Consumers are no longer complacently trusting vague claims made by beauty brands. With the prevalence of social media influencers and the internet, brands are being held increasingly accountable for their products. However, there is generally a knowledge gap between the average consumer and the ingredients that are included in products.
What Is a Beauty Science Influencer?
Beauty science influencers are individuals that help consumers navigate fact vs. fiction throughout the beauty industry. They help consumers understand what products to use, and which to avoid by providing information surrounding cosmetics, brand promises, labeling, and ingredients. Although the two terms may intersect — and are often used interchangeably — beauty science influencers take more of a technical, scientifically backed approach towards cosmetics due to their educational background, while beauty influencers offer paid advertising.
Beauty influencers are generally paid by a company to promote their brand or products on social platforms. A beauty influencer may not support the product or even use it, but since they have a large social media platform following, they can monetize by promoting different cosmetics brands through product tutorials or testimonials.
Conversely, beauty science influencers are focused on providing accurate information for consumers surrounding all things cosmetics through their educational expertise. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for cosmetics laws and regulations, but there are many nuances that allow for cosmetic companies to provide false claims or misinformation surrounding their products. This is where beauty science influencers step in.
The Role of Science in Beauty
Science plays a large role in the beauty industry. When you understand the science that goes into creating a product, you can truly understand the different parameters of what you are purchasing. Science can help teach us about the following:
- Ingredient Selection: plant science (botany) helps us understand what plants (and which parts of the plant) are viable for use in cosmetics;
- Ingredient Processing: biochemistry and herbal sciences help us understand the best ways to extract various compounds from plants. It also gives insight into how to combine different extracts in order to create feasible products;
- Ingredient Sourcing: agricultural science helps us understand practical sources for ingredients used to create beauty products;
- Preservatives: biochemistry helps us understand which ingredients have naturally protective properties, and which ingredients need some form of preservative in order to protect from any potential contamination risks;
- Product Testing: toxicology sciences help us understand how to adequately test for safety. Additionally, dermatology sciences help us understand how to measure product benefits such as wrinkle reduction, moisturization, etc.;
- Sustainability: environmental sciences help us understand how to protect the environment, and innovations for ways the beauty industry currently supports sustainability, and ways the beauty industry can improve sustainability.
How Beauty Science Influencers Help Consumers
With a seemingly endless amount of options for beauty products, consumers can feel overwhelmed. There are a few different ways that beauty science influencers can help consumers navigate the vast options for skincare, haircare, makeup, and cosmetics as a whole.
Beauty science influencers can offer educated, scientifically-backed information surrounding various cosmetic products that help point consumers in the right direction. Although many influencers claim to be experts, they may not have the proper education to back this claim. Be sure that the “expert” that you obtain your information has credentials. This can be some form of science degree, or more cosmetics-specific education like makeup artistry school, or individual makeup courses. With a grounding in best practices, contemporary trends, and a powerful network of experts, graduates of these programs are primed to become reliable beauty science influencers.
When you possess valuable, credible information, you can offer reminders and tips surrounding product safety to consumers. This can include dangerous toxins and chemicals to avoid, labeling or phrasing to watch out for, tips surrounding proper usage, and even safety reminders like wearing sunscreen.
As stated by Mark Twain, “a lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” Beauty experts can help the general public avoid the pseudoscience surrounding beauty products. As mentioned above, the FDA regulates cosmetics laws and regulations, but there are ways to make vague claims about products that are not truly tested, or proven to be true. This is especially relevant with so many claims surrounding “cruelty-free,” “vegan,” “organic,” or “natural,” products that it can be difficult to understand the differences between them. Beauty science influencers can help consumers avoid pseudoscience by using their platform to call out or fight against companies that are falsely advertising, or spreading misinformation.
The Future of Science in the Beauty Industry
There are various trends changing the face of the beauty industry, and these trends affect product development, manufacturing, pricing, distribution, marketing, and customer experience.
- Clean Beauty: more and more cosmetic companies are attempting to cater their products towards sustainable practices — this generally includes organic products, vegan products, all-natural products, and cruelty-free products;
- Biotechnology Ingredients: biotechnology cosmetic products are reaching the market to address the blurred lines between cosmetics and medical research. Cosmetic companies do not want beauty products to undergo the same testing and trials that drugs need to go through, but consumers want proof behind the claims that are being made surrounding cosmetics — biotechnology creates a viable solution to help avoid this;
With both trends above, cosmetic companies and beauty brands need to find viable ways to speak to consumers about the science behind their products. This is a great opportunity for beauty science influencers to step in and use their expertise to pass information onto consumers. They can verify claims, and mitigate any misinformation prior to the information reaching the general public.