Going back to school for cosmetic science

Hello! Thanks for letting me join. I am here because I am 33 and got a bachelors in General Studies back in ‘13 and I wanted to pursue a career in cosmetic chemistry and product formulations as kind of a new start for my life since my undergrad degree hasnt helped me much. 

My chemistry professor recommended University of Cincinatti’s program but I also need to take some general chem and organic chem and calculus before applying. 

I just wanted you guys take on this. Is it realistic for someone my age to spend the years needed studying science and catching up on higher levels of chem ?  Would companies be interested in someone like me after getting the masters even though of my life hasnt been devoted to science? I’ve done marketing in the past but I’m really interested in the sciences now, I just never believed in myself back then to pursue it before. 

And while I’m taking my prereqs and applying for the program, what else can I do to improve my resume? Right now I am just working as a scheduler for a company and its not related to cosmetics or marketing or science at all. I thought maybe some supplemental programs or certs like Institute of Personal Care Science? And maybe trying to find a lab I can shadow for a while or be an intern. 

I just want to know if I’m making the right decision!


  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    edited January 17

    Yes, absolutely go for it if you think working as a Cosmetic Chemist will be a satisfying career for you.  Age is somewhat irrelevant at only 33.  If you were 50+ perhaps you might face a bit more diffculty finding a job.  I know a contract manufacturer who is having a difficult time hiring qualified staff.  If you can find a job with a contract manufacturer before going into the masters program, do it to help you get some hands on experience.

    Yes, in the interim, taking on-line program classes in Cosmetic Science like Perry's course or the IPCS or Formula Botanica would certainly help you get a better understand of the field of cosmetic chemistry.  Also, set up a little lab at home so you can start making formulas.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I would echo Mark's sentiments. The only part I'd disagree with a bit is the suggestion of Formula Botanica. I have nothing against them and they produce nicely marketed courses. If you're looking for a hobby, they may be helpful. But based on their published content and basic philosophy, they are naive about working in industry and would not be helpful for someone who wants a job in industry. Our courses give a more realistic view of how an industry job would work and the IPCS stuff is good. Another excellent option is the distance learning program from SCS.  
  • @Alex2022 If you have MS in Cosmetic Science companies will definitely be interested in you! The most important thing is whether you are passionate about this career. I started in cosmetic R&D at 30, with MS in Chemical Eng & no prior cosmetic experience. I didn't work in formulation, but it was very easy for me to get a job with a great company.

    While finishing your degree, I would focus on getting any job or internship in cosmetic industry. For ex. marketing intern for a cosmetic company, or being a sales rep at a raw material supplier - these would give you relevant experience & you would learn a ton about the industry. Good luck!
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