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Shanghai with Johnson’s
A super interesting, experience-filled day…
I’ve already blogged about the Johnson’s Shanghai Trip Day 1 here. But Day Two. Man! Day Two is something else! It has been 6 months since the trip (eeep, I know so late of me to post huhuhu) but the things that happened on that day are still fresh to my mind. It was such an eye-opening, senses-tingling experience. We were toured around the Johnson’s Shanghai plant compound – where we visited the Emerging Market Innovation Center (where science happens!) and the Plant itself (where the raw materials are processed, bottled and packaged). This is a very rare opportunity as Johnson’s (and most FMCGs at that) almost never allow photos of their plant to be published. So instead of blabbing on and on about this, let me show you how this day went through photos instead. I hope you enjoy this set, guys!
Emerging Market Innovation Center
This is where conceptualization and formulation of new Johnson’s products are born. Aside from that, they also do all the testing – clinical tests, packaging tests, stability tests, FGDs among others – before each product becomes ready for mass production. It was here that I realized how many steps products go through before they reach the supermarket shelves. Aside from explaining all the processes, we also went through each of the departments and witnessed first-hand how the tests were done. One of the most interesting things I learned is that they even have ‘FGD experts‘ who test the products, rate them depending on texture, consistency, etc who can differentiate a 6 from a 7 rating on each feature. These “FGD experts” are ‘normal’ people (moms, for example) but undergo tests to make sure they can rate products appropriately.
I also loved seeing the Packaging Lab department where they have certain machines that mimic truck movements and airplane turbulence used to transport products so they can check if the packaging can withstand these movements. One of the most important things though is the Clinical Lab tests where they test formulas on the skin and use different hi-tech machines to gauge if moisture feature is indeed effective or their hypoallergenic claim is in effect, too. The Stability Lab on the other hand, consists of refrigerator-like safe boxes that are set at different temperatures mimicking the different climates of different countries to test how the products will fare if kept at that temperature. The products are kept here for 1 year and tested to see if consistency, texture, etc will change.
At the end of the trip, we conducted experiments on our own so we could personally feel how it is to be scientists working in the EMIC. Such a fun, fun experience that took me back to high school and college working in the Chemistry lab. We even had our own personalized lab coats and goggles to match!
Here we are being briefed on the EMIC, what it does and what we can expect from the tour
Bloggers being bloggers – photo before heading out to the labs!
A real Johnson’s scientist at work in the lab
The not-so-secret secret ingredients to a Johnson’s product – can you guess which?
These are the refrigerators slash safe boxes I was talking about above that mimicked different countries’ climates
We were even treated to go inside the fridges and experience the temperatures!
These are samples of a Johnson’s product that passed and failed the stability tests after one year
Left: Machine that mimics truck and airplane movements to see if the boxes would stand the turbulence. Right: Shelf-dropping test to see if product packaging that would fall on supermarket shelves would deform. Hashtag AMAZEBALLS.
This is a machine to test skin pH level, moisture and hydration, oil level. I actually volunteered to be tested! PS – the stickers are to entertain children whom most of this machine is tested on
The scientist above who did the tests on my face was surprised to see how impressive my scores were – he asked me what skincare I was using and told me to continue because it was effective! I had low oil levels and extremely high moisture and hydration!
Other tests done on the lab. Right photo shows the skin on different levels – epidermis, dermis, etc.
Focus Group Discussion Lab
The two-way mirror where scientists observe the FGD participants! I’ve always wanted to see through a two-way mirror!
We got to do a sample FGD session on one of Johnson’s lotions. See the two injection pumps above? They are the same product but in different batches and formulation. We had to swirl an exact amount of lotion on our forearm 10 times, slowly working it in, and then had to rate the product in terms of consistency, spreadability, etc. FGD experts could instantly differentiate a 5 from a 6 from a 7. The ones we had were a level 3 and a level 8 and most of us couldn’t even tell the difference.
Time to Experiement!
