Where Can You Learn About Skincare?

I very often get asked where I get my skincare knowledge from by people who want to delve deeper into the topic. Truth is I consume so much beauty related media – podcasts, YouTube videos, books, blogs, articles, papers, social media posts – that at some point it became really hard to point out what my sources are.

At this point what I pick up from an interview on a podcast might register entirely different to me than it does to someone else, because I already have so much context that might not match others’. Taking that into account, I have made a diverse list of ‘sources’ that I hope will have a couple of matches for anyone curious about skin health and cosmetic products.

1. The Beauty Brains Podcast

Having this podcast be number one on the list was a very conscious decision. I highly recommend this podcast to everyone who’s into cosmetics. It’s a show where two cosmetic scientists (Previously Randy and Perry, now Perry and Valerie) answer consumer questions and discuss industry news. Not just skincare; everything from hair to makeup to body care.

The hosts have significant experience in the industry, and their perspective is one that’s not widely available in the media. As consumers we mostly have access to either marketing or user perspectives. It’s not often you hear from more technical personnel, as they usually have nothing to gain from publishing their insight outside their jobs and have contractual limitations.

We all know having influencers educate us on products is profitable to companies, but having scientists basically destroy the magic of marketing does not make very many people in the industry happy. That’s exactly what I think makes publications like these so important.

The Beauty Brains podcast protects consumers from a culture where knowledge is highly marketing based. It completely changed my perspective on cosmetic products, and I hope it will do the same to you. You can visit their website here.

2. Gothamista’s YouTube channel

Gothamista, or Renee, is a skincare focused YouTuber with over 10 years experience in both the buying and development side of products. The nice thing about her channel is how much she is a part of the consumer culture herself: she uses the products and knows the trends.

Renee’s videos were my very first introduction to skincare, and I find her content newbie-friendly. She reviews products and discusses tips on usage. It’s low effort to watch, and she speaks very calmly. You can visit her channel here.

3. “The Skincare Bible” by dr. Anjali Mahto

Anjali Mahto is a medically trained consultant dermatologist, spokesperson for the British Skin Foundation and executive committee member of the British Cosmetic Dermatology Group. She’s the real deal. In her book, The Skincare Bible, she gives you a crash course on treating your skin with either cosmetic products or professional treatments.

This book is a perfect gift for anyone who is new to skincare, and currently mostly relies on the advice of salespeople and commercials. It doesn’t go in depth into the science, it tells you as much as you would need to treat your skin problems. It’s like a practical guide, a well written summary of the limits and possibilities of treating certain skin concerns.

There were some minor things that surprised me, like the fact that she does not mention patch testing or how she equates acne to oily. (What about people with dry skin and acne?) Overall though, it’s a good foundation to have. The book is available in multiple languages.

4. The Breaking Beauty Podcast

Photo by Norman Wong

Breaking Beauty is a podcast by two Canadian beauty editors, where each episode (at least, most of the time) they interview the founder of an iconic brand. Brands like Glossier, MAC, Drunk Elephant, The Ordinary, Anastasia – but also Invisibobble, CND Shellac and BeautyBlender.

Founders tell stories you otherwise might never hear in long conversations about the development of their brands. If you’re interested in products and brands, this podcast adds a whole new layer to your experience as a consumer. If you’re only interested in treatment and practical tips, this one might not be for you. It’s definitely mentioned, it’s just not the core focus. You can visit their website here.

5. Lab Muffin Beauty Science

Michelle is a science educator with a PhD in chemistry, who creates content on multiple platforms to teach her audience about cosmetic science. Her content is more in depth and (obviously) scientific, but her focus is on informing the masses in ways anyone would understand.

She writes blog posts, shares pictures and videos on Instagram and has a bunch of YouTube videos. I recommend Michelle’s content to anyone who is more interested in the how and why when it comes to cosmetics.

6. Fat Mascara Podcast

Sort of similar to Breaking Beauty, Fat Mascara is a podcast by two beauty editors where noteworthy people in or related to the cosmetic industry are interviewed every episode. The main difference would be the fact that there is a lot less focus on the story of a brand, it’s more of a weekly beauty chat with a special guest interview.

This one’s very broad, you get a bit of all sides of the industry. It’s a combination of trend discussion, user stories, industry stories and practical tips. You can visit their website here.

7. Caroline Hirons

Caroline is an esthetician and skincare expert who is pretty much on every platform – including TV! Her website is a great resource and she frequently updates Instagram and YouTube. She’s mostly known for skincare product reviews, and it’s not uncommon for people to await her approval before they’re willing to purchase something. You can visit her website here.

8. Liah Yoo

My final recommendation is Liah Yoo, a Korean beauty blogger and the owner of Krave cosmetics. With prior experience in the industry, she creates blog posts and YouTube videos about skincare. It’s not just science or just product, it’s both! While she is passionate about product, she is also well informed on the theory behind it and the practical aspect of treating skin. Her content is more all-round. You can visit her website here.

But there’s more.

While all of this content is wonderful, your attitude in handling information is just as important to really gain proper knowledge. Whenever sources are mentioned, it’s good to visit the sources directly. Read the research papers content creators refer to, visit the linked websites. Discussion groups on Facebook and Reddit can be helpful, but they can also be full of BS. Be skeptical, and most of all listen to your body above anything. It’s not about following one method, as you will quickly find there is no one correct answer, it’s about using the information to find what works for you.

– Jaz

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