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Is Cosmetic Science Really "Bad"? Part II: Detecting Baloney Science
By: Johann W. Wiechers, PhD, JW Solutions
Posted: August 25, 2009
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In addition, this author has observed a direct correlation between the number of citations from such journals and the unscientific nature of what follows in the paper describing yet another cosmetic wonder. Are these authors masking something? In a more practical example, at many International Federation of the Societies of Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) congresses and conferences, attendees may have noticed that cosmetic companies often prefer their marketing managers to present at such events rather than their technical experts. When probed as to why, they claim that their technical staff is unable to relay the message properly. Is this true? In some cases it may be, but this author believes that in the majority of cases, the technical experts most likely tell a different story (read: more scientific story), whereas the marketing manager plugs the tradename of the product.
Taken at large, however, these minor points should not worry the cosmetics industry. Since the industry does not have many dedicated university courses that study cosmetic science, the scientific credibility--a.k.a. the reliability of the source--is not always the highest possible in the industry but the majority is all right and behaves all right. This is of course different on the Internet where one can find an abundance of self-declared cosmetic experts. Unfortunately, the consumer does not make this distinction and thus groups the self-declared and experienced cosmetic experts together and as a result, the industry fails in the eyes of the consumer.
2. The second question is, “Does the source often make similar claims?” Fishermen are renowned for exaggerating the size of their catch and as a consequence, nobody believes them any longer. Likewise, pseudo-scientists have a habit of going well beyond the facts.
This author once found himself at a cosmetic conference where two presentations stated the following:
a) It is close to impossible, if not impossible, to create hair relaxers that are non-irritating to the scalp because of the need for a
high pH to straighten the hair.
b) The described delivery system was said to be so good that it could provide targeted delivery of every molecule to every
imaginable target site within the skin and hair.
Cosmetic Science Exposed, Wiechers' Style
Memories of a Cosmetically Disturbed Mind is a timely manifesto of what our industry 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