female cosmetic chemist
Article by: Perry Romanowski

I found a couple of interesting articles that explain the absolute basic compounds used in modern day cosmetics.  Neither of these are particularly thorough, but if you want a quick understanding of the chemistry and science of cosmetics, both of these articles do a good job. female cosmetic chemist

For people just coming into this industry the following articles will be helpful background information for some of the more in-depth topics we will talk about here in the future.

For cosmetic scientists working in the cosmetic industry, you can use these to brush up on your basics and also as a way to explain the chemistry to people in your marketing department & other groups outside R&D.

1. Chemistry of cosmetics. – A piece written by the Australian Academy of Science.  Short but hits the primary raw materials and provides links to pages with some demonstrations.

2.  Cosmetic Chemistry explained – From the title Chemistry explained.  The author gives a little more information than the first reference.  Should be particularly useful for background information to share outside R&D.

Neither of these resources should be considered “high science” but if you need a quick introduction to the primary compounds used in cosmetics, they’re useful.

Do you have a favorite source for background information about cosmetic science?  Leave a comment below and let us know.


About the Author

Perry Romanowski

Perry has been formulating cosmetic products and inventing solutions to solve consumer problems since the early 1990’s. Additionally, he has written and edited numerous articles and books, taught continuing education classes for industry scientists, and developed successful websites. His latest book is Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry 3rd Edition published by Allured.


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    Sadly the first link doesn’t work anymore!

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      Perry Romanowski

      Thanks for letting me know. I fixed it.

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    Hi, I want to know about B.tech cosmetic I just started my study in cosmetic……….
    So I am so confused about this field plz guide me
    Plz sir……

    1. Avatar
      Perry Romanowski

      I don’t really know what you want to know. I’d suggest you see our Career page for information about becoming a cosmetic chemist.

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    I would like to work in cosmetic field the future. I searched the jobs and founded cosmetic chemist, cosmetic scientist,etc. But I think I would like to test the product out instead of working in lab to develop them, like you test that product out to see if they are right with the main purpose and save for sensitive skin, etc. Can you tell me the different between cosmetic chemist and cosmetic scientist and which job in cosmetic field will suit with what I prefer?

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      Perry Romanowski

      You’re describing a job that would be a cosmetic scientist (or chemist). You would work in the testing lab rather than in formulation.

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    Hi. I just know your page and I really enjoy it so far. I really like cosmetics, especially things that related to skincare. I would love my career to be related to this field. I have been searching up jobs like cosmetic scientist and cosmetic chemist. Can you give me the definition and the differences between those two. Also, I prefer testing the product to see if they are fitted with the customers desires or do the purpose of that product will work without having any irritation, etc, more than developing the products in the lab. What career should I follow then? Thank you so much for answering my question.

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    I am a pharmacist. I have experience in retail pharmacy. But I like cosmetics line. I want to start my own cosmetic line. I found this website very helpful. I know it will be dificult for me but I am ready for any challange. I have start learning about cosmetic formulations. Soon I’ll be expereminting. I want to establish my own products and bring it to market. Could you please tell me what should be my initial steps. Thanks a lot for creating this useful informative website.

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        Kima J.

        the link doesn’t work

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          Perry Romanowski

          Sorry, this is an old post. Looks like the website moved the link.

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    mena george

    i hope to contact usually, iam chemist and QA supervisor in the greatest cosmetics company in EGYPT.

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    mena george

    very good informations

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      Perry Romanowski

      Thanks for the tip!

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    Hi, I’m looking for a Starting Formulation for a “Rinse-Free/No-Rinse Hair Shampoo/Conditioner” that can be Used in a Shower Cap & needs no Rinsing.
    Can anyone help?
    Regards Patrick

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      Perry Romanowski

      See our post on sources for free cosmetic formulas.

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    can u please talk about how the cosmetics are bad for ur skin that would be a great help


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      Perry Romanowski

      What do you mean they are “bad for your skin”? Used normally, cosmetics are not bad for your skin.

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    Could I put a duplicate on my magazine? I desire to talk about it with my readers

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      Perry Romanowski

      sure. Just provide a link back and credit the source.

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    hey i have a few questions about cosmetic chemistry and i would really appreciate it if you replied soon.

    what kind of education is required for an entry level postition? i checked your website and couldnt find the answers.
    also what skills are required for an entry level postition?
    also what are the hazards or drawbacks associated with this occupation?
    I would really, really appreciate the answers to these questions because i am doing research on cosmetic chemists and this website has been very helpful so far. Thank you very much for your time.

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    I need some for a chemistry project?
    for my high school, and it has to be good. and when i read through it, i have to be able to answer these questions;
    please and thank you.

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      We would be happy to help but your questions need to be more specific.

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        Hi Perry, could you please share some on your knowledge about the effect of functional groups, Hydrocarbons, Alkanes, Alkenes, Alkynes, Ethers, Aldehydes, Ketones, Carboxylic Acids, Esters, Amines, Amides, Nitrile and Thiol, on the reactivity of molecules in cosmetic/skincare products.

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          Perry Romanowski

          I’ll try to do that in a future blog post. Thanks for the suggestion.

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    how to start a research for cosmetic product

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