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SciComm TikTok Creators Championing Cosmetic Chemistry

Published June 6, 2023
Published June 6, 2023
master1305 via Freepik

Thanks to the power of social media, information is readily available to access 24/7/365. However, this also means that anyone can pose as an expert on specific topics, which can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation, especially when it comes to cosmetic formulas and the science that makes up beauty products. As consumer confusion surrounding beauty grows, many are using apps like TikTok as a search engine to visualize their queries. Stepping in to debunk myths, tackle dangerous DIY cosmetic trends, and give some professional perspective to consumer questions are a range of qualified cosmetic chemists, aka SciComms (cosmetic science communicators). What began on Instagram and YouTube with creators like The Eco Well has now expanded to TikTok. With the search term “cosmetic chemist” currently holding 100.2MM views, it is clear that the science-backed input from these experts is a much-needed go-to for consumers. BeautyMatter rounds up TikTok’s cosmetic chemists worth tuning into:

@Chemistconfessions: Duo Gloria and Victoria met while working as skincare formulation chemists for an international company. The pair bonded over their frustrations within the beauty industry, and they left their corporate roles to begin a skincare science blog, Chemist Confessions. Across the blog, they empowered consumers through approachable science education. The blog gained traction and a loyal fanbase, which led to the partners expanding Chemist Confessions into a business that offered skincare solutions, formulated to “leave no skin type nor skin routine behind … and integrate easily into anyone's routine.” After the success of the brand's blog and SKUs, Chemist Confessions released Skincare Decoded: The Book, which features education surrounding cosmetic chemistry and ingredients, “simple & fun enough for the beginner... yet comprehensive enough for even seasoned skinthusiasts.” Chemist Confessions brings the same interactive and informative content to its TikTok page, where one can fine videos covering topics such as “Why you should never use more than 5% niacinamide.” Chemist Confessions stands out for the visually stimulating content, including videos featuring the use of UV reveal scenes, allowing followers to really see the impact of their cosmetics in a close-up fashion.

@Amanda__Lam: For those who would like to know what a day in the life of a cosmetic chemist entails, Amanda Lam's TikTok page provides all the insight needed. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Cosmetic Science, and Formulation Design, as well as a Masters in Cosmetic Science, the chemist has a realm of knowledge to bring to the table. Lam's videos highlight the key responsibilities of a cosmetic chemist as she takes her followers on a journey through her day-to-day job expectations, from safety precautions taken in the lab to creating formulations and packaging orders. The chemist is also famous for her videos that she shares with her 32.4K followers explaining the science behind different ingredients, educating consumers on product results vs marketing. The creator also answers followers' queries through Q&As, touching on topics including how she became a cosmetic chemist and the best route for those who aspire to join the field.

@Javonford: Javon Ford is an LA-based Cosmetic Chemist with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. The creator has a community of over 345K followers on his TikTok page, where he shares his expertise in cosmetics and answers questions. Ford’s videos cover an array of subjects, with popular series including: The Science of Pigments, discussing topics such as carmine usage in lipstick; Industry Secrets, revealing scandals and controversial topics within the beauty industry; and Product Reviews, giving his honest opinion of products said to be backed by science. The chemist is also popular for his artistic makeup looks, one of which recently featured a creative Little Mermaid-style pattern. The creator integrates these fun makeup styles into his educational videos, with the Little Mermaid look being used to explain the best SPF products that are safe to be used over makeup.

@Janethechemist: From ingredient facts, to daily vlogs, and hot takes on the industry from a chemist’s POV, Jane Tsui offers it all. With 148K followers on TikTok, Tsui is highly recommended by fans for her honest approach to cosmetic chemistry, often pushing the narrative that expensive skincare and makeup does not necessarily mean better. The content creator accumulates views quickly through her engaging videos, including effective “budget skincare finds at Target,” with over 42.8K views and counting. Tsui’s honesty is a recurring theme within her posts, many of which include information on her personal body acne journey, reassuring followers that they are not alone with their insecurities, offering her expertise on which ingredients she would recommend to heal such issues. The chemist has also been known to feature others from the community on her page, with videos including “Come shopping with cosmetic chemists,” alongside names such as Javon Ford.

@Labmuffinbeautyscience: Dr. Michelle Wong is a cosmetic chemist with a PhD in chemistry, well known for her TikTok stitch videos (a video response to another video on the app) that address the science behind popular beauty products and hacks. The chemist speaks on subjects including misinformation across the beauty industry and legalities of product information and how this can lead to false marketing claims. A popular video addressing the topic sees the chemist stitch a video discussing medical-grade skincare, to which she responds that medical-grade skincare is "not really a thing" as many companies can simply add the label to their products without any legal testing requirements, leading to consumers being sold products that aren't actually medical grade. Dr. Wong also produces practical experiment videos, showing her followers the reality of beauty product claims, investigating subjects such as silicone buildup from hair products by putting strands under the microscope for comparison.

@Glowbyramon: Also known as Cosmetic Science with Ramón, @Glowbyramon is a cosmetic chemist and esthetician offering his wisdom to his 49.9K followers. The content creator is well-known for his myth-busting educational videos, covering topics such as potentially harmful chemicals in products, touching on how such claims can be used for marketing purposes and not actually impact beauty routines as much as some would believe. Similarly to other creators, the esthetician takes to TikTok to warn users against the dangers of creating DIY products without the correct knowledge and information. Among the creator's most-viewed videos, a clip can be found explaining the risks of making beauty products at home, specifically lip glosses made using eye shadow, a popular trend among the TikTok beauty community. In the video, Ramón explains that doing so is likely to alter the preservation life of both products, leading to harmful bacteria forming that are then transferred onto the body.


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