Top-to-Toe Water Test
Before performing this test, we actually had to recreate the Top-to-Toe wash using a few of its key ingredients by ourselves (it was a group effort for Maureen, Astrid and I). In the photo just above this, you can see us ‘stressed’ because our Top-to-Toe creation was one bubbly mess! LOL! We were so excited to pour in the ingredients from their respective beakers. Turns out, we had to slowly add them while stirring non-stop so they’d mix and blend in well. Woops!
So after this, we headed on to perform our first experiment using the Top-to-Toe wash. It’s called the Top-to-Toe Water Test. In this test, we were able to see how the Top-to-Toe wash, when added to tap water, reduces its ‘hardness’ therefore making it more gentle on baby’s skin. As you’ll see in the photos below, the water instantly ‘softened’ evidenced by the strip that turned from rust-colored to light yellow. Learning from this test? Tap water is quite harsh on baby’s skin (depending on the tap water per country. Here in the Philippines, it is quite harsh! Filled with unknown sediments and chemicals from the dam) and can produce irritation and rashes.
This is why Top to Toe is the most recommended wash (even by pediatricians) for newborn and baby skin because it makes the water less harsh, more softening. My ate and pediatrician recommended using this for Selene so I used this wash on her immediately after the hospital. I know and hear from others that they don’t use anything but water on their babies’ skin because they’re afraid to cause any sensitivities but it turns out just using tap water may actually be more harmful and damaging (unless of course you bathe your baby with purified/distilled water)!
I believe the results can speak for itself!
Thank you EMIC for such an interesting experience! Can you spot the real Johnson’s scientists in this photo? He he he.
Johnson’s Plant Tour
I’ve always enjoyed seeing the process of mass production. In college once, we toured a plant that manufactured those small, almost insignificant parts of our gadgets such as cameras and laptops. Huge-ass machines that would create a tiny object holding your gadgets together. It wasn’t relatable at all to me but I loved seeing the process. This time, I was more excited than ever because the manufacturing process I’d witness was something close to me – they were products I use everyday on my babies! I was ecstatic to be able to witness the products go from raw materials to packaged ones in boxes.
We were separated in two batches. This was our batch right after we were briefed on the Dos and Don’ts inside the plant.
These are all the Johnson’s products manufactured in this plant!
We had to put on these ‘protective wear’ because everything in the plant is sterile. ‘Plant fashion’ OOTD!
On the left are the raw materials inside sacks and barrels of tin! On the right is the mixing station where all these raw materials are processed. Almost everything is machine-mixed so there are only a handful of technicians in the plant. They are all supervisory-level and are accountable to their own stations.
It amused me to see how there were very little people in the plant as everything is machine-handled
There is a schedule on which products are to be manufactured for every day. This day was made specifically for the Johnson’s Baby Milk Bath product.
LOL at my face here – you can see I was really into it! I mean, how intensely can one look at a bottle of baby product?
After the products are bottled, they are grouped together and put into boxes. Even this process is machine-handled!
It was very noisy at the plant with all the machines so it was hard to hear our tour guide’s explanations! Hence, another intense face from me. LOL!
These are boxes of products that contain a product made by each batch for that day. They keep this in storage for years so that when a customer complaint comes up, they check back to these products and see if there is indeed a quality breach.
Making our marks on their Johnson’s Zero Defect wall!
And that wraps up our plant tour!
After a long insightful day, this was waiting for me back in our hotel. Did I mention my room in the Mandarin Oriental Shanghai was the bomb? Half of the room was a bathroom!!! MY DREAM.
I hope you enjoyed reading through this and picked up a few insights as well, you guys! It has been such an honor to be picked for this trip – it remains to be one of my most memorable and exciting blog trips ever! I’ve already been a Johnson’s user even before this trip but I’m convinced more than ever as to why I believe in their products. Not only are they super effective on reducing sensitivities on baby’s skin, they are so so gentle and safe as well. I attest to the brand’s dedication and commitment to making sure they undergo the necessary tests before they land on shelves and eventually on babies’ (and even our!) skin.
If you’ve been a Johnson’s user – share below which products are your favorites! I would love to know.
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