3 mins


Cigdem Kemal Yilmaz, chemical engineer and founder of the Skin Masterclass Pro course, talks to Kezia Parkins about the importance of scientific skincare education and how she uses social media to inform

Where do you see gaps in scientific skincare knowledge?

“Consumer demand for advanced skincare knowledge, both in retail and salon settings, is continuing to increase post pandemic. However, for the most part, accessibility to good quality, easily understandable information for consumers is lacking.

“Consumers have the right to know and learn about the ingredients in their skincare products with ease, and without the need for a lengthy deep dive into clinical research papers, or having to decode confusing terminology that can be overwhelming and misleading.

“They are looking for specialist knowledge in stores and in salons from professionals who can help them customise their skincare routine for maximum results to reduce product and financial wastage. The often loose and confusing terminology around brand marketing can limit creativity when it comes to skincare formulations. Clear guidelines and rules should be given to brands and retailers so that terminologies such as ‘clean beauty’ and ‘natural’, for example, and any associated claims can be fully substantiated to avoid confusion.”

What are your secrets to social media success?

“My two rules for social media are consistency and content. I try to post a minimum of five times a week with engaging, shareable, high-quality content – our average reach is 1.4 million a month on Instagram, and we have just reached over 100,000 followers on that platform alone.

“I find infographics to be a very powerful way of educating on the topics of skin and skincare, as people can save the information and refer to it at a later date. I try to keep the information detailed but in a very simplified way.”

Which skincare myth do you want to shout about from the rooftops?

“I think that there is a general misconception that synthetic ingredients are bad and natural alternatives are good or better than their synthetic counterparts. I’d like to see more around this subject so that consumers are educated and can understand that synthetic ingredients are needed in skincare to aid in formulation stability and effectiveness. Active ingredients will always be more potent and effective than their natural alternatives.”

Which five products or ingredients could you not live without?

“There are so many amazing ingredients out there, but my essentials would have to be 0.05% tretinoin for firming and pigmentation management; 5-8% lactic acid for gentle exfoliation and hydration; 3% sodium ascorbyl phosphate (vitamin C derivative) for reducing inflammation – especially useful when I have sensitised skin from hormonal acne; and 5% niacinamide because it’s such a multi-functional ingredient. It stimulates collagen production and helps with uneven skin tone, it’s a very strong antioxidant, and it slows down melanin transfer to top layers of the skin.

“I also always keep a product containing 2% salicylic acid and 5% benzoyl peroxide as a backup in my skincare cabinet because I am acne prone, and I find these two ingredients together help regulate sebum production and act as an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory agent.”

What can show visitors expect from your talk at PB London?

“My talk, ‘Mastering scientific skin consultations to grow your revenue’, will cover the importance of science in skincare education and how it will help you scale your business. I will be sharing insights about key active and supporting ingredients, how you can streamline your skincare consultation process both face-to-face and in a virtual crowd, as well as how I use social media to draw progression lines within my business. I can’t wait to meet everyone in person there.”

See Kemal Yilmaz’s session at 1pm on March 5. For the full Skin & Advanced Treatments stage programme and to book, visit

This article appears in March 2023

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This article appears in...
March 2023
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