Article by: Perry Romanowski

Hey all, just a quick note to tell you I’m working on a talk about the cosmetic industry and skepticism. I’ll be giving it tonight (11/10/09) at the Midwest SCC meeting in Chicago.

When I’m done with the slides, I’ll post them here for everyone to review. In truth, the slides won’t be much good as they are mostly pictures, but if you’re interested feel free to download as you like.

Skepticism talk

The outline for the talk is as follows.

I. Review of beliefs about Beauty Products & other things
II. How we know what we know
III. How to practice skeptical thinking & Why
IV. Detecting beauty industry BS
V. Conducting experiments
VI. Avoiding logical fallacies

I’m trying to keep it short and fun so I might have to axe a few topics.

But I encourage everyone to think and behave skeptically. Remember, reality doesn’t care what you want to believe. It is what it is.



  1. Avatar
    Jeffrey Ehlinger

    I read in the Jan 2014 SCC Ontario newsletter that you gave this presentation for their chapter. I Googled “Skepticism and the Cosmetic Industry” and was please to see that it took me to this Chemists Corner link. But I tried to download the PowerPoint presentation with the link above and it didn’t work. Could you check the Dropbox link? I’d love to see the slides. Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      Hello Jeffrey – It should be working now.
      Perry, 44

  2. Avatar
    Robert Zonis

    I liked the powerpoint, you’ve pulled together a lot of the criticisms of cosmetic industry hype into a coherent whole. There is a crying need for this information on the web – I hope you’ll consider recording the audio portion of your presentation and linking it to the powerpoint. I think it probably should be required reading for every beginning chemistry student, at the very least.

    The one thing I’d add is that when one is evaluating a bit of cosmetic hype, particularly if it is trying to look like unbiased information warning the public about some sort of dangerous ingredient, check to see who’s writing the article. If they just happen to be selling a product that makes a big deal out of NOT having the ingredient in question, well…let me put it this way. I wouldn’t believe them if they said the sun was shining without checking it myself.

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