Weird Fact: Guy Who Invented Clarisonic Also Researched AIDS Vaccines


Today in incredible headlines, Fashionista has interviewed Dr. Robb Ackridge, a scientist who co-invented the wildly popular Clarisonic face cleansing device after dedicating part of his career to AIDS vaccine research. Okay?

In a Q&A as part of Fashionista’s “How I’m Making It” series, “Dr. Robb” details his noble ascent:

I set up a global network of labs throughout the world to set up experimental AIDS vaccines in 22 labs and 14 countries. After that I went to work for Sonicare toothbrush and I was the senior scientist there.
We used to sit at a Denny’s and chitchat and look at market trends. We ended up with five founders. We would say, “Oh look, skin care’s growing, what’s the main problem in skin care?” And the answer was acne. We thought, Is there anything we can do to help people that have acne? It’s so socially debilitating.

Just some dorks sitting at Denny’s dreaming up ways to improve everyone’s lives! Dr. Robb goes through the development of the company step by step, from the first unsuccessful prototypes to the point when Oprah featured the product on “Favorite Things” and it exploded into the market. It’s a pretty remarkable, weird beauty story, especially because Dr. Robb is just a good old scientist trying to make shit right in the world and dropping bon mots. Even after a decade of success, he’s also still very dedicated to making sure we’re all washing our damn faces properly:

It is a different space now, but our true competition are the human hands, because most people don’t think they’re doing a bad job when they’re cleansing. They think they’re doing an OK job when they use their hands to cleanse and they’re not.

All the world’s evils are propagated by human hands! I’m still using mine, though, that Clarisonic shit is expensive. Read the full weird jam at Fashionista.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via Getty

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