Ever wondered how your favourite Go-To product made it's way to the world? Wonder no more! We sat down with Go-To Testing Coordinator, Erika Duong, to give you an inside look at what it takes to get a product ready before launch.
Hey! How’s it going? I’m Erika, Go-To’s Testing Coordinator. I assess all of Go-To, Bro-To, and Gro-To products to ensure they are good enough for all of our customers.
How did you become a testing coordinator at Go-To?
I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Biomedical Science at Australian Catholic University (ACU). I had a wonderful opportunity to do student placement with Symbyx Biome; assisting with DNA extractions and researching neuropathic pain to help their research on photobiomodulation therapy to reduce Parkinson’s Disease symptoms.
I found the Go-To Testing Coordinator position, applied for it and a day or two later received a call for an interview. I (obviously) smashed that interview and lab trial. I got the good news that I’d gotten the job a couple of weeks before I had even officially graduated! It’s been almost six months since I’ve started and the experience - and my skin - has been nothing but transformazing.
Talk us through what goes on when testing (yet-to-be-released) Go-To products.
There’s three categories of testing we do: stability, safety, and efficacy.
Stability testing involves assessing user experience with our products, examining compatibility of our products with certain materials for packaging, and most importantly, ensures our products are efficient throughout shelf life.
Safety testing is carried out to ensure our products are safe for skin and no microbes/bugs can grow. We send our products out for certain testing, some include microbial testing, preservative efficacy testing (PET), and human repeat insult patch test (HRIPT).
For efficacy testing, we do some internal trials with our products along with third-party clinical trials. The trials not only confirm our products are safe but that they work efficiently.
All up, how long does the testing process take for each Go-To product?
Starting a project, it can take roughly up to a year. All the testing I had mentioned above, we do during this time period and continue that all the way out to confirm shelf life post launch.
What yet-to-be-released products are you testing at the moment?
No names but it’s Something Pretty Fun.
Why is product testing so important in skincare?
At Go-To, we pride ourselves on making uncomplicated skincare that works. By doing all the testing I went over above, we ensure our products are safe, work efficiently, and will make you do a happy dance when you apply it*.
(*Not tested but likely.)
What does a normal day in your life look like for you at Go-To?
As Go-To’s guinea pig (we do not actually test on animals FYI), my day usually involves a lot of stability testing, so checking our products are within our sensory and technical specifications. This covers things like:
Does it smell good?
Does it feel good?
Has the colour changed much?
Has separation occurred when I put it in the centrifuge?
(Yes, I get to smell and try all the products on my skin. And yes, my hands are very soft with all the product testing.)
I also often consult with third-parties (“meet with suppliers”) to see what cool ingredients they have for us. Lastly, there’s always cake and a yarn about my lil dog, Huffy.
What's your favourite part of your job?
I couldn’t nail it down to one favourite thing, so here’s three:
- Testing all of our products; it’s so much fun!
- Being a part of an extremely passionate community who helps people (and their skin!) feel amazing.
- The amount of work we put in to make products and how much there is to learn about it.
What's the trickiest part of your job?
When testing for odour on any of our products, it’s hard to determine if the fragrance has dropped off or any other peculiar smells have occurred. As everyone has a different level of intensity or sensitivity of their olfactory system, smelling products can be quite subjective, but I always ask for a second opinion if I’m unsure.
What’s something unexpected that most people wouldn’t realise about your job?
My role allows me to explore all areas within the R&D department which doesn’t isolate me to just being in the lab (e.g. quality control testing, sustainability, and rework projects to name just a few!) Being able to have this opportunity is tremendously beneficial to my development and career growth.
What's your top Go-To product and why?
Our hyaluronic serum, Much Plumper Skin! There’s multiple reasons why it’s my top-tier product:
- Ya girl feels amazing after applying it.
- It’s fragrance-free!
- Hydrates my poor dry, winter skin.
- No stickiness after application.
- Peptides! Need I say more?