A Cosmetic Scientist Asks Should I Start A Beauty Blog? Six Reasons You Should

should you write a beauty blog

Someone just starting out as a cosmetic scientist has asked me if they should start a beauty blog.  They have been told that they should be careful.  What should they do? 

So should write a beauty blog if you are a cosmetic chemist?

Well for a start, being careful is definitely good advice.  Everything that is put online can stay there for a very long time.  You can get yourself into trouble if you write stuff that is commercially sensitive – or can be perceived as commercially sensitive. The company that pays your wages doesn’t do it for you to reveal their secrets to the rest of the world.  You can also write stuff that doesn’t do you any favours – if you get something wrong for example.  There seems to be an army of people out there just waiting to swoop on a factual inaccuracy.

But having said that there are plenty of good reasons that writing a blog is a great idea.  Sure you have to be careful, but you always have to be careful.  Here are a few of the benefits.

1. A ready made CV.  If you document your progress on your blog, that is going to give anyone who might want to work with you in the future a really good idea of whether you are what they are looking for.

2. Contacts.  A blog is a great way to get to know people who share your interests, people you might otherwise know nothing about.

3. Develop your understanding.  Einstein said if you couldn’t explain something to a six year old, you don’t understand it. What he didn’t say which is equally true, is that trying to explain something to someone else is a really great way of getting to understand it yourself.

4. Memory jog.  I find I often refer back to my blog posts to remind myself of stuff I have forgotten.  I have even googled something, and read one of my own posts without at first realising that it was me that wrote it.  Not everyone is as forgetful as me, but most of us can use some help sometimes.

5. Raise your profile. If you are lucky enough to get a bit of a readership you will probably be as surprised as I am by how many people notice.  It is always helpful if people know your name.

6. Improve your writing.  Regularly putting words together is a great training for improving your writing style.  Anyone wondering when that is going to kick in with my writing style, all I can say is that if you think this is bad you should try reading what I used to write.

In the end, writing a blog isn’t so very different to other things you might do.  The best way to learn is to do it.  You won’t get everything right. but if you work at it with diligence and above all persistence it is a skill that is well worth mastering.  And remember there are 3 billion people online.  There are plenty of readers out there.  Some of them will love what you do.


7 thoughts on “A Cosmetic Scientist Asks Should I Start A Beauty Blog? Six Reasons You Should”

  1. Great points! I would add that having a blog can also get you quoted in the media, score you a book deal, and get you on TV.

    It’s especially important for scientists to write blogs so we can start offsetting all of the unscientific BS that is on the Internet now. Remember anyone can write anything about anything on the Internet. It would be nice if scientific experts were the ones writing about science.

  2. Hey Colin, I was just wondering whether there are any regulations on the amount (percentage) or PH of things like glycolic acid, salicylic, and lactic are allowed in the EU? Same with Retinol and vitamin C? Why do brands put such little concentrations in their products? Are these ingredients expensive? Basically is there a maximum limit to the amount of retinol or glycolic or vitamin c you can put in a product in the EU? Also is azealic acid, or benzoyl peroxide allowed OTC?

    1. Thanks for the questions Sohail, but there is simply too much to answer there. You’ll find the answers to some of those questions in other blog posts and you can find the full EU regulations online.

  3. To Sohail Sabri: I am not a cosmetic chemist but I was interested in your questions about what’s restricted in the EU. From the EU cosmetics regulation pdf, backed up by cosmeticsinfo.org, it looks like Salicylic Acid is restricted to 3% in rinse off products, 2% in leave-on products. Benzoyl peroxide can only be used by nail technicians (for false nails, not their faces) and there is no specified restriction of anything else you mention! Not glycolic, azelaic or lactic acids, not retinol and not vitamin C. Given how rare it is to find these ingredients in significant amounts in EU products, I am quite surprised.

  4. Love the blog Colin! I agree with Perry. We need more actual scientific blogs instead of all the garbage out there. I am not a chemist but I do formulate and have for about 6 years. I have wanted to start a blog for about the past year. I just always want the actual truth. Usually when you see people spouting incorrect or outlandishly false information you can bet they are selling something of their own or promoting it for someone they know for a small fee. It’s really nice to find factual information from people who know the truth.

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