Sometimes you come across an extraordinary person doing extraordinary things. Erica, a senior-level chemist at Averr Aglow, certainly fits the bill.
From skincare to cosmetics, she has experience in all things science, and she's using her superpower to make the process behind skincare accessible to all. In a recent interview with her, she shared her thoughts on natural-based skincare, women in science, and why working for Averr Aglow was her dream job.
- Shiloh: How did it all start?
- Erica: When I was in college, I read an article by Bobbi Brown and how she created her own brand. I thought that was amazing, but I wanted to know if it really was as fun as it seems. What did the actual day-to-day look like? So, after talking with my friend (whose mom was the head chemist at Revlon for years), I became curious and just got into the industry. I spent four years getting my bachelor's and 2+ years getting a master's. And you know what? It is actually as cool as it sounds! I love what I do.
- Shiloh: Why Averr Aglow?
- Erica: I'm creative and wanted the opportunity to express that more. I've worked at big brands, and there wasn't a lot of freedom. The product doesn't always come first at big brands, especially if it's a clean product.
Clean products are more of a challenge than products that aren't clean. And formulating clean products with a specific focus on natural ingredients makes it even more challenging. But, I like the challenge. When I first started applying, I knew that I wanted to work for a clean brand. The ultimate deciding factor, however, for choosing Averr Aglow was honestly the people. Everyone was genuinely happy to work here. You can go to other places, and people put on a smile for you. You don't really know if it's real, though. I saw people hustling at Averr Aglow because they were passionate about what they were doing. It didn't seem like they were just working to get a paycheck. After meeting Cami and Levi, I knew that they cared about their employees without the overly corporate feel. That made the difference for me.
Another big factor is the way we, at Averr Aglow, make products. We don't care about the price of the product. At other big brands, it's about not going over a specific price per product. So, they won't use certain active ingredients that are more expensive. Or they'll put just a sprinkle of the ingredient in the product so that they can say it's included. It's not always in the amount that's advertised. At Averr Aglow, however, Cami is always saying to put more in... use more. It's so crazy! You usually don't hear that as a chemist. It's the most creativity I've ever had at any place, and the products are a steal compared to what other brands charge.
Everything is efficacious here. We're never just claiming stuff to try and sell it to you.
- Shiloh: What Makes Clean Skincare Different?
- Erica: With clean skincare, you can feel better when it comes to the environment. Non-clean skincare has a lot of micro-plastics in them so that you can get the matte finish or the soft feel. If you buy clean, you don't have to worry about that. Also, people's skin reacts differently. With non-clean products, the skin can have unforeseenreactions. So if you're more conscientious of what you're putting on your skin, our products are for you.
- Shiloh: Why is it important as a woman for you to be doing this kind of work?
- Erica: When you go into the science field, it's more male-dominated. So, essentially, you're in a field with more males, but you're making makeup and skincare for mostly women. Women need to do this kind of work and contribute their voices. It's very empowering, especially for women in the field. At other places, they'll say, "It's just makeup or skincare. You're not saving the world." But to make someone feel beautiful is very rewarding. It's what I care about the most.
When a new product launches, I love to see the comments and how it affects people for the better.
- Shiloh: What is your favorite Averr Aglow product, and why?
- Erica: I like the nectar. I don't necessarily use it like other people because I don't have a lot of acne. But I like to use it as a makeup remover, and I just rinse it off. It feels nice, it takes off the makeup so well, and my skin feels amazing afterward. When I started working here, my husband said, "Your skin's glowing!" I loved that!
- Shiloh: Who is Averr Aglow, and who is it for?
- Erica: We're a brand that cares about our consumers. We also want to give our customers confidence in their skin. Everyone is beautiful, but you can't deny that when your skin is acting nice, you feel even more beautiful. It helps you with confidence and in other aspects of your life. Male skin, female skin, the products can help everyone.
- Shiloh: What is next for you?
- Erica: Averr Aglow-wise, we have so many products coming soon, and it's exciting. We will also have lab techs from time to time from a local high school come in. We're going to work with them, and I'll be a mentor. I am very excited about that! I get to share my passion for these things, and I can tell that they are really excited too. I can remember myself in their shoes. I can see that spark in them, and I want to keep it alive.