I want to be a Cosmetic Scientist when I grow up. Please advise..really.

...and is there still hope since I am now about to turn 62. I have a Masters degree already. What do I need to do and learn.

I knew there were chemists that did this for companies but never knew what they were called and what I might need to do or study in a return to school. Can you give a brief rundown of training etc.? THIS, as a credentialed public school teacher I can officially say, is one great way we can draw more young women into STEM careers.

LOVE your show. Just recently found it.


  • You know Perry has this other blog called Chemists' Corner and he talks a LOT about being a cosmetic chemist. There's a ton of information about going to school and becoming a cosmetic chemist.
  • I agree with Anger. Perry's other website is more focussed on the business of cosmetic chemistry while the Beauty Brains is more about the consumer side.  
  • edited October 2015
    Thank you all. Maybe unrealistic at 62 but a screenplay (more my wheelhouse now) about a mad cosmetic scientist who ends up being "forced" to build bombs ...might be more do-a-ble and still have me learning and exploring and enjoying the field - whadyathink guys?
  • FYI - Just checked out 'Chemist's Corner' - Fascinating! LOVE it! Thx!!!
  • Much of the advice about getting a job in cosmetic chemistry is meant to overcome the experience problem. Cosmetic companies want to hire experienced formulators (this reduces the risk of hiring someone who won't be good at their job). It's almost impossible for someone without any experience to be hired as a chemist these days. (but not completely impossible)

    So, the question is "How do I get formulating experience without being able to be hired as a formulator?" The best strategies for this are to get specialized knowledge and/or a degree in formulating - the ultimate level is to get a Masters or even a Doctorate in Cosmetic Science, etc. The next step down is a 1-year course offered by the SCS. The third level is to take one or more online courses - Perry offers several good ones himself. The Master's degree courses offer contacts with experienced formulators, expert-guided lab projects, and corporate internships that are arguably more valuable than the course itself, but all levels give you a chance to do actual hands-on formulating. The goal here is to be able to point to successful accomplishments that are relevant to the job you're applying for.
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