Science Education - Cosmetics

The cosmetics industry is innovative and science-led with a wide variety of sciences employed in the whole chain of a cosmetic product’s creation.  From concept to final product, the sequence will include the expertise and knowledge of many scientists from different backgrounds.  There are few scientific disciplines that would not find a role somewhere in the complex symphony of activities that turns a concept into a new cosmetic product.  

Please select from the drop-down menu above for 'Courses for Cosmetic Scientists'.

This diagram illustrates a cosmetic product lifecycle and the many people (not only scientists) typically involved in the various stages:

 Cosmetic Product Job Life Cycle


Responsible manufacturers invest their reputation in their brands, building trust with loyal customers and relying on customer satisfaction for success.  Fundamentally, that trust is based on delivering products that are safe, effective and of high quality.  What you rightly take for granted is very much a co-ordinated team effort.  It’s for this reason that CTPA promotes the education of cosmetic sciences wherever possible for the progression of a new generation of the most innovative and responsible scientists.

Key Stages 1-4

CTPA has created its own dynamic free online resource, CATIE, designed for use by both teachers and pupils.  This unique resource uses the science behind cosmetics to provide everyday examples of science in action for teachers to employ.  The resource comes with sections for both teachers and students providing work sheets, online activities and plenty of information that has been written by practising teachers.  CATIE also includes a Careers Zone where interested students can learn about jobs in the cosmetic and personal care industry through links and a Meet