How Do You Start a Cosmetic Chemist Career?

I received the following question and it’s a pretty common situation that most new science majors will find themselves in.

Although I have an excellent educational/research background in the field of Antioxidants, many skills/lab techniques in the field of Biochemistry, I cant find a job in cosmetic science. What would you do if you were in my position??

I’m not exactly sure how things work in Europe as I’ve never worked there. However, if it’s anything like here in the US, I would suggest you try the following to get a job in the cosmetics industry.

1. Identify companies that hire cosmetic scientists. This way you’ll know where you might find a job. Don’t limit it to finished goods makers. Look also at raw material suppliers that make surfactants, emollients, specialty chemicals, etc. There are cosmetic chemist jobs there too.

2. Start off in a QA/QC job. Ultimately, you don’t want to stay in one of these jobs as they aren’t really cosmetic chemistry and you’ll probably get bored. However, you can learn a lot and you can use the experience to meet new contacts & improve your resume. If you can get a technician job that would be great too. Don’t worry about what your first job is. Remember, it is just a way to get started in the industry.

3. Go through a temp agency. Many lab jobs are filled by people who first started off at the company as a temporary worker. In the US, we’ve got companies that help place temporary lab workers into companies. If they have something like that where you live, it’s a great way to start.

4. Use social networking. The key to finding a job is to meet the right person. Social networking on the Internet is an excellent way to meet new people. I would suggest you start using LinkedIn. This is like Facebook but for professionals. You can identify people in companies and building your network on LinkedIn can certainly help you identify jobs & important contacts.

Getting an advanced degree in cosmetic science is helpful, but it is only one step on the way to getting a job in cosmetic science. Ultimately, you need to meet people who work in the industry and have them introduce you to the people who are hiring. An advanced degree only helps with that a little.

Good luck!

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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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