Article by: Perry Romanowski

Today we have a very special show. We have an interview with our first returning guest, Dr. Johann Wiechers. I recorded the interview in May but it took a little time to edit and post. Sadly, Johann passed away on November 5. I was uncertain whether I should post the interview but I’ve been informed that Johann had a great passion for this formulation software and wants it to thrive and flourish.

We’re going to skip the usual features of the show and just focus on the interview.

But before we get to the interview, I wanted to share with you some memories that I have of Johann.

I first became aware of Johann while reading his last page article in the IFSCC journal. Johann was the president of the organization at the time. His articles were always interesting and thought-provoking. Typically, they would be some form of a puzzle or challenge that would make you think. I recall one had to do with calculating the height of the skin cells that a person sloughed off over the course of their lives. It was fun. What I appreciated about Johann’s work was that he injected science into the cosmetic industry. That doesn’t happen too often.

Johann also published some excellent articles in Cosmetics and Toiletries. I was particularly impressed with his essays on whether cosmetic science should be considered junk science or not. That was the topic of our first interview. Johann gave a great defense of cosmetic science and cosmetic scientists.

I only met Johann this year in Milan at the inCosmetics trade show. He was very personable and kind. He was also rushing here and there as he had a number of talks and meetings scheduled for the event. I was happy that we got a few moments to speak. One thing that was clear about Johann was that he was extremely passionate about cosmetic science and truly interested in teaching. He gave a number of talks which have been well received all over the world. He was an international rock-star of the cosmetic world.

We lost a great teacher and ambassador of the industry too soon.

I’m going to miss Johann.


In this interview, we spoke with Johann about his software called Formulating for Efficacy. It’s an extremely interesting approach to cosmetic formulating in that the program helps you pick exactly the levels of the actives you need to optimize the performance of the formula you are creating. It really is an interesting technology.

Dr Johann Wiechers got his degree in 1989 at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, in the subject of skin penetration enhancement. After working a number of years at Unilver Research in the UK, he joined Uniqema in Gouda, The Netherlands, in 1995 where he had global responsibility for the company’s skin R&D as their Skin R&D Director. In 2007, he was appointed Visiting Professor at the University of London, School of Pharmacy, Brunswick Square, London. Later that year, he founded JW Solutions, where he worked as an independent consultant for cosmetic science in the field of his main scientific interests: formulation optimization, cosmetic claim substantiation, non-invasive skin bioengineering, skin sensory techniques, clinical trial design, skin penetration and biostatistics.

Show notes:
JW Solutions


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.


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    Arnel Montero

    Dr. Johann is a pharmacist by profession, and I, myself is a pharmacist by profession. When he came and visit our country, Philippines we were truly honored to sit in his lecture on cosmetic science. It was the first I got to see a scientist when in fact I was already been amazed by his lecture from one of our books back in college (Physical Pharmacy). He will be really missed by the industry!

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    i have met dr.Johann last incosmetics Milan and i attended his lecture…. i think he is a loss specially that his reaserches is not all done and the all the information is not completed yet… i hope i will get the software he talked about…

    i hope the software is completed and available in a way to help in his memorium…

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    Perry, I am very moved that you decided to go on with the interview, THANK YOU! It made me really sad to hear that Johann passed away. He was a great scientist and I will miss his advice and thoughtful words dearly. I will also hope that the FFE wil continue its development, I am already on the list for trying it out.

    Johann was a true inspiration, rest in peace.

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      Thanks Eliza. I agree, he will be missed.

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