Interview with Ute Wollenweber, Owner of care-and-science

Ute Wollenweber , Owner

Mrs. Wollenweber, in midst of the Corona pandemic you started your own business with care-and-science in January 2021. You have a long career in the personal care industry already. 

What has prompted your decision?

During the pandemic everything changed, and nothing was like it had been before.

That was the time to look back and to rethink how to move on. 

Even before, when I was working in different positions in the cosmetic industry, I realized either in customers or internals meetings that my experience was well appreciated. So, rethinking my professional past and future I thought to share the know-how and support customers of the Cosmetic Industry.

I contacted several experts of my network and we began a collaboration under the umbrella of care-and-science.

That start was certainly a special challenge in these times, but the good network and the vision of new opportunities gave me the impulses to move forward. 

What services do you offer?

We from care-and-science respond to the needs of both producers of cosmetic formulations and providers of raw materials. And we always take into account the latest trends on the market and include them into our projects to give updated consultations to our customers.

For producers of cosmetic formulations, we give advice on the selection of raw materials including their comparison with each other. That may be followed by the development of prototypes for shortlisting if wanted.  

For providers of raw materials, we check the “formulability” of their ingredients of interest regarding their solubility, colour and compatibility in the entire formula. 

We also support companies which are new in Personal Care in increasing their visibility by support them at technical marketing and connecting them with the big Personal Care-family.

In your opinion – which are the most important issues of formulating cosmetics?

Nowadays, cosmetic formulations are multifaceted products which combine a pleasant texture and nice appearance with proven efficacy. Therefore, next to active ingredients with scientifically proven effect, robust functionals are needed to keep the entire product stable.

Formulating “clean beauty” products has become even more challenging. Established ingredients which are discredited now have to be exchanged against alternatives to obtain final products with comparable performance and skin feel.

Some typical issues are: 

  • Exchange polyacrylates with gums to obtain a silky, non-tacky skin feel.
  • Exchange preservatives with maintenance of skin microbiome
  • Formulation with only 10 to 15 ingredients but comparable performance with complex recipes with more than 30 ingredients

So, formulating cosmetic products remains challenging from different aspects and formulation chemists need to consider all the trends which are actually in focus. 

You wrote an article about skin protection from blue light, which was published in SOFW Journal 7/2021. Why do you think blue light protection is important?

In my opinion, we should stop thinking only about UV protection. In times when it is standard to be online all the time, blue light emissions become an important cause of extrinsic skin aging.  

 New studies show that especially the high-energy spectrum of blue light (400 – 500 nm) penetrates deep into the dermis and induces the formation of Reactive Oxygen Species ROS. These radicals effect especially the dermal cells by DNA damage, rapid cell death etc. 

We have to sensitize the customers about the negative side effects of blue light like we did it 40-50 years ago with the harmful effects of extensive sun exposure. That is especially important for the generation x/ y/ z. New products should be developed to flag blue light in the next future, considering a holistic approach, users skin types and habits. 

In this article you recommend a holistic approach. What do you mean with this?

The holistic approach is not new but an ancient practice that involves treating the skin in a "whole" way to understand the cause of skin imbalances. 

Skin is our largest organ, the connection between internal and external environment, and it needs to maintain the correct balance to function optimally. 

Holistic Personal Care describes a beauty concept that connects the appearance of our skin and hair to our daily habits, lifestyle, and level of well-being. That approach is gaining momentum as consumer trend.

The cosmetic industry must think out of the box and consider other applications than only topical ones to keep the skin as part of the entire organism healthy. To support the skin‘s cells, nutraceuticals may help them more effective than active skin care ingredients which sometimes only poorly reach their target cells. Think of foods rich in antioxidants, probiotics, and phytonutrients, which reduce inflammation in the body and lead to a radiant and healthy skin. Diet plays an important role in this approach.

Therefore, a combination of topical treatment with a healthy nutrition is recommended and nutricosmetics become more and more important. 

But next to the interaction health – skin/ hair, holistic approach also means “kindness to the planet”. Here you may consider Clean Beauty and the consciousness of our environment and us as a part of the system. A more ethical paradigm, which has, by extension, created considerable demand for holistic beauty products. 

What are your future plans?

Focusing our efforts on natural formulations, care-and-science is convinced that clean beauty and nutricosmetics will be the new standard in the next years and here, we have a lot of interesting projects in the pipeline.

We also consider the digital world. During the pandemic the “digital influence” grew fast and that does not only mean online shopping.

We especially think in the Generation Z’s approach. Influencers replace classical marketing and for these young brands senior consultancy may complete their fresh ideas and concepts with the experience needed to succeed in the Personal Care industry. We are matching these two worlds to improve product presentation and launch combined with ingredients functionality and substantiation claims…. 

These are only a few examples! The year will be most challenging and rewarding experience and we believe this is already very positive. 

Thank you very much for these answers and all the best for your future business.


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