Aurelie Brunel

Innovation Chemist

Company:

Acheson & Acheson

Education:

Engineer Degree in Bio-Industries (Research & Development and Marketing) – FRANCE

Aurelie Brunel(Innovation Chemist)

What made me interested in Science

Since I was a child I’ve always done all sorts of ‘experiments’ on everything and I’ve always been very enthusiastic and curious about all kinds of biology science. Nature and technologies fascinate me, and creation has always been part of my personality. Being interested in science at school and my mum getting me interested in art gave me great tools to become a product innovator. I really found my way as an innovation cosmetic chemist with creativity on one side and the technical science on the other side.

My career so far

When I started my engineering degree, I wanted to develop lipsticks for Chanel but there is so much more in the cosmetic industry! After a few internships across the world and great classes to open my eyes to the industry, I joined Oriflame in Ireland as a sensory science intern. After graduating in France, I worked for Oriflame in the lab in skincare development. Moving to England, I worked for two years for a natural product manufacturer before joining Acheson & Acheson as a development chemist. Since then, I’ve been moved to Innovation Chemist which is an amazing chance. I’ve been given lots of support and kindness from everyone I’ve been working with and I feel very grateful and lucky about that!

Day to day role

Every day is so different and exciting in innovation! From creating totally new textures, attending science seminars, presenting new projects to clients to working on completely breakthrough technologies or even trend analysing, innovation goes across the whole process of product creation. Keeping up with trends and new product launches is mandatory to be able to create new concepts that can be translated into potential products for the different brands Acheson & Acheson is working with. I think the main task for the innovation team is to be able to keep a fresh and open eye on everything to always create something unexpected.

Favourite part of my job

When the team receive a new blue-sky brief from a customer and we build the project from scratch. The research process, and putting the concept together is my favourite part. I also love the fact that we are always learning something new!

Most challenging part of my job

In innovation, we are doing what has never been done before. Creating very innovative products takes a lot of work to become reality, to get it to work at a factory and finally to find the products on the shelves of the shops. It’s a real reflection from everyone on how to make it happen and it takes everybody in the company to support innovation to bring totally new amazing products to life and to be commercially viable.

Most exciting career moment so far

The “wahoo” effect from a customer when they first see the concept: when a successful and very knowledgeable customer still gets surprised by the product and its performance and we’ve created it for them. 

What I find most interesting about the cosmetic science industry

Cosmetics are at the crossing between science, creativity, fashion and consumer behaviour which makes the launch of a simple face cream a very complex but very exciting process. This very reactive industry is constantly evolving with new raw materials and unique products appearing all the time. Passion, knowledge and willingness from people working in the industry is one of its most attractive parts as well.

How I use Chemistry in my job

Chemistry is essential to create a cosmetic formula. We use very complex and high performance raw materials that work together in ways that need to be understood to obtain an effective and stable product. It’s down to the chemist to make the formula work and that’s a great responsibility. Like any science, the development of a product has its own challenges but it’s always a learning process.

If I didn’t do this I would…

If I hadn’t found my way within the cosmetic industry I would probably be a psychologist, an interior designer or even a French cook in China. Who knows?