Somewhat polish related: Cosmetic Chemistry?

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  1. I've been looking into this as I am about to obtain my M.Sc. in Chemistry. I'd love to find out how to get my foot in the door and what kind of careers are available to general chemists. Is anybody here familiar with this field and could offer me some tips or advice?
     
  2. Sorry I have no tips or advice, but your degree sounds fascinating! Best of luck to you.
     
  3. So I work more on the Quality Control side of things -- Ok, maybe let me back up. Back when I was in school I was completely clueless about all this stuff, so I'm going to start from the very beginning.

    There are two main areas where Chemists work in the cosmetic industry. R&D (Research and Development) and QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Quality Control). Both areas have obvious overall jobs - one is to create the product and the other is to test it to make sure it meets certain criteria. But that's not what really matters is it :lol: R&D is generally a lot of quick thinking, developing new methods, and lots and lots of testing to make sure stuff works the way you want it to (i.e. a cream eyeshadow dries within 2-3 minutes of application). QC is much more fast paced in terms of the number of tasks you have to get done - you're getting batches of samples from the manufacturing plant, and they want the testing done ASAP so they can load it on trucks and send it out - but there's not much thinking involved unless something goes wrong. You test things like color, opacity, pH, etc. in QC and you'd be using basic instruments like UV/Vis and HPLC. Sometimes GC/MS, depending on what you're working on. There are many more QC jobs out there than there are R&D in cosmetics (just follow the money trail - most of it is in the production of the product, not the creation of it, though obviously both are necessary).

    As far as getting your foot in the door, I recommend applying through your school's career center, and keeping track of when cosmetic companies are coming to interview. L'Oreal and Coty are going to desperately want you because they like people with Masters and PhDs, while other companies like P&G are going to look the other way (they like B.S. degrees and they want to train you from the ground up). Check out this list of cosmetic companies and just work your way through applying to jobs on their website. If all else fails, call a temp agency in your area (one that works with lab jobs - Aerotek and Lab Support are the two big ones in my area) and see what they can find you. Even a couple months of experience can go a long way. If you have questions, feel free to PM me!
     
  4. Oh my gosh, thank you so much for the thoughtful and detailed reply! It's exactly what I was looking for :smooch:

    I will definitely take you up on your offer and PM you more questions. I'll keep this thread open in case other people have some experience too.
     
  5. Yay chemistry :heart: love this topic :smile:

    I have nothing to add because I went for teaching chemistry rather than lab stuff but good luck!