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If one were to believe average science writer Ben Goldacre, PhD, in his new book titled Bad Science, cosmetic scientists seem to be telling a big bunch of lies and purposely misleading the public; they also lack integrity in the name of getting their products sold. They are portrayed to be at the bottom of the social ladder and the embodiment of evil, yet for others, they bring hope, albeit for money, in a bottle. Who else has had enough with public opinion of cosmetic science?
Last Thursday, I was stuck at the Luton airport in the United Kingdom. My flight was delayed by a couple of hours, and I had to kill time in a vertical position since there were no open seats in the departure lounge. There was also no socket unplugged to charge a computer and do work while sitting on the floor, so I automatically found myself in the only sane place left—at the bookstore in front of the science section.
Here, I found an interesting new book titled Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, PhD. According to his Web site, “Goldacre is an award winning writer, broadcaster and medical doctor who has written the weekly 'Bad Science' column in the Guardian since 2003." He is obviously a critical mind with a long history in identifying bad science. I went straight to the index of the book to see whether he mentioned cosmetics and to my astonishment, he dedicated a whole chapter to cosmetics. From that moment forward, I knew the wait for my plane was not going to be too long.
As I am sympathetic toward the ideas of the Skeptics Society—a scientific and educational organization of scholars, scientists, historians, magicians, professors and teachers, in addition to anyone curious about controversial ideas, extraordinary claims, revolutionary ideas, and the promotion of science—I will pick up almost every book that is critical of science. After all, cosmetics is a field where many extraordinary claims are made, often helped by celebrity endorsements. Therefore, some critical thinking would not be out of place in relation to cosmetics. However, I had honestly not anticipated that a whole chapter on the subject of cosmetics in a book entitled Bad Science was possible.
Goldacre began with a discussion on moisturizing creams, which may be considered nonsense since everything moisturizes. In fact, I often joke that if someone were to grind a computer disk and apply it, it would moisturize skin. So Goldacre has a good point on that one, but it does not mean that skin moisturization is not a scientific subject that can be seriously studied, as is done by many in the cosmetics industry.
Memories of a Cosmetically Disturbed Mind is a timely manifesto of what ourindustry is meant to represent. Whether you agree or disagree with Johann Wiechers' views on the state of the global cosmetic industry, this book will blow your scientific mind! Johann is no longer here with us, but he left us much to think about.Order Today at Alluredbooks-Cosmetic Science