Be you and love your own unique features and attributes! It’s tempting in this social media world to try to compete or to look like someone else, and it’s a major pitfall in the medical aesthetics world. It would be very sad to live in a world where everyone looked exactly the same — the same cheeks, lips, bodies.
As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years, I had the pleasure of interviewing Amber Edwards, President, Sinclair Pharma North America.
Amber Edwards is the President for Sinclair Pharma (North America), a global aesthetics company with a portfolio of aesthetics technologies that focus on collagen stimulation. The solutions provide clinically effective, high quality, long-lasting, natural-looking, minimally invasive treatments.
Amber has spent more than twenty years in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, leading commercial efforts for some of the most well-known brands in the market. She is currently spearheading the growth of Silhouette InstaLift in the US.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My backstory is rooted in a passion for all thing’s wellness, with a firm belief that if we take care of ourselves — mentally and physically — we are ultimately able to take better care of others. I first found my love for wellness in college as a fitness instructor, something that has been a constant in my life for 27 years. Through working as a fitness instructor, I was inspired by people striving to be the best versions of themselves which ultimately led me to a career in pharmaceuticals and medical aesthetics. The evolution of medical aesthetics has really rounded it all out for me — feeling great and looking like your best self is all linked.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Well, that is a very broad question! My favorite story is from more than 15 years ago, and one that to this day is a reminder of what it really means to have compassion and to go above and beyond. When I was a junior product manager, I was flying cross-country for a job interview, wearing a tank top, capri pants, and flip flops, and my luggage didn’t make it with me. It was after 10 pm and no stores open, and I was in a panic trying to decide if I should postpone my interviews or show up inappropriately dressed. In the middle of the night, there was a knock on my hotel room door…the front desk receptionist had driven about 45 minutes to her home, packed up a suitcase of her own business clothes, and brought them back so that I would have options to choose from. Now we were nowhere near the same size, but we made do and I went to the interviews. I ended up telling everyone the story which no doubt made me a memorable candidate! I still can’t believe someone would do that for a complete stranger and anytime I’m in that city for business I think about her.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
I’m not sure it’s a tipping point, but rather a willingness to spend the time to broaden my experiences by accepting challenges and responsibilities that may not have been linked to promotion. I’ve always been ambitious and eager to keep progressing but have learned the hard way that promotion or advancing too quickly can actually be detrimental if you aren’t really prepared for it. Society can be so driven by titles, but there is so much to be said for taking the time to get a breadth of experience and to take some lateral moves in order to set yourself up for success when the right opportunity does come along. This is one of the biggest pieces of advice I offer people starting their careers — enjoy and embrace the learning journey, not just the title destination.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I can’t name just one — I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had a few people in my career who have been willing to take a chance on me. David Pyott, the former CEO of Allergan, established a culture of what was known as “autonomy and accountability.” Regardless of level or title, you had the autonomy to speak up, disagree, take a calculated risk — but you also had to assume complete accountability for the outcome. This mantra is something that has stuck with me and that I have tried to instill in my own teams as my career has progressed.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?
At Sinclair, we are striving to be a leader in shaping a more natural and overall healthier perception of beauty. We hope to officially move this market past the overfilled, overstretched, over-lifted trends that have given the category a bad reputation. In market research, we constantly hear consumers say their biggest fear in getting a cosmetic treatment is that they will look completely different and unnatural, and there are plenty of bad examples! Our current product, Silhouette InstaLift, and the products in our pipeline are all very subtle and use your body’s own ability to create more collagen in order to provide a very gradual and naturally refreshed look. I tell my friends and family that if you can tell someone has had work done, it was not done well. The goal is to look like you’ve just had a holiday, looking refreshed and rejuvenated
A watch-out in the industry is a tendency to try to look like someone else rather than just rejuvenating and enhancing natural features. It would definitely feel like Black Mirror if everyone looked exactly the same! We are striving to bring technologies to the market that preserve natural beauty.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?
- Personalization — the industry is getting smarter and smarter, creating truly customized products and experiences for consumers. There will soon be no such thing as a “cookie-cutter” approach to beauty. The makeup industry led the way here but medical technologies are following closely behind
- Commitment to Science — there is tremendous investment going into the overall science of aging, which is so exciting because it extends beyond beauty. The work underway in gene therapies, understanding why and how we age, is leading to new ideas about how we can live longer, and of course, look fantastic all the way!
- Minimally invasive options continue to progress and are providing more opportunities to rejuvenate without the need for general anesthesia, long downtimes and other challenges that come with surgical interventions. Treatments are getting more effective and more efficient, and ultimately more accessible to broader populations.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?
1 — I already mentioned, but can’t say enough, the concern about consumers trying to look like someone else, whatever influencer they idolize or some beauty ideal that is unrealistic. I’d like for every campaign to emphasize the individuality and the beauty of loving yourself!
2 — There is a trend across the medical aesthetics industry to target younger populations, and it worries me. It is a slippery slope, once you start getting treated, the tendency is to want more and more. I know I am in the minority among my peers in this, but I worry about contributing to insecurities or doing anything to make young women feel like they aren’t enough as is. I believe the industry has a responsibility to find the delicate balance between encouraging women to invest in their well-being and natural beauty, without preying on insecurities.
3 — A very real concern is the plethora of unlicensed, unqualified providers getting access to medical treatments and claiming to be “experts” without the credentials. The FDA and medical associations are doing what they can to educate consumers about the importance of choosing board-certified, legitimate professionals, but it continues to be an issue.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Make your own well-being a priority. It is easy to feel guilty about spending time or money on yourself, but if it’s toward something that preserves your health or state of mind, everyone around you benefits.
- Embrace getting older! I call it “positive aging.” It shouldn’t be something negative and you can’t avoid it, so might as well embrace it. Feel great about the experiences and maturity you have gained while maintaining your sense of self.
- Be you and love your own unique features and attributes! It’s tempting in this social media world to try to compete or to look like someone else, and it’s a major pitfall in the medical aesthetics world. It would be very sad to live in a world where everyone looked exactly the same — the same cheeks, lips, bodies. The beauty of medical aesthetics today and the direction we are going with Silhouette InstaLift, is that you can very naturally enhance or maintain your own unique look.
- Exercise is absolutely key, and doesn’t have to cost a thing, just move. When you exercise you are releasing endorphins, you get that healthy glow, you increase blood flow and of course burn some fat and tone up those muscles all at the same time.
- Take sleep seriously! It isn’t nice to have, it’s a must. Sleep regenerates body, mind, and soul, and is fundamental to keeping skin, not to mention attitude, refreshed.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’d like to see a movement to put phones away when spending time with people we care about. It’s so disturbing to see families and friends out to dinner together but all looking at their phones instead of interacting, and I’m guilty as well! I know some people who have instituted strict “no phones” rules for meals and I love it.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“The best way to predict your future is to create it,” Abraham Lincoln. This approach to life has been integral to my success. So many people spend months, even years, complaining about a job, a relationship, or what they wish they could do. My motto is to go for it! Life is too short to wait, and there is nothing worse than a life of regret for what we didn’t pursue.
How can our readers follow you online?