Q & A with Our Clean Beauty Chemist

At Rowan, we take pride in developing clean beauty products purposefully formulated for dogs’ skin and coat needs. One of the brains behind these formulations is our clean beauty chemist, Aubri Thompson. We sat down with Aubri to understand how Rowan approaches creating clean coat care and what clean really means to her. 

What does a clean beauty chemist do?

A clean beauty chemist formulates beauty products using safe and sustainable ingredients! I spend a lot of my day in the lab, researching new ingredients and batching formulas. Additionally, I'm responsible for making sure products are tested for safety and efficacy.

As a cruelty-free brand, Rowan does not test on animals—how do you test the safety of the products?

First, we vet all of our ingredients against toxicology data. EWG is a good source for this information, and we also consult our Board-Certified Veterinary Dermatologist, Dr. Anthea Schick. Once we've developed a formula containing only low risk ingredients at recommended levels, the Rowan team tries out products on themselves and their dogs. The last step is working with dog owners in the community to ensure our products work for a wide range of dogs!

What motivated you to choose this profession?

I studied chemistry in college, and I landed an internship at a beauty brand my senior year. I fell in love with the industry because it allowed me to combine a technical skill with a more creative outlet. Even though I'm in the lab, I get to think about what a consumer wants and how they will perceive the product. As I've continued my career, I've educated myself on clean beauty and incorporated this knowledge into my formulation style with the help of several mentors.

What is your personal definition of clean?

Personally, I think of 'clean' as a term that encompasses the goal of creating products that are better for people and the environment than conventional products. The Credo Clean Standard is my favorite retailer standard that provides a lot of nuance and nitty gritty information on ingredients.

How is formulating for dogs beauty products different from formulating for humans? 

First of all, it's SO MUCH FUN. Dogs have different problems than humans, so there's a lot of innovation that can happen as we approach these problems from a beauty angle. Additionally, dogs have certain physiological differences (such as a higher skin pH) that I keep in mind while formulating. But as far as the formats go, there is a lot of crossover. For example, when thinking about shiny coats, I pulled from my human hair care knowledge!

What inspired you to work with Rowan?

Rowan is such an inspiring brand because we're really leading the way in the pet market to set a clean standard for dogs. The pet space is wildly under-regulated, but I know many dog owners who want a better and more transparent option! Not to mention, Michelle and Sally are some of the most passionate, intelligent women I have met. Working with female founders on a mission-based brand is pretty much as good as it gets for me.

What is one thing you'd like people to know about Rowan coat care formulations that they may not know?

One thing to know is that these formulas are custom-created for Rowan customers. While other brands may rely on stock formulations, I have created each formula from scratch to meet your dog's needs while fulfilling a love for beauty products. We use human grade active ingredients like Panthenol to give your dog the best of the best. Plus, I get to work with Dr. Anthea Schick, our Board-Certified Veterinary Dermatologist, to ensure ingredients and formats are perfect for your pet!