Across China: Young students found cosmetics start-up from college lab

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-31 22:42:38|Editor: huaxia

LANZHOU, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Tang Ying, a junior student of the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Northwest Normal University, has been conducting experiments with her fellow university students to create lipstick with new materials over the past year.

"Girls outnumber guys at my school, and when girls get together, we fancy making lipsticks and clay masks by ourselves," Tang told Xinhua.

Beginning at the end of 2018, Tang and her classmates tried to add new materials such as palygorskite, also known as attapulgite, a kind of fibrous clay mineral widely distributed in northwest China's Gansu Province, to lipsticks.

"Amounts of the palygorskite added in the self-developed lipsticks have been moderate, below 10 percent of the total ingredients," said Zhang Zhe, an associate professor of the university, located in the city of Lanzhou, capital of Gansu. "Tests have already certified the safety of the edible lipsticks. With less pigment, they're more healthy, while the color is brighter and can last longer."

By the end of 2019, students at the university had developed a variety of makeup and skincare products, including the palygorskite-based lipsticks, lip balms and clay masks, which were patented with the help of the students' lecturers.

Meanwhile, the university also established a high-tech industrial research institute in Baiyin, a city neighboring Lanzhou, in order to better explore the market for the products made by the students and encourage them to keep innovating.

"The university aims to build the institute into a platform to show its high-tech achievements and a cradle of innovation, which can promote the socio-economic development of Gansu," said Dong Chenzhong, vice president of the university.

With the help of the research institute, Tang and her fellows completed a pilot test and managed to register a company, preparing to enter into the market.

"The products will go for mass production in other factories. And before that, we've got more than 1,000 orders of the lipsticks," said Xu Lei, a postgraduate of the university who is in charge of the company, adding that over 20 employees here are students or fresh graduates.

Recently, Xu and his team rejoiced as orders kept pouring in. For their next step, Xu said they planned to develop eye shadow, mascara and hair dye with the use of palygorskite. "These products cut the distance between the public and the new chemical materials. This is how technology makes life better."

Zhang Xiaolu, a resident in Lanzhou and a graduate of the university, bought the newly developed lipstick from a social media platform. "For those of us who have long left the campus, these products remind us of the college's over 100-year history and the academic spirit. It's very meaningful."

With the college coat of arms and motto and images of iconic buildings, diverse cultural and creative products from cosmetics, postcards to notebooks and keyrings made by colleges and universities have now become popular among not only alumni but also ordinary consumers across the country. Enditem

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