Cosmetic Science course. I am also a regular contributor to industry journals and conferences. This is my second year on Council.