A diversity of knowledge informs every chemist and every product. Besides science, personal care and cosmetic formulators rely on market knowledge, first-hand consumer experience, regulatory guidelines, and much more to create the beauty products that work well and sell well.
What learning looks like is changing with the times. Here, two experts chime in on the current and future state of cosmetic science education.
Perry Romanowski, Creator of Chemists Corner and Vice President of Brains Publishing
“The essential topics most important in the field of cosmetic science are just not taught to students getting chemistry degrees. This means most college recruits are unprepared to start their careers as cosmetic chemists. They have traditionally had to learn about formulating on the job.
“Companies usually expect lab veterans to teach, but with heavy project loads and business expectations, training often takes a back seat. To solve this problem companies send their new formulators to continuing education courses and this will continue. But with the expense of travel and the ease of access to the Internet, online courses have become more and more prevalent and valuable.
“In the future, the education of cosmetic chemists will shift primarily to online instruction which is a good thing because it will make our industry less secretive and create more well-rounded cosmetic formulators.”
Neil J MacKinnon, Dean and Professor at the James L Winkle College of Pharmacy, University of Cincinnati
“Cosmetic science is an interdisciplinary area that has its basis in multiple pure science areas such as bioscience, materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, colloid science, and clinical and measurement science. The University of Cincinnati (UC) James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy has created a unique multidisciplinary program in cosmetic science that offers opportunities to obtain a MS degree in Pharmaceutical Science with a specialization in Cosmetic Science. Begun in 1973, it is one of the oldest graduate programs in cosmetic science in the world.
“We have witnessed a rapid growth in our online program over the past three years, from 17 students in our program to over 80 today. In addition, we offer traditional research-based MS and PhD degree programs in cosmetic science.
“UC is now offering innovative online training opportunities to obtain a MS degree in Pharmaceutical Science with a specialization in Cosmetic Science or graduate certificate in Cosmetic Science without interfering with the demands of a student’s current employment.”