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Paige Engerer

Technical Service and Development Scientist 

DOW

Member since: 2014

Michigan

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

It was by chance that I landed in the personal care industry, despite my family having deep roots in the industry already. I started my career out of college as a research chemist, working on exploring new technologies and applications for the element Si. Through some reorganization of the company I worked for, and after learning about the endless possibilities Si had in the personal care space, I just naturally landed here.

What advice would you give your younger self who is just starting out in the industry? 
My younger self needed a bit more confidence. I would highly recommend asking questions, and lots of them. Ask questions to the people around you; you’re your network to its full advantage. Question people outside of our industry for inspiration and understanding. Question why and how something works. Question why something is marketed a certain way. We as cosmetic chemists have the ability to shape the products more than we know and we cannot be afraid to ask questions and let the science guide us to do what is best.

What is the favorite part of your job?

I’ve been told I am aberrantly social for a chemist. So it should be no surprise to anyone that my favorite part of joining the personal care industry and my job in particular is working together with others in our close-knit industry to develop solutions, test methods, and ultimately products. There is so much creativity in the formulating and marketing of products for our industry that there is never a dull conversation!

What has been your most recent professional accomplishment?

Most recently I worked on a cross-functional team to develop a set of formulation solutions for highly-textured hair. This was incredibly rewarding as scientists from Dow were able to work side-by-side with consumers with hair texture type three and four. We had members of the Dow Employee resource group called the Global African Affinity Network consult us every step of the way and test products for us. It allowed us to take our methodical instrumental testing and in-vivo testing to the next level. It was the first time in my scientific career taking real time consumer feedback, adjusting my output, reevaluating using quantitative instrumental analysis, and then returning to the consumer to start the feedback loop again. It added a whole new dynamic to development for me and was very exciting. I felt so accomplished seeing the final product; a box containing six different hair care formulations designed in a highly technical way, but also with the consumer directly, that truly made a difference in the consumer experience and routine, easing daily frustrations and ultimately making them so happy. I was privileged to be a part of an initiative that did not just “talk the talk” regarding inclusion and diversity in our market, but actually “walked-the-walk”.

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

The network of talented people I have met has been invaluable. Not to mention the access to high quality seminars, educational courses, marketing insight, and events like the technology showcase. Our industry moves fast and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the speed of the technology or ever-changing consumer without the help of SCC.

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

A fun fact…by the time this interview makes its way to you, I will be a mother of two under two years old. While the pandemic has been full of disheartening moments, our family has decided to embrace the challenges and grow our family. There is so much joy in my life everyday because of family and I feel truly blessed. A smile is sometimes all it can take to turn your day around!