Article by: Perry Romanowski

It’s the second episode of the Chemists Corner podcast. Please listen and leave a comment below with what you think.

Chemists Corner podcast is about cosmetic science and is broadcast to help educate, entertain, and inspire current and future cosmetic scientists. Each episode we’ll talk about news in the cosmetic industry, answer some of your questions, and discuss a topic in-depth, usually with an industry expert interview.

In this episode…

1. News – Dr. Oz on Beauty.

2. Listener question – How do you make your formulas less expensive?

3. Interview – Johann W. Wiechers, PhD

4. Weekly Challenge.

If you have a question, or have any topics you’d like us to cover, leave a comment below.


About the Author

Perry Romanowski

Perry has been formulating cosmetic products and inventing solutions to solve consumer problems since the early 1990’s. Additionally, he has written and edited numerous articles and books, taught continuing education classes for industry scientists, and developed successful websites. His latest book is Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry 3rd Edition published by Allured.


  1. Avatar
    Adriana Neagu

    how does one listen to these podcasts? there isn’t any link on the page…

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Thanks for asking. I fixed it so you should be able to see the episode file now.

  2. Pingback:Memories of a Cosmetically Disturbed Mind – Book Review

  3. Avatar
    Johann Wiechers

    Dear Dami,

    Good cosmetic science is not bad science. Selective cosmetic science is inappropriate science. For the outside world, it is as you said, you never realized that there was science involved in these cosmetic products. People use the products and are happy or not. Depending on that, they stay with a particular product their whole life or swop to another product. For some others, cosmetics is simply idleness and therefore whatever you do as a cosmetic scientist, it is superfluous, bad, etc. These people tend to be very outspoken but very bad listeners. As a consequence these people (although they sometimes point out something useful), they are not listened to by the cosmetic market, which makes them even more furious. And a third category of people are those that just state things with authority. Dr. Oz seems to be one of them by the sound of it, but I have not seen / listened to the programme, so do not like to make a judgement.

    I wish you lots of success in your career in cosmetic science and hope that you will make a difference, not only to your company but to cosmetic science in general!

    All the very best!


  4. Avatar

    Hi Perry and Kelly
    I would think your discussion on “The price of beauty” should be titled “anti-Dr OZ!” lol kidding
    I really like the interview with Dr Wiechers. Though I never thought cosmetic science could be referred to as bad science. It’s the application of science to cosmetics, right? Is that correct or not? I think referring to cosmetic science as bad science is subjective. Politics too.
    I also like how Johann ended up with cosmetic science. I bet there would be endless list of personal stories, how people landed in the career, cosmetic science.
    Suggestion- can you come up with something next episode that would get people submitting how they got into their various careers in the cosmetic industry.
    Below is mine.
    Cosmetics were at a time like magic to me. During my days in high school, I found various shades and types of lip-gloss fascinating, even though I had little idea that science was involved in the successful creation of these magical lip transformation elements! Unfortunately a course close to cosmetic science was not available in my home country!

    I studied Biochemistry. During the 3rd year of study, I got bored of cellular architecture and traffic. Good lord!! While flipping through a science journal, I came across a page that read “role of a cosmetic chemists” and some info about a cosmetic science conference. I read further down and came across “obtain a SCC Diploma in Cosmetic Science —venue South Africa”. I was encouraged to go through my last year of boredom joyfully.
    I obtained the SCC diploma. After which I enrolled for a semester overseas program at the University of North London for sensory analysis and drug delivery.
    I worked in a cosmetic technical support company, where I gained a lost of knowledge about lip and skin care products. I am presently trying my hands on developing a speciality product for the lip and skin care.

  5. Avatar
    Johann Wiechers

    Hi Perry,

    I just listened to the suggestions made on how to create less expensive formulations. While the answers provided are helpful, they forget the biggest cost-saving that people vcan make. What is the most expensive ingredient in your formulation? The active ingredient. How much should we put in? Remarkably, the answer is almost always 3%! It does not make any difference whatever it is, suppliers want us to apply 3%. If too active, they will make us a solution of which we will need to add 3%. But in reality that is rubbish. I can make you a formula with 20% of an active that is not effective, yet a formula with 0.2% that is active. Concentration means nothing; it is a concept of the 20th century. Skin delivery is determined by the thermodynamic activity of an active ingredient which is – roughly – the fraction of its maximum solubility. So, by playing with the polarity of your formulation, you can affect the solubility and so the skin delivery. That is what “Formulating for Efficacy” is all about. I have shown to have exactly the same effect of the same active included in a formulation at 2% and 1%. Do not just take out 50% of the active, take out 50% of the oil phaswe (in case of a lipophilic active). That’s why my website (www, is called “Less is More”!

    And by the way, we do deliver much deeper than the stratum corneum. Most biologically active ingredients need to go to the epidermis or accasionally the dermis…. 🙂

    Johann Wiechers

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