Career Standards for Cosmetic Chemists

I saw this interesting post which listed some standards for entry level cosmetic chemist jobs.  Every company is going to be a little different but these standards reflect the kind of tasks and background that most people will need to have a job as a cosmetic formulator or technician.  Here is a quick list of some of the most important characteristics.

Cosmetic Technician

On the most basic level, this job requires the ability to follow the instructions of a formulation and to make it.  Typically, the formulation is one created by a cosmetic chemist.  Some key atributes to have as a cosmetic technician.

  • Education:  Associates or Bachelor’s degree in science, preferably chemistry
  • An appreciation for the basic science (you can get that in our cosmetic science course)
  • Knowledge of the equipment used for formulating
  • Ability to make formulations following procedures
  • Ability to test viscosity and pH
  • Ability to observe changes while making batches
  • Give suggestions on how to improve formulations
  • Good lab hygiene techniques
  • Ability to work well with others and to follow directions

Here are the suggested technician standards.  Some of these will not apply to cosmetic formulating jobs however.

Cosmetic formulator

The cosmetic formulator job can be the most comprehensive of all in the cosmetic industry.  Depending on the size of your company you may be required to do everything from product idea generation, formulation creation, formulation testing, to scale-up and quality control.  Some of the key attributes of a formulator

  • Education:  Typically a 4 year degree in chemistry or biology
  • An appreciation for the basic science (you can get that in our cosmetic science course)
  • Knowledge of specific cosmetic raw materials (surfactants, thickeners, preservatives, etc.)
  • Understanding of how to create specific cosmetic formulations (job dependent)
  • Ability to create improvements in formulations
  • Ability to test formulations and suggest improvements
  • Understanding of how to talk with the marketing department
  • Knowledge of market research techniques
  • Knowledge of methods for doing standard cosmetic tests for hair, skin, and color cosmetics
  • Ability to come up with innovative new product ideas

Here are the suggested formulato standards.  Some of these will not apply to cosmetic formulating jobs however.

These are just some suggestions but they give you a good sense of what it takes to get started in the cosmetic industry.

During the month of March we are going to focus on a cosmetic science career.  If you are interested in more about having a career as a cosmetic chemist, be sure to see our page on cosmetic science career.

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