Everyone remembers first experiences. Do you remember your first kiss? I do and it was pretty sloppy and wet. I swore that I would never do that again.Although my first kiss was one to forget, my first experience of the behind the scenes of the cosmetics industry changed my life. My dream job had been discovered.
My dream job:
As a primary school student we had visited the manufacturing facility of Avon products. It was the large, stainless steel mixing vats on the manufacturing floor, that ignited my drive to purse a career in science. In these vats where I could clearly see my reflection, carefully chosen ingredients were added into formulae. Formulae are like recipes, which create the luscious skin care products that my mother generously applied to her skin.
I fell in love instantly.
Little did I know that I would continue to see my reflection in similar vats one day, as a woman still dreaming as big as that little school girl.
In fact, my dreams led me back through the same doors of Avon, only this time as a cosmetic chemist. First I began with analysing skin care and cosmetic products. I then went onto answering some of the most commonly asked questions, like, “Is it natural?”. Next, I moved onto the purchasing of all the raw ingredients that would go into these products.
Science is challenging and complex:
Consequently, it was there in the laboratories that my appreciation for the challenging complexities faced by skin care scientists began. Like jugglers of the cosmetics world, balancing ingredients needs experience, precision and know how!
Two balls, no problem, no sweat!
But start adding more balls to your juggling act and then let the stress hormones begin producing sweat! Adding more ingredients to a formula, is like adding balls to a juggling act. Start adding active ingredients to your act and it’s like juggling whilst cycling.
Active ingredients are the heroes in a formula. Active ingredient play a major role as they help the product do its job. Similarly, an active ingredient to a formula is like the lead singer to a band.
All the ingredients need to be in harmony with each other. The delivery of the active ingredient must be achieved via the correct mechanism. A product’s performance can only be guaranteed once all the ingredients and the product’s packaging are compatible with each other.
Furthermore, just like a band needs a lead singer, the lead singer needs the back up from the band. The active ingredient needs the rest of the ingredients in the formula in order to achieve a standing ovation.
Sustainability a holistic approach:
Finally, another one of my dreams is for things to last the test of time, which means I am passionate about sustainability.¹ I believe in a holistic approach to life. Holistic meaning that we are all interrelated and interconnected with each other and with our environment.
My passion for sustainability means that whatever product, brand or relationship I focus on, all the ingredients must be in harmony. I am in it for the long haul and so short cuts are not viable.
Now onto one of the most commonly asked question regarding ingredients.
(1) Sustainability defined: Our Common Future, a report published by the World Commission On Environment and Development in 1987, quoted the definition of sustainable development as, “Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”