If you're interested in cosmetics, then you should definitely be following some of the top cosmetic chemist accounts on Instagram. These chemists didn't just spend the better half of their 20s completing their doctorate degree and becoming certified experts in their field. They are arbiters of truth and highly regarded by others in their field. They are transparent about the brands that they partner with and put consumer education at the forefront . They research and formulate the products that we recommend to our loved ones. Without them, there would be no "empties", "shelfies", or well-organized vanities. In an industry that can often feel rife with well-intentioned, yet slightly misleading posts and pseudoscience, it is comforting to know that I can rely on these cosmetic scientists to cut through the noise and tell me what's actually useful to put on my skin.
Some of these misleading posts swirling around social media, as Dr. Michelle Wong of @labmuffinbeautyscience correctly points out in several of her stories, are actually being posted by dermatologists. Recently, she responded to misleading TikTok video that a dermatologist posted demonizing oxybenzene in sunscreen. One will immediately come to the realization upon swiping through a few of her saved posts is that she routinely responds to posts like these, even if it makes her the target of bullies in the industry. Dr. Wong has our utmost respect for defending the truth about the products we use at her own expense. She is one of the most highly regarded cosmetic chemists in her field right now and an influential voice to champion.
Differentiating between influencers with degrees and dermatologists often comes down to intention. People should trust cosmetic chemists over dermatologists for advice on what products to use for several reasons. First, derms are not necessarily up-to-date on the latest ingredients. We normies seek out dermatologists as their first point of contact on any questions related to cancers and melanomas. Dermatologists are also expert at treating medical skin problems, such as acne and rosacea. They can also help you address anything going on internally that might be affecting your skin health, like vitamin deficiencies. Dermatology, the science of skin, is the primary field that they are trained in and the industry where they receive the most up-to-date information. Cosmetic scientists are more likely to know which ingredients in your favorite products are likely to work well with each other and what concentration to use them at. They would also be able to tell you which allergenic preservatives in a product might be causing an unwanted reaction. They are expert formulators and chemists. When it comes to debunking popular skincare myths and identifying a product that is safe and effective, there is no better resource to turn to than a cosmetic chemist.
Here are three accounts to follow:
1. Dr. Michelle Wong
This account is run by Australia-based educator Dr. Michelle Wong. Before becoming a full-time content creator, she headed up the Chemistry department at University of Sydney. We love her handy templates for content creators in the industry who want to post about their six-step beauty routine. Not a moment goes by when you are scrolling through her account when you are not learning something new.
Dr. Wong is also extremely responsive on YouTube Shorts and regularly posts advice on what ingredients to look out for depending on your skin type and concern.
For more from Dr. Michelle Wong, follow her on Instagram @labmuffinbeautyscience.
2. Dr. Perry Romanowski, Co-Host of the Beauty Brains Podcast and Owner, Chemist's Corner
I first learned about Perry Romanowski through the Chemist's Corner, an online community, knowledge base and forum for cosmetic chemists, college students, and product developers. In the Chemist's Corner forum, industry veterans like Perry volunteer countless hours helping others solve formulation issues and shedding new perspective on both new and age-old topics, such as the problem with parabens (there isn't one). We applaud Perry's commitment to building out a community of like-minded product developers and problem solvers. To students who are just starting out in the industry- Perry is a pillar of the community and a trusted resource. He distills 25 years of experience into a comprehensive online course that has graduated over 1,000 students. We cannot wait to see what Perry has in store for the industry.
For more from Dr. Romanowski, follow his podcast on Instagram @thebeautybrains2018 and visit the forums at chemistscorner.com
3. Dr. Stephen Ko, Cosmetic Formulator
Dr. Stephen Ko is a cosmetic formulator and fellow member of the AAPI+ community. I have never seen anybody else on Instagram go more in-depth into a topic on cosmetic science than Stephen. He brings an industry insider's perspective to skincare questions that we ask ourselves every day, including "are deeper skin tones less prone to skin cancer?" and "can I use peptides with AHA/BHA?" Follow him and be fascinated.
For more from Stephen, follow him on Instagram at @kindofstephen