Communicating beauty science effectively is so important, and many scientists don’t quite appreciate or understand how difficult it is to fight misinformation online. “I think in science there has always been this sense that if you get the science correct, your job is done,” Dr. Wong explains. “But that’s not going to help in this social media landscape where people are pushing misinformation and using every tool at their disposal, actually, for shock value.”
Combating Misinformation Takes Specific Skills
Indeed, the popular hunger for a better understanding of beauty products in some ways invites misinformation. Bad advice is rampant across social media and online forums. For many people, Dr. Wong is their go-to expert (whether they know her in person, online, or parasocially) to deconstruct these myths. “A lot of the time I’ll get tagged in reels or people will send me reels with misinformation,” she says.
Even just a few years ago, Dr. Wong would have been alone in correcting this information. Now? “These days, half the time when I go to it, there’s already someone correcting 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 across social media. Rather than see them as competition, Dr. Wong wants to help them succeed. It’s part of why she started Beauty Scicomm along with beauty scientist Jen Novakovich. Of course, communicating beauty science effectively is the goal, but they also want to build up other creators. “We want to create a bit of a community so we can help other science communicators on beauty get started and get established more easily,” she explains.
Really, the key to Dr. Wong’s success, and the reason so many people go to her with their beauty science questions, is that she’s asking smart questions and providing answers in a way that’s never condescending. Beauty science is hard, with a lot of structural barriers that make it difficult to discuss authoritatively. But Dr. Wong has overcome these challenges and built a successful business around science communication, all while inspiring a new generation to go to school and become beauty scientists themselves.