Article by: Perry Romanowski

Here’s a story suggesting that scientific skin care is a great opportunity for cosmetic brands as it is poised for future growth.  The article then goes on to say that “scientific skin care”

“…scientific skin care draws on ‘alternative’ (also known as ‘natural’) medical traditions…from around the world”

They then go on to say that

“in alternative medicine the natural and the scientific are not mutually exclusive concepts…”

This is completely baffling to me.  Calling alternative medicine scientific is ludicrous.  Alternative medicine is specifically treatments that have not been proven to work!  If these were proven to work they wouldn’t be called ‘alternative medicine’ they would just be called ‘medicine’.

Scientific Skin Care

The market research firm that put together this report may be correct that skin care companies can benefit from adopting ingredients and techniques popular in alternative medicine, but they shouldn’t confuse popular with scientific.

This is the cosmetic industry and people are not necessarily interested in buying the best scientific skin care.  They want the best story.  This is why people spend hundreds of dollars on skin lotions that contain gold particles or caviar, or even superoxide dismutase.  There is nothing scientific about these ingredients, or at least they haven’t been proven to be effective from topically applied treatments.  And just because they sound scientific and people buy them doesn’t mean they are.

You know what is scientific skin care?  Moisturizers like Petrolatum, Mineral Oil or Dimethicone.  Humectants like Glycerin or Propylene Glycol.  These are the things that make skin moisturizers work.  Not gold or caviar or ancient herbs or acupuncture.  Petrolatum might not be pretty but it is science.

Alternative medicine is not.

As a formulator you should never lose sight of what is actually working. And don’t fall in love with any specific ingredient.

“The first principle (of science) is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool”

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One comment

  1. Bob

    “Don’t lose sight of what is actually working.” This is the thing I always mention to myself.

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