Consumers want to be thoroughly informed about what their putting on their skin and in their bodies now more than ever. If you’ve ever looked up every single ingredient within a product or wondered what each of these will do for your skin, then you are in for a treat. Thankfully for Instagram’s existence, we can now connect with brands and industry experts from all over the globe. Beauty experts versed in the science of it all have become increasingly popular—whether that means measuring the pH of products, myth-busting a brand’s claims, breaking down ingredients, and cutting out the fear-mongering.
We pulled together a few of them that will help you decide what works for you, based on studies, and proper scientific evidence, taking away the marketing jargon. Rest assured, you will leave their feeds/blogs/YouTube channels all clued up and educated on anything from acids, serums, and diet in conjunction with skincare. They’ve also shared why science-based beauty on their pages is important to them, as well as some of their favorite products.
Dr. Anjali Mahto
Who she is: British board-certified dermatologist Dr. Anjali Mahto is someone to follow if you’re interested in thorough research, no frilly details, and straight-to-the point reviews. Learn about everything from food and acne, PCOS, sunscreen, and much more with her very detailed Instagram posts. Anjali is very passionate about sharing proper information on her page: "The most important thing for me and my page is for it to be a genuine resource of honest, credible expert information combined with the clinical experience of having seeing thousands of patients over the years” she explains. For an even more thorough dive into skincare, read her book, The Skincare Bible. She also shares her skin journey on her Instagram and discusses acne and hyperpigmentation from a personal perspective.
Her favorite products: "NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer ($30) to hide my spots and blemishes. Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser ($39) to keep my skin decongested and Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Suprême Mascara ($26)."
Who she is: Hannah English is an Australian blogger who works in drug research after studying biomedicine and pharmaceutical science. Sun protection is her main focus, as she's created a hashtag with American blogger Matt (@dirtyboygetsclean) #todaysSPF, to encourage readers to apply and share their sunscreen every single day. “I love sharing sun safety reminders—my dad has had four skin cancers removed so far, and I worry about him, and I don’t want that for anyone else,” Hannah told us. She’s done a demo on how to re-apply a liquid sunscreen over your base during the day, and how much foundation you’d actually need to be protected from the sun. “I started researching and sharing because I was sick of brands’ advice on products just not working for me and my acne, because either my skin was too sensitive, or it was bad advice,” Hannah said on the content that she shares on her Instagram.
Her favorite products: "If I had to choose one product, it would be Ultra Violette Supreme Screen, SPF50+ because if you don’t use sunscreen, you might as well not bother with any other skincare, right?"
Who she is: Michelle Wong is a Sydney-based blogger and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry. She has a very informative exfoliation guide as well as many myth-busting posts on Instagram, her Lab Muffin blog, and YouTube channel. Her infographics are a quick way to get to grips with her work, very informative, and always well researched. “The most important thing [of what I share] is to make sure it's both accurate and accessible by a lay audience without a strong science background,” Michelle said of her scientific-focused beauty content. She has also shared an easy Vitamin C DIY recipe.
Her favorite products: 0.05% Tretinoin
Who he is: Carmine Montalto is a New York-based blogger and YouTuber with over 25 years of experience in beauty and skincare and is here to demystify skincare for his audience in a fun and informative way. He offers very in-depth reviews of products on his Instagram, blog, and YouTube channel. Follow his hashtag #menwhomask for his masking reviews. “My whole objective in writing about skincare is to demystify what people have been told by the big beauty brands. I worked for many years 'on the inside' and I know first-hand that so much of what marketers say is only loosely based on truth—and often only part of the story. That’s particularly true about ingredients. Take peptides, for instance. We know they’re key components of the skin so; logically, it makes sense that it would be beneficial to apply them to the skin. The problem is that most peptide molecules cannot penetrate the skin barrier very far—and certainly can’t go where they’d be most helpful. It’s simple physics. I learned the truth about peptides from a rocket scientist.”
His favorite products: "If I had to choose one product of all the skincare I have in my skincare vault, it would be the NIOD Survival 30. It’s simply the best sunscreen I’ve ever used—and it’s much, much more than SPF. It’s powered by an antioxidant matrix that protects skin and promotes skin health."
Stephen Alain Ko
Who he is: Toronto-based formulating chemist Stephen Alain Ko shares studies and journals while talking about common myths and skincare topics like sunscreen, dairy for skin, and more across his Instagram and blog. “I think the most important thing for me is getting people familiar with the basics of science. Be that chemistry, biology, or physics. That way, they have the tools to tell the science from the pseudoscience,” Ko told us, which is exactly why every product review he does is connected to science.
His favorite products: "Sunscreen with good UVA protection would be my top recommendation."
