Cosmetic Science Consultant Questions

A little while back we received the following questions about being a cosmetic chemist consultant.  Since there are a number of you who may end up becoming consultants at some point in your formulating career, it will be useful to have these questions answered.  If you have other questions about cosmetic chemist consulting or other cosmetic science questions, leave a comment in our cosmetic science forum.

How do cosmetic consultants work?

“When cosmetic chemistry consultants work independently, where do they do the formulating?”

Many consultants have their own lab space. Some can be in their houses or they rent space. Other cosmetic chemists will make a deal with a contract manufacturer and use the manufacturer’s lab space. In exchange they generate business for the manufacturer. Typically, consultants will outsource the manufacturing but some have enough space to create batches that are 5 gallons or less.

Start-up costs

“What should be factored into startup costs?”

When stating a consultant business you have to figure in costs of…

  • Business startup costs - filing paper work, accountant, setting up bank accounts, incorporating, getting business stationary, website, logo, etc.
  • Getting lab equipment. If you are going to create your own lab this will cost money.
  • Getting lab space. If you create your own or if you rent from an outside lab it will cost money upfront.
  • Chemical inventory. You may have to buy chemicals to start formulating. This might be covered by some upfront money you receive from your client but it probably won’t be sufficient.

Getting paid

“How are consultants paid?”

Consultants are paid in different ways. Typically, they quote a price on a project and get paid 50% up front and 50% upon completion. Also, their expenses will be negotiated into the price. Some formulators are paid a royalty on the formulas they develop or they are paid based on % of sales.

Cosmetic chemist consultants

If you have anything to add, please feel free to comment below.  Also, if you are already working as a consultant be sure to sign up on our cosmetic chemist consultant page.  We often get contacted here at Chemists Corner by people looking for cosmetic chemists to help them formulate products.

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How to Become a Cosmetic Chemist

The job of a cosmetic chemist, or as they call it in the UK a cosmetic scientist, requires you to do a wide variety of things both in and out of the lab. Your main responsibility will be that of a formulator. This means you mix raw materials together to create cosmetic products like lipstick, nail polish, skin lotions, shampoos, toothpaste and any other type of personal care product.

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