You've probably never heard of Joe Lewis, but you may have used his products. The president and CEO of Pharma Cosmetix Research, he's been creating skin-care ingredients since 1979 right here in Virginia.
What sparked your interest in cosmetics? My first job was working for ER Carpenter Co. on Jeff Davis Highway — and then this opportunity just kind of flew in the window, and there was a little pharmaceutical company looking for a chemist to make skin-care products. I figured I can learn, and I got the job, and I did every function in the company from chief cook and bottle washer all the way up to co-CEO.
Do you ever test products on yourself? I'm the biggest guinea pig we've got. I can't go out and put something on somebody else's face that I haven't slathered all over me first.
How do you feel about animal testing? We do not do any animal testing. Anybody in the cosmetic industry will tell you today — if you do animal testing, bye-bye sales.
What made you decide to create your own skin-care line, PRIORI? As soon as you sell a brand, the first thing a company does is they ruin it, because it's not their baby, and so it was time for my partner [Joe DeNardo] and I to do our own brand and have our own baby again.
What do you think is the most widespread misconception about anti-aging products? That most over-the-counter products really do not work. A leftover message from the past, when most lotions and potions really were just "hope in a jar."
PRIORI can be purchased in Richmond at Amazing Face, 330-7546 or amazingfaceonline.com .