A.P. Josipa Bukić: From acne to testing the effectiveness of cosmetics

Docentica Josipa Bukić: Od akni do ispitivanja učinkovitosti kozme

Sometimes it is difficult to swim in the sea of ​​all cosmetic ingredients and a wide range of ready-made products, and in those moments expert opinion helps. We talked about all this with assistant professor Josip Bukić, Master of Pharmacy, who has been running the Instagram profile @skincareznanost for almost two years .

What is cosmetics for you? When did that love appear?

I wouldn't really say that it was love at first sight because my first encounter with cosmetics was in my high school days when I was struggling with severe acne, and unfortunately then as consumers we really didn't have the choice of skin care products that we have today. After the initial struggles, during my studies at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry in Zagreb, as part of the Cosmetology course, I learned about active ingredients, as well as methods of making cosmetic products. At the end of my studies, I started working in a pharmacy and for almost 3 years I have been dealing with different skin problems and individual complaints with patients. At my next (and today's) employer, at the Department of Pharmacy of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Split, I have the opportunity for the first time to encounter the development of new products, which is actually quite a frustrating process, because what should turn out well on paper sometimes does not at all in practice be as intended.

Josipa Bukić

Fortunately, the goal of my first research at that time was not to develop a commercially acceptable product, but to test the effectiveness of the product, in such a way that we objectively measure with a scientific research device how much transepidermal moisture loss there is, sebum on the skin, how hydrated, smooth and red the skin is, and whether there are spots (hyperpigmentation). Apart from this professional aspect, of course, I have always liked to try different products (sometimes even beyond my budget), so when the years of my "experience" are added up, I definitely can't complain with the portfolio of all the products I've tried so far.

Now we understand where the idea that the profile is called skincare science came from, but we are interested in where exactly the idea of ​​opening a profile on social networks comes from?

In fact, just opening the profile was a New Year's resolution to have a hobby because I needed something that would contribute to my mental health, which was quite damaged at the time of writing my doctoral dissertation (during the beginning of the pandemic). On the other hand, I have always set aside the largest part of my salary for cosmetics, and only the preparatory ones, because I really rarely wear makeup, so it seemed logical to me that the profile includes photos and reviews of them. Over time, I realized that I am more happy to study scientific literature on the topic of ingredients included in skin care, than the process of photographing products or recording videos, i.e. I am still not good at taking pictures of myself, I seem quite unnatural and stiff, but that's how it is. I feel while filming myself.

Josipa Bukić 2

This is why the profile today, and I believe in the future, is more based on the presentation of evidence-based information from the available scientific literature. Considering that I read the same literature at work while writing scientific papers in the field of effectiveness of ingredients in cosmetics, I actually managed to combine the pleasant with the useful.

You have now accumulated a good number of years of influencer experience. Can you tell us which questions you receive most often in your inbox? What bothers your followers the most and what skin problems do they most often face?

I have to admit that I get a lot of different questions, from how to interpret the results of scientific research to those related to self-treatment of skin conditions or skin care. I try to advise a person to consult a doctor in case of any serious question, and in general I cover public health campaigns on stories, as this is my profession after all. They often contact me when they are suffering from hypersensitivity to certain ingredients or when they have innately sensitive skin, and I must praise you for sharing extremely positive experiences with me about Amino Activator CM, but with a request to launch it also on the market of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, because is truly a fantastic and innovative product.

From your first days as an influencer until today, have trends changed and have you noticed that your followers (and some followers) have progressed and learned something about the basic ingredients?

What I noticed when I put the window for questions on the story is how difficult the questions are becoming and how deeply certain individuals "scratched" into the topic of cosmetics ingredients. I'm also glad when they tell me in their inbox that they managed to learn a lot from my profile, which gives me a special motivation to keep trying and dedicate my free time to imparting knowledge and information based on evidence. This is very nice to me because I believe that I am followed by true lovers of cosmetics for whom skin care and this routine are actually a great passion and a hobby that fulfills them, which is ultimately good for the health of the skin and for the mental health of the individual.

Josipa Bukić 3

What are your predictions for skincare trends? What will be the focus next year?

Somehow, I have the impression that cosmetics on the market, as well as research into new ingredients, have pretty much covered the area of ​​sensitive skin, acne and fine lines/wrinkles, so maybe not next year, but in the future, we could witness an increase in the popularity of ingredients for relaxed facial skin. i.e. cosmetics that would have an effect like a facelift . I definitely see a shortage in the market.

Do you think that your companions, as well as the students with whom you are in daily contact, have become aware of the importance of protecting the skin from harmful solar radiation, or do you think that we all still have to work a lot on it?

I believe they really are, in general today all information is more accessible than when I was a high school student. The bigger problem is the spread of misinformation, but separate articles could be written about that...

And finally, what does Josipa want in the new year?

Can one dream big ? Participate in a project to test the effectiveness of newly developed products on the market, publish these studies in reputable scientific journals and show the general public that we, in small Croatia, can also contribute to a certain skin condition. I will rename the profile to @skincareskromnost! :)

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