Terri’s Formulating Principle

Terri Vinson of Synergie Skin working in the laboratory

The skincare market is growing at an exponential rate. There are many products available that simply over promise and don’t deliver results. It is now more important than ever to be educated and discerning about our choices.

Cosmeceuticals are classified as an ingredient that may result in biological change in the skin cells.

They are neither a ‘therapeutic’ agent which requires a doctor’s prescription to use, or a ‘cosmetic agent’ which does not create biological change in the skin. Cosmeceuticals simply exert their effects by penetrating the skin and creating the desirable changes.

My formulating principle

My SEED principle summarises and highlights what I base my formulating principles on, and what you, my valued clients should base your purchasing decisions on. Whether you purchase Synergie or another brand of skincare products, I hope that these posts help you make informed choices.

Just like a simple ‘seed’ evolves into a viable plant so too have cosmeceuticals evolved over the years from simple creams into complex products, some of which are capable of achieving measurable results. Our industry constantly bombarded with media hype. We must become discerning and judge a product by:

  • Ingredients in the product
  • Clinical data to support the claims
  • Science and technology backing the product

As a formulator, I truly believe that cosmetic science is an exciting new frontier whereby I can take a simple molecule or ingredient and harness it to become an effective cosmeceutical.

However, formulating isn’t simply taking a collection of random ingredients, mixing them together and hoping they work! It is an exacting science whereby I must do my own research and trials before I can release them to my customers. As I’ve always said, if I wouldn’t use the products on my children, then I would not release them to my customers.

So what do I look for in an ingredient when I am considering formulating with it? All viable ingredients and finished products must exhibit the following to be considered a valid cosmeceutical.

  1. Stability – The ingredient must not be prone to oxidation or breakdown
  2. Effectiveness – The ingredient must actually work and have data to support the benefits.
  3. Elegance –The ingredient must have that ‘feel good’ quality and the customer must want to use it. As well as touch and feel, the product must not have an unpleasant fragrance.
  4. Delivery – The cosmeceutical active ingredients must be able to reach its target cell to create the desired biological effects.  This depends on a number of factors including:
  • The depth and location of the target cell in the skin
  • The size and structure of the cosmeceutical molecule that I am intending to act on the skin
  • the acidity/alkalinity  of the ingredient


To watch me chat through this SEED principle and my philosophy as a formulator further, click here.

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