In 2006, I arrived in Arizona following the rest of my family. Before arriving, I had failed to get a job in academia in the local universities. In my early fifties, it was my first time out of the academic "ivory tower."
Looking for a job, I saw a request by a skincare company looking for a scientific advisor/writer. It was a part-time job, paying a fraction of what I used to get as a research professor, but it was a job and I accepted gratefully. I did a good job, taking into account that it was my first contact with the "real world". I had no practical expertise, but my background was useful. Searching the scientific literature, I found neglected ingredients that could benefit the skin via biochemical mechanisms that I was familiar with (and some that I had to learn about). With my expertise in biochemistry, botany, and plant physiology I started advising and writing promotional articles.
I found out is that the skincare industry uses science mostly for advertising and not necessarily to improve the activity of the products they sell. That was disappointing, a wasted opportunity. My son suggested that we could make better skincare products if we put my knowledge to use in formulation instead of providing advertising materials for others. We started a company with a view to doing things in a different way: evidence-based skincare. And here I am. A skin science expert in the real-world making skincare products that people use and educating about how our skin works and what to do to keep it healthy and young.