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What a Beautiful Day…

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Maxine Bates reports from the first Beauty Science Day…

“The first Beauty Science Day was hosted by Empirical Science Ltd on the site of Boots headquarters in Nottingham on Saturday 19th October and attracted Mensa members and their families from as far as Hampshire, Essex and Shropshire. It was good to see that 20% of participants were aged under 18. Our scientists of the future!

“After arrival refreshments there were two lectures. One was given by a technical development manager from Boots with an insight into how their toiletries and cosmetics are created. He made the mistake of asking if there were any questions from a group of Mensans! The second lecture was therefore shortened but covered the basics of what participants would be doing during the rest of the day. Then everyone was kitted out in white coats and safety goggles and headed into the laboratories to get their hands messy! The first activity involved extraction of essential oils from lavender plants using steam distillation and this formed the basis for the afternoon activities.

“A buffet lunch was served. I'd discovered that Sophie was celebrating her 14th birthday and mentioned this to a staff member from Empirical Science Ltd. They kindly popped out and bought a small birthday cake and candles that was presented to the surprised birthday girl whilst we sang to her!

“Then it was back into the laboratories which were soon beautifully scented during the making of soaps and bath bombs. During these processes participants learnt about solubility in water and various oils, the chemistry involved in making lotions and potions, and experimentation to improve appearance and performance. Some of the final products were better than others but everyone was delighted to take their homemade products home with them. Lots of people wanted me to sniff their finished items as they left! Sandalwood, vanilla and orange seemed the most popular scents.

“The day appeared to have been enjoyed by all ages. I was impressed with how far guests had travelled for this unique opportunity to play in newly refurbished laboratories owned by Boots. Hopefully there will be similar events in the future. A food science day has been mentioned...”