How Cosmetic Chemist AJ Addae Got Her Start

How Cosmetic Chemist AJ Addae Got Her Start

Author : Nina Huynh Photography : Jovian MoonsDate:

Anyone who has ever gotten to know our very own AJ Addae (@dropdeadaj) and all the incredible things she has accomplished in her career thus far, knows that she is a scientific powerhouse. Not only is she MULTI’s Co-founder and Chief Brand Officer, but she is also a sought after cosmetic chemist, formulator and scientific researcher. We wanted to know more about how AJ got into the skin space and what she wants from this industry when it comes to inclusion and diversity.

What's your favorite skincare product? 

My favorite product is anything I develop in my lab. But if I had to reeeeally answer, I'm a huge fan of micellar water, specifically the LaRoche Posay one.

How did you get into the skin space? 

I got into skin science when I was 11 and first experiencing breakouts and did a whole bunch of research (also at the time, published a bunch of DIY skin product WikiHows that were getting tens of thousands of views at the time???). But then I picked it up again in college when I did an internship at a skincare company and really got to see the ins and outs of the modern beauty space. I got to work in partnership with really cool brands that I'd always admired. I also found it to be an industry where you get to exercise both creative and scientific processes, which is right up my alley. In college, I did research and sunscreen formulation in a biomaterials design lab, and since then, my scientific career has been situated in cosmetic chemistry. Now, I own an R&D lab (@sula.labs).

As a Black skincare professional, what do you want for this industry in terms of inclusion? Furthermore, what are some efforts that you've seen centering inclusion that make you feel seen in this industry? 

I really like seeing young folks around my age doing really cool things in terms of scientific discovery. More Black folks in the lab/the research space means more products and clinical trials developed with us and our culture in mind. It's really simple, but I feel seen when I find other Black chemists and research scientists and get to be in community with them.

 What makes you feel good? 

Eating some Thai food and watching an episode of Girlfriends is almost always guaranteed to make me feel good.