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Unfortunately in the cosmetics industry, we are plagued with consumer misinformation.

As a scientist, my focus is on evidence-based approaches. I use this in my global consulting activities. And in my work as a Master Formulator of natural cosmetics. But these days we have several competing forces in action.

We live in an era of post-truth. The borders blur between truth and lies, honesty and dishonesty, fiction and nonfiction. Repeat a half-truth enough times on social media, and it becomes a truth.

And then there is the way science is presented to the consumers. Yes, good research is hard, and it’s expensive. And often complex. Brands are under pressure to get products onto retail shelves. Thus, the rise in consumer misinformation.

The greatest pressures these days are in the anti-ageing arena, and popular concepts surrounding beauty and ageing. We see a lot of unproven therapies.

So where does that leave a small brand like Indochine Natural? I see consumers as part of the answer. As a scientist, my aim is to inform. We post articles that consumers can easily understand.

For example, “Are Cosmeceuticals effective? Let’s look at the evidence.”  I hope to get consumers involved to push back against misinformation. Against the noise on social media. And we strongly support Malaysia’s strong regulatory regime for cosmetics.

And our strongest weapon against consumer misinformation? We are a small company. We make skin and hair care. All of our consumers come into contact with our production team. We don’t use salespeople. We encourage questions. Our customers can see products being created.

This is unusual in the skincare industry where most brands use anonymous contract manufacturers. But with consumers becoming better informed by those making products, it helps in the pushback.

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Dr Mike Thair

Master Formulator

Indochine Natural Sdn Bhd

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