Face time

Wendy Avansino

Photo By D. Brian Burghart

Did you ever see those advertisements, “Local mom reveals $5 trick to erase wrinkles,” or “Local mom discovers $5 trick for white teeth”? Sometimes the truth is stranger than advertising (or as strange) because that’s just what local mom Wendy Avansino did. The local mom, 42, came up with a face cream that she says is selling like hotcakes in grocery stores. For more information, check out www.micronaturals.net.

What do you do, Wendy?

I have created my own face cream because after several years of trying to find it at Walmart or the local grocery stores and never finding anything that worked well enough without spending a fortune, I created my own product. Whole Foods took me on. They love the product. It’s become their No. 1 bestseller. The same for all the Scolari’s in Reno.

You weren’t a chemist or anything, right? What was lacking in available products that you were buying that made you go in search of, or create, this?

I am a big fan of alpha hydroxy, and that is the No. 1 ingredient recommended by Dr. Oz. I had been paying $75 for a product from a salon that actually worked and was strong enough and had the appropriate amount. And one day, truly, I saw Dr. Oz say, you should not have to spend a lot of money for it, and I started to think about it: “Why don’t they have this anywhere else that’s affordable?” So I searched for a cosmetic chemist, and it took awhile, but I finally found one who could do exactly what I had in mind. That’s how I have my product.

What was your job before you went into the face cream business?

I was a stay at home mom. That was another reason. I had begun to realize that when my daughter started kindergarten I would need to start helping out to make ends meet. My husband is a police officer for the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. We definitely needed some added income. Basically, I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurs and how they got their ideas, and I always realized that if you see something missing on the market, then that’s your idea.

What is the name of your product?

It’s called Alpha Maximum.

And so the active ingredient is alpha hydroxy. Is there a percentage?

It’s 10 percent. It’s at a maximum strength for real results.

Never having put face cream on my face, what’s it supposed to do?

Oh, my gosh, it does everything. Diminishes wrinkles, decreases enlarged pores, firms your skin, intensely increases hydration—which is so needed here in Nevada—you name it. It combats acne, reduces age spots, freckles, any discoloration.

How do you know it’s doing well at the places you mentioned?

They all have told me it’s the No. 1 seller. In Scolari’s, it’s out-selling their comparable product, which would be Burt’s Bees by 48-to-1. The Reno Whole Foods, I’m positive they will tell you it’s their No. 1 product.

What else do you have to say about your product?

Well, it’s 100 percent natural. The chemist I found was so amazing that she has the rights to a new all-natural preservative, so we are able to make the 100 percent natural claim. These days, people don’t want chemicals on their skin, so the “100 percent natural” is something everyone’s going for now. It’s under $20 so I think it’s an excellent value.

Have you been making enough money to help out with the family finances yet?

Yes, I have. It just keeps increasing. As far as sales this year, I’ve probably sold $45,000 this year so far.