Skin Science: Getting to know Cigdem Kemal Yilmaz
Cigdem Kemal Yilmaz, Chemical engineer and founder of the CPD-accredited course Skin Masterclass PRO discusses the importance of scientific skincare education, how she harnesses her social channels to inform and the ingredients she couldn’t live without.
Catch Cigdem on the Skin & Advanced Treatment stage at Professional Beauty North 2023 at 11am on Monday, September 25, 2023, where she will be talking about Skincare Mixology: cocktailing, layering and skin cycling protocols for all skin types.
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, but 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 lengthily deep dive into clinical research papers or having to decode confusing terminology that can be overwhelming (and in some cases misleading).
They are looking for specialist knowledge in-store and salons from professionals who can help them customise their skincare routine for maximum results to reduce product and financial wastage.
This 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 some of your secrets to social media success?
My two rules for social media are consistency and content. I try to post a minimum of 5 times a week with engaging, shareable, high-quality content - our average reach is 1.4 million people 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 the topics of skin and skincare, as people can save the information and refer to it later. I try to keep the information detailed but in a very simplified way.
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I also have an email newsletter that goes out weekly to 4000 skin professionals, worldwide. Here, I elaborate on my Instagram infographics, share my ingredient guidebooks, and highlight success stories of how licensees are financially benefiting from Skin Masterclass® PRO Certification and Licensing Program.
What skincare myths or facts do you want to shout from the rooftops?
I think that there is a general misconception that synthetic ingredients are bad and natural alternatives are good and/or better than their synthetic counterparts.
I’d like to see more around this subject matter, so that consumers are educated to understand that synthetic ingredients are needed in skincare to aid in formulation stability and effectiveness. In addition, active ingredients will always be more potent and effective than their natural alternative.
What five products or ingredients could you not live without?
Great question! 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.
5% niacinamide as it’s such a multi-functional ingredient that anyone can use. It stimulates collagen production, helps with uneven skin tone, a very strong antioxidant, 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 as 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 we expect from your talk at PB North?
My talk at PB North will cover skincare Mixology: cocktailing, layering and skin cycling protocols for all skin types. I can’t wait to meet you all in person there!
To find out a bit more about what you can expect from the session, check out our podcast interview with Cigdem on The Pro Beauty Pod:
Register here to learn from the chemical engineer at Pro Beauty North.