SCS: Microbiome, Claims & Here to Help – 16 February 2021

Date: Tuesday 16 February 2021

Understanding Consumer Trends & Marketing Strategy
Q&A discussion Vivienne Rudd, Director of Innovation and Insight, Mintel

Biofilms in Personal Care
Katerina Steventon representing the National Biofilm Innovation Centre, will discuss the presence of biofilms on the surface of the human body and their relevance to personal care. She will talk about the imbalance of skin microbiome and formation of biofilms in chronic skin conditions (like acne and dermatitis), scalp health and in intertriginous niches (axilla, feminine health), reminding the scientifically minded audience that our research and understanding in this space are truly embryonic.

Claims Experts in the Breakout Room

  • Stewart Long, Cutest
  • Susan Ayton, Ayton Global Research

Vivienne Rudd has 20 years’ experience as an expert commentator on the global beauty industry. She joined Mintel to help set up and manage its market leading Beauty & Personal Care platform, creating and delivering ground-breaking beauty trends and market assessments to clients and international conferences. As a consultant, she now helps Mintel’s beauty and personal care clients translate trends into successful products. The best thing about the beauty industry is that it is always evolving, and Vivienne works with Mintel’s clients to enable them to anticipate changes and stay ahead of the competition. She liaises with companies across the whole supply chain, helping them identify early signals, adopt and adapt category trends, assess the competition, capitalise on white spaces and create and evaluate product concepts.

Dr Katerina Steventon is a healthcare specialist with substantial experience of working at the clinical, commercial and research interface. She holds an MSc in Clinical Biochemistry, a PhD in Transdermal Absorptions and has over 20 years of global work experience in the personal care and wound care industry. Katerina has an in depth knowledge of skin biology in both its healthy and diseased states. The strengths Katerina brings to NBIC comprise a comprehensive understanding of the industry and academia, commercialisation of research in a spectrum of healthcare areas and experience of running an innovation consultancy with a focus on functional skincare. 


Stewart Long is a biochemist by background, with a degree from Liverpool University and an MSc from Manchester University, and now has over 25 years’ experience in the beauty and health care industry. He began his career with Unilever, initially in the dental research group, before moving into skin care research there for eight years, followed by 12 years at Boots in various roles including Skincare Scientific Adviser across all Boots brands globally. He has a number of publications and patents to his name and has presented at conferences around the world. He joined Dow Corning in Belgium in 2010 as Market Leader for Skincare and then for Medical Device Materials. After nearly six years he returned to the UK in November 2015 to join Cutest Systems as CEO. Stewart is also current President of the SCS.     

Susan Ayton is Founder and Managing Director of Ayton Global Research. The company conducts bespoke in-home consumer studies in 25 languages and 35 countries including all of today’s major markets. Susan began her beauty career in as a Beauty Therapist, something she then went on to teach. She also taught communication skills. She was approached by a senior member of staff at what was then called Peter Black Toiletries to see if it was possible to test their new formulations on her beauty therapy students. She then began developing her early business model and began writing the architecture for a new website, Ayton System Software. The build of the software was commissioned in 2002 and was initially launched in the UK to service Tesco, Marks & Spencer and The Body Shop. It grew rapidly and was soon servicing contract manufacturers and the majority of the British High Street, many of which were franchising overseas. Susan is also a member of the SCS Council.