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Kimi Yamada

Formulation Chemist

Innospec Performance Chemicals

Member Since: 2015

Carolina Chapter

What made you pursue a career in the cosmetics/personal care industry?

I started off working for Innospec’s Fuel Specialties division while I was studying Chemistry at the University of Delaware. When graduation rolled around, my supervisor had asked if I had any interest in a full-time position with Innospec’s personal care division. I’ve always had a strong interest in makeup, beauty products, hair products and everything personal care so it sounded like the perfect fit for me. After interviewing with Innospec’s personal care team I knew it would a great opportunity and after four years I can say it was the best decision I could’ve made post-graduation!

What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting out in the industry? 
Since I’m relatively new to the industry myself, I don’t have much advice for my younger self yet. However, what I have learned is that my mentors have years and years of experience in the industry and I try every day to soak up as much information from them as I can. I hope when I look back in the future I can say I took advantage of the knowledge around me and worked hard every day.

What is the favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of being a formulation chemist is developing formulations for customers based on benchmark products. It’s a very rewarding process of trial and error until you’ve created the perfect product. There is no better feeling than submitting a formulation to a customer and hearing that they are impressed and want to move forward with your submission.

What has been your most recent professional accomplishment?

My most recent professional accomplishment has been a culmination of my years at Innospec. I started this job right out of college with no knowledge of personal care formulation and within the last year I’ve really realized how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a formulator. It’s a big accomplishment to take a step back and see all the progress you’ve made.

How has membership in the SCC been of value to you?

Being an SCC member has been very valuable to me in just four short years. I’ve been able to meet and network with so many different people, learn from speakers about various industry topics, and travel to some really awesome places for meetings, trade shows and seminars (Kiawah Island, SC was my 2018 favorite).

What is a fun fact about yourself, outside of the SCC and your professional life?

Outside of my professional life, my passion has always been dance. I started dancing when I was 3 years old and continued to dance competitively all through my life and into college at the University of Delaware. I was the dance team captain and over my four years at Delaware we took home many 2nd place trophies from the national championship.