Our Instructors

Irena James, Vice President of Product Development for YG Laboratories

Instructor of the Cosmetic Sciences program at UCLA Extension since 2007, Irena has educated generations of students, clients and industry peers on a variety of topics in cosmetic chemistry, skin physiology and cellular biology, cosmetic ingredients, skincare treatment protocols, and brand development.

Irena is VP of Product Development at YG Laboratories and has been working as an educator and formulator, leading YG’s R&D team and Educational Department since 2002. Irena brings a unique perspective to the world of skincare, merging her expertise as a prolific product developer, skincare therapist, former Professor of Esthetics at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada, and Director of Business Development for Spa products and Esthetic Devices in the EU. Irena has lectured nationally and internationally and published dozens of articles in the professional skin care magazines’ trade and science journals, and popular beauty magazines including: New Beauty, Skin Inc. Dermascope’s Ingredient Column and Euro Cosmetics. She is also Cofounder & Partner of Evoté Beauty, a groundbreaking skincare line that maximizes our skin’s reparative potential during the nighttime and utilizes the scientific principles behind “beauty sleep” and our cell’s internal clock. As a current member and a former board member of Beauty Industry West and the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, Irena remains dedicated to increasing awareness of modern advancements in the Cosmetic Sciences.


Neal Hutchinson, guest speaker

As a dedicated chemist and product developer, Neal Hutchinson has amassed an impressive array of experience in the Personal Care Goods industry over the last forty years, with a specific focus on skincare formulation & regulation for the past two decades.

Beginning his career in Research & Development with Vidal Sassoon, Neal went on to work in a number of key roles for some of the industry’s most prominent brands & developers, including Process Development Engineer for Procter & Gamble, Product Development Manager for Redken Labs, and Director of Product Technologies & Regulatory at YG Laboratories, Inc. Given the breadth of positions Neal has held, as well as unique expertise he has accumulated, Neal is not only considered an expert on Product Development, but also several other aspects of today’s industry, including personal care packaging & production scale up as well as regulatory issues.

Neal is also a member of Beauty Industry West (BIW), as well as a current member of & former board member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, SCC California Chapter.

For information regarding the course content, materials and eligibility, please contact Irene Kim at  irenek@yglabs.com.