"I’ve always been a curious person who loves puzzles and understanding how things work."
This International Women's Day, join us in celebrating and recognising the pioneering achievements of women both globally and within the Cellular Goods team itself.
We spoke to our Director of Research and Product Development, Alexia Blake about her fascination with science and how she found her career leading to her role at Cellular Goods.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
A: I’ve always been a curious person who loves puzzles and understanding how things work. A career in science provided the perfect opportunity to foster those interests and play to my problem-solving strengths.
Q: What was your path to becoming Director of Research and Development at Cellular Goods?
A: I suppose that path started with my university education – I graduated from the Nanotechnology Engineering program at the University of Waterloo in Canada before obtaining my Master’s degree in Food Science from the University of Guelph. The two programs provided me with foundational knowledge related to chemistry, problem solving and systems design, which I then brought forward with me as I started to work as a product developer in the food and cannabis industry. Things really took off after working at two of the largest licensed producers of medical cannabis in Canada, where I led the development teams and gained an entirely new appreciation for the incredible potential that the cannabis plant and cannabinoids have for improving consumers’ health and well-being. I eventually moved away from the product side to the ingredient side of the industry as I joined a company called Lavvan, who were one of the pioneers at the forefront of lab-made cannabinoids. It was clear to me that lab-made was the future of the industry, but I started to miss the excitement of development work and so was very happy when I learned about a new team starting up in the UK that had an equal appreciation for lab-made cannabinoids and the benefits they can bring to consumers. Joining the Cellular team was a no-brainer and I haven’t looked back since!
Q: What particularly interests you about the science behind skincare?
A: There’s two things in particular that get me really excited about the science behind skincare. The first is that this science is like a puzzle – it’s about merging our evolving understanding of how the skin works as our largest organ to protect our body with our understanding of how new ingredients and new delivery technologies can work with our skin to optimize our skin’s health and functionality. The science behind skin and ingredients is not only fascinating and complex, but with all the innovation in these areas there is always something new to learn, which keeps things really exciting.
The second thing I love about the science of skincare is that it can make people feel more confident and happy in their skin. Nothing is more rewarding than hearing customer’s feedback on how much better their skin looks and feels after using our products. It really validates that we managed to create something of value that is making a difference in people’s lives.
Q: Do you think it is important that women are encouraged into STEM subjects at school and beyond?
A: Absolutely! Having a scientific understanding of how the world around us works is not only fulfilling on a human level, but it also opens so many exciting doors later on in life when exploring different career options. STEM is really a toolkit for engaging with the world around us. The more tools we have in this toolkit, the more engaged we will be in our lives, in our careers and more generally with the world around us.
Q: What excites you the most about the future of Cellular Goods?
A: So many things, but perhaps most of all are the new benefits that cannabinoids like CBG and CBD can bring to consumer’s lives. We’ve already learned a lot through our research at Cellular Goods about their ageing prevention benefits by way of protecting skin from the damaging effects of UV exposure and inflammation, and more recently discovered that CBG can help with hyperpigmentation when combined with select skin brightening actives (patent pending!). It’s really an exciting time for those working with cannabinoids and Cellular is very well positioned to bring those new benefits to consumers.