As I sit here on an airplane to Beijing, it occurs to me that in my career as a cosmetic chemist I have traveled to numerous places. These include a number of cities in the USA such as New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Santa Fe, and Washington DC. It also included international places like Toronto, Mexico City, London, and Berlin. While my experience may not be typical, most of the cosmetic chemists I worked with also did their fair share of traveling. As a formulator, you can expect to travel for the following reasons.
Traveling cosmetic chemist
1. Focus groups — If you have an active market research department you will often be asked to attend consumer research at various places around the country. These can be long days but can be a good bonding opportunity with your business partners.
2. Conferences — To keep up on the latest science, you’ll want to attend annual industry conferences. Additionally, you’ll get the chance to network with others in the industry and learn about new opportunities. This typically requires traveling.
3. New product launch — As the formulation expert, you’ll frequently be required to be on hand during the first production batch. This may be at your own plant, but often you’ll have to travel.
4. Press events — As a cosmetic chemist, you are the product expert so you might be required to travel to meet with beauty magazine editors, PR firms, and other media companies. This can be fun but a little stressful as it’s very different from a formulating job.
5. Brainstorming — On occasion, your company might fly the product development team to an off-site location and hold an intensive brainstorming session to develop new concepts. These are typically run by the marketing group.
6. Trade shows — To learn about the latest developments in raw materials, packaging, and new products in the cosmetic industry, there is no better place to go than to a trade show. The two biggest trade shows in the cosmetic industry is InCosmetics and the New York SCC Supplier’s Day. Unless you live near the show you’ll have to travel to get to them.
7. Off-site training — If your company is interested in maintaining a well-trained research & development team, they will send you to any number of the training courses available around the country (or world). The Society of Cosmetic Chemists frequently holds continuing education courses in New Jersey and throughout the United States. There are other groups that hold courses on chemistry, innovation, management, and other topics that will help you out in your job. This usually requires traveling.
Cosmetic chemists do not travel as much as sales people but you should expect some trips during your cosmetic science career.