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The only constant in life is change and living in South Africa I certainly have witnessed major change during my life, particularly as our country was transformed from being governed by the Apartheid regime to a democratically elected government. In order to share my ideas of how cosmetic science can contribute to the improvement of society, I would like to address three issues. The first part of my essay will discuss some of the recent changes in the society we live in and how these changes have affected our need for cosmetics. Secondly I will discuss the developments in cosmetic science that will be necessary to cope with these changes and finally, the kind of developments in cosmetic science will be necessary in order for them to improve our society. Of course, not all people in our world share the same norms and values and I will therefore consider a global acceptance of and adherence to the declaration of human rights as the ultimate improvement. On such a level, it should be realized from the beginning that the influence cosmetic science can have on society is very limited compared to that of, for instance, political leaders of our world. Cosmetic science, however, does make a contribution, although it is only a small step in the process of improving the world we live in, but according to Confucius the longest journey begins with the first step. Therefore, let the journey begin… This essay won the 2006 Maison G. de Navarre Young Scientist Prize that is awarded for either the first or second paper in cosmetic science or a specially written essay on a topic selected by the 2005–2006 IFSCC President for an author of 35 years or younger. This Prize was awarded to Megan Jones during the Openings Ceremony of the 24th IFSCC Congress »Integration of Cosmetic Sciences«, Osaka, Japan on 16 October 2006. The purpose of the Maison G. de Navarre Young Scientist Prize is to stimulate young cosmetic scientists to write scientific papers/essays. The prize covers all expenses to attend the first IFSCC Congress or Conference that is held after the prize was awarded.