Who she is: Chow is a skin enthusiast based in New York, previously a beauty-buyer and product developer. She’s offering everything from detailed product descriptions to budget-friendly products, with her skincare-focused YouTube channel, blog, and Instagram. She often interviews fellow experts and brand founders on her channel too. "I’m not a scientist, but the science in skincare is important where it helps me navigate product choices. I don’t need to know how a product is formulated but paying attention to certain details such as the pH of a cleanser has been a game-changer for having a much healthier and more balanced skin condition. Using the wrong, high pH cleanser, even the ones marketed for my skin, turned out to be the cause of a multitude of issues, including my rosacea.” She continues, “Not to mention, the verbiage and marketing around skincare products causes so much confusion, I like to help people figure out what it all means. Not all products marketed as vitamin C or retinol are the same, contain the same active ingredients, or have the same effect on the skin.
Her favorite products: "Near impossible for me to answer. Don’t make me choose! The answer to this would frequently change but at the present moment, I know I should say something responsible like sunscreen but it would probably be an oil serum."
Who she is: Charlotte Cho is a licensed aesthetician and beauty expert from California and the person behind three very successful brands. Soko Glam (the largest Korean beauty website in the U.S. founded in 2012), The Klog (a website offering skincare advice and K-beauty reviews), and Then I Met You (a skincare brand with two cleansers, a balm and a gel, for the perfect double-cleanse every time). Cho is the author of The Little Book of Skincare and is also working on her second book, which will focus on the Korean concept of ‘jeong’. She wants to show that the Korean perspective on skincare can benefit everyone understanding their skin and how to treat it. "Education is the most important factor when I’m interacting with our community,” Cho told us. “At the heart of every post, every comment or every interaction, I try to shed light on important skin care topics that will arm people with the confidence they need to take care of their skin. At the end of the day, people are looking to us as a trusted resource—that every product is hand-selected to meet their needs and provide real solutions to their skin concerns. It’s because of this philosophy that I am able to connect and engage with our community in a very meaningful way.”
Her favorite products: "Neogen Real Vita C Powder ($20). Use sunscreen to protect sensitized skin after Vitamin C usage."
Who she is: Zarrine is a pharmacist from London, and her thorough reviews of makeup and skincare are what you need to make up your mind on any product. “I would say that the most important thing for me when I share science focused details is that my facts are backed by evidence, whether it's clinical studies or published journals. I try and apply this to my love of skincare,” Zarrine told us.
Her favorite products: "My favorite product would have to be retinol! It's such a well-studied ingredient it's the best thing I've ever put on my face. Currently, I'm using Drunk Elephant’s A-Passioni Retinol Cream ($74)."
Gloria Lu and Victoria Fu
Who they are: The Los Angeles-based duo behind Chemist Confessions, Gloria Lu and Victoria Fu met while working as chemists at L’Oréal, after having studied chemical engineering. They want to offer scientific beauty advice in a fun way, including sweet illustrations within their feed and blog. Follow their hashtag #decodethatIL for product trials and more. They also have their own product line that includes their tried and tested ingredients. “This sounds a little cheesy, but we try to keep science light-hearted and fun. Our goal with the blog was to create a safe space for people to come with questions and try to help navigate the very confusing, saturated skincare world. We also try to weigh in as objectively as we can on topics, and leave it up to our readers to come to their own conclusions. Skincare is very personal, and what works for one person may not work for another. So, we thought what we could do is just share our chemist perspective on these ingredients being used. Hopefully, by familiarizing our readers with these ingredients, people will find ingredient lists less foreign," they share.
Their favorite products: "Aquafix Water Gel ($35). I may definitely be a bit biased, but this is truly a staple in my routine now no matter what. And that’s a big deal since we have to try so many new products all the time," Lu shares. Fu adds: "La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50 ($33.50). I have oily/combo skin, so it’s light enough for daily wear without making me look overly shiny by the end of day."
Who she is: Farah is a London-based beauty blogger with a beauty therapy and cosmetic science background. Her infographics are super useful for everyone interested in beauty, from beginners to seasoned skincare enthusiasts. On her blog, she dissects ingredients and products backed with studies and offers advice about acne, hyperpigmentation, and melasma and the key ingredients to look out for. “Being a woman of color constantly struggling with acne (even after two courses of Accutane), managing discolorations from acne marks and hyperpigmentation is one of my top skin concerns so I do like hardworking formulas that can address a few skin concerns simultaneously,” Farah told us.
Her favorite products: "Elta MD Tinted SPF 46 UV clear ($37), which has the inclusion of 5% Niacinamide, making it great for blemish prone and hyperpigmented skins. iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum ($148) which combines 15% LAA with 1% Retinol and Arbutin. It works to brighten and protect my skin while simultaneously tackling blemishes, dark spots, and acne scarring."