Communicating beauty science effectively is very important, and many scientists don’t really appreciate or understand how difficult it is to combat misinformation online. “I think in science there’s always been a feeling that if the science is right, our job is done,” says Dr. Wong. “But that’s not going to help in this social media landscape where people are spreading misinformation and using every tool at their disposal, in fact, to shock.”
Combating misinformation requires specific skills
Indeed, the popular thirst for a better understanding of beauty products, in some ways, invites misinformation. Bad advice is commonplace on social media and online forums. For many people, Dr. Wong is the go-to expert (whether they know her in person, online, or parasocially) for deconstructing these myths. “Most of the time I get tagged in reels or people send me reels with misinformation,” she says.
Only a few years ago, Dr. Wong would have been the only one to correct this information. NOW? “These days, half the time when I go there is already someone fixing the reel in the credits. It’s so nice to see, compared to, I don’t know, five years ago, when I felt very alone.
The good news is that there are more and more science communicators on social media. Rather than seeing them as competitors, Dr. Wong wants to help them succeed. That’s part of why she started Scicomm Beauty with beauty scientist Jen Novakovich. Of course, the goal is to effectively communicate the science of beauty, but they also want to educate other creators. “We want to create a sort of community so that we can help other science communicators in beauty get started and establish themselves more easily,” she explains.
In reality, the key to Dr. Wong’s success, and the reason so many people ask her about the science of beauty, is that she asks intelligent questions and provides answers in a way that is never condescending. The science of beauty is difficult, with many structural barriers that make it difficult to discuss with authority. But Dr. Wong overcame these challenges and built a successful business around science communication, while inspiring a new generation to go to school and become beauty scientists themselves.