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Help with finding a career

Working in the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Industry

As you will appreciate from this website, people working in this industry have a wide range of skills and levels of qualification. You could work in this industry after having done a science degree and may have gone on to study for a post-graduate qualification, or come straight from school. Jobs may be highly scientific or more artistic in nature. Whatever your talents, there is the possibility of finding your perfect job within the cosmetics industry.

So, how do you find out more?

Find out more about the range of careers on offer by looking at cosmetic and personal care company websites, or look for suppliers of ingredients and contract manufacturers. The CTPA members list (www.ctpa.org.uk/members) may help you find companies. Most of the big companies have careers sections on their websites, which can be quite informative about the industry, and the variety of careers available. Some companies employ school leavers and train them through apprenticeships, and you can apply to these companies directly. Some companies may also sponsor individuals to gain higher qualifications such as the BA Hons Degree Course in Cosmetic Science.

What Qualifications do I need?

You can enter the industry straight from school, and depending on what you want to do you may or may not need qualifications. A lot of people in the industry have science degrees and have entered the industry after university, but in some companies you can train to be a scientist with science A-levels. There is a wide variety of courses relevant to the industry, but in the UK there are only a few universities that specialise in the cosmetics area. Some of the specialist courses are listed below. Many scientists in the industry belong to the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and their website offers help to students looking for careers advice and lists various sources of continuing education. The links section is very comprehensive and provides access to the International Federation of Societies and Cosmetic Chemists (IFSCC) as well as other professional organisations. (www.scs.org.uk).

The following courses are a selection of what is available, and you can contact the institutions and people named for further information.

Cosmetic Science Diploma by Distance Learning
Society of Cosmetic Scientists
Course Duration: 1 year
Course Details: This course is available worldwide, and lasts for one year commencing each September. Particularly suitable for people who require a thorough grounding in all aspects of cosmetic science, the modular course provides a flexible study route which can then lead into the Society’s Diploma in Cosmetic Science.

Course Manager
Society of Cosmetic Science Distance Learning Centre
Danemere House
Danemere Street
London SW15 1LT
Tel: 020 8789 7330

BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science
London College of Fashion
Course Duration: 4 year sandwich degree or 3 years full-time
Course Details: This is a London College of Fashion course based at Oxford Circus, with other sites in the West End and Hoxton areas of Central London. The course provides students with in-depth scientific knowledge to create new products and/or treatments, plus an understanding of the cosmetic and beauty market and its consumers. All aspects of developing new cosmetic and toiletries products are covered, as well as the principles and scientific basis of formulation, manufacture and evaluation of cosmetic products. The course also examines the nature of the consumer and characteristics of the beauty and cosmetics industry. Graduates may follow a career in research and development, product manufacturing, marketing or technical sales. Find out more

2 year Foundation Beauty Course
London College of Fashion
Rapid and continual expansion in the beauty, health and spa industry has created a wide variety of career pathways. This two year course at the London College of Fashion will prepare those interested in potential management positions in salons, spas, health clubs and related servicing companies. This course is designed to focus on all aspects of the modern beauty and spa business incorporating beauty and spa therapies with a grounding in business management and a scientific understanding of health, beauty and spa therapy practices. Find out more

London College of Fashion
University of the Arts, London
20 John Princes Street
Tel: 020 7514 7400
Email: enquiries@fashion.arts.ac.uk
Website: http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk

The London Institute
65 Davies Street
Tel: 020 7514 6000 x6197
Fax: 020 7514 6198
Website: http://www.linst.ac.uk

Diploma in Perfumery by Distance Learning
University of Plymouth
Course Duration: 1 year (approximately)
Course Details: Taking approximately one year to complete, depending on your rate of study and other time commitments, the IFEAT Diploma in Perfumery leads to an industry-recognised professional qualification specifically designed for people working in the fragrance industry. The course is delivered in a distance-learning format and can begin at any time, although the first piece of coursework must be submitted within 3 months of registration, and the course completed within 18 months of the first coursework submission.

The role of the modern perfumer is a blend of artist, scientist and technologist and the IFEAT Diploma will develop skills across a wide range of disciplines. The course provides an intensive introduction to the aroma trades and perfumery industry with emphasis on sensory, technical and marketing aspects. To achieve the diploma you must demonstrate a comprehensive and practical understanding of the total fragrance industry and its key issues within an international context. Assessment is based on odour work, essays and a special study.

Course leader: Dr Tony Curtis
E-Mail: patricia.trundley@plymouth.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1752 233411

Interested in becoming a make-up artist or beauty therapist?

If you want to gain appropriate qualifications then The London College of Beauty Therapy provides several courses covering specialist training for beauty therapists, make-up artists and retail beauty consultants. These range over NVQ Levels 1-3, BTEC short courses, advanced apprenticeship courses and holistic care programmes for the care sector. There are no set term times.

For further information and course syllabus details contact:

London College of Beauty Therapy
E-Mail: info@lcbt.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7208 1300
Website: www.lcbt.co.uk

Alternatively, you can obtain on-the-job training. The ideal way to learn to be a make-up artist is to 'shadow' a well-established professional. Also, working within a department store for one of the cosmetic houses gives you a good start in the industry and allows you to learn about different products and make-up application.

What can I do now to help me work in the industry?

If you can, get involved in The Young Enterprise Scheme, as it gives you an understanding of business. It’s also great to do internships and work experience, as it will give you a better understanding of what is involved in the job you’re interested in and help you realise how exciting scientific research can be and that it isn’t a stuffy environment!

If you’re passionate about cosmetics, fragrances and personal care products then find out more!

Professional Society Websites for further information

You can look at various professional society websites e.g.

The Society of Cosmetic Scientists

The Institute of Biology

The British Toxicology Society

The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Biochemical Society

British Society for Immunology