75 Things a Formulation Scientist Does

“What does a formulation scientist do every day?”

This was a question I received in an email from someone who was doing some research about different chemist careers. And if this person wanted to know about it, it makes sense that some of you might be wondering the same thing. So, here it is, 75 things that a formulation scientist or cosmetic chemist might do on any given work day, conveniently presented in four categories.multitasking cosmetic chemist

Cosmetic product development

Create formulas
Gather raw materials
Get equipment for making batches
Make batches
Restock lab supplies
Keep notes in notebook
Write experimental results in notebook
Clean glassware and lab
Research formulation topics
Generate new product ideas
Create prototypes
Create dye solutions for color matching
Make samples for marketing
Supervise / make batches for home use tests
Supervise first production batches
Solve stability problems
Generate test ideas to substantiate claims
Figure out ways to make formulas less expensive
Attend focus groups
Participate in brainstorming meetings
Review product label copy
Assist in writing product concepts
Present new technologies to non-scientists

Cosmetic product testing

Take pH readings
Take viscosity readings
Fill and label glass and plastic bottles
Wash & comb hair tresses
Color matching
Bleach and color hair tresses
Conduct foam tests
Run stability tests
Conduct skin moisturization tests
Run project specific, customized tests
Try formula prototypes
View samples under a microscope
Observe salon tests
Conduct odor tests
Participate in product panel testing
Get samples for testing
Evaluate competitive products

Personal Training

Read trade journals
Read Chemists Corner and other useful blogs in your RSS reader
Attend meetings with suppliers
Go to SCC meetings
Go to industry trade shows
Take continuing education courses
Attend conferences
Review latest patents
Listen to podcasts like the Chemists Corner podcast
Read industry text books
Take online training courses
Pursue an advanced degree in cosmetic science

Business stuff

Respond to emails
Create presentations
Attend corporate meetings
Attend project planning meetings
Respond to phone calls
Do desk side interviews with beauty editors
Conduct training sessions for non-scientists
Write business travel reports
Fill out expense reports
Write monthly reports
Go to office celebrations
Engage in “water-cooler” chat with co-workers
Write memos
Sign and review contracts
Give instruction to people who report to you
Meet with your boss to update them on your progress
Interview candidates
Entertain kids during Bring Your Kid to Work week
Keep track of project progress
Engage in debates with regulatory & legal departments
Write patent applications
Write employee reviews

Whew! My brain is fried and I might be able to go on, but I think I covered practically everything I did as a cosmetic chemist.

Is there anything we missed? Leave a comment below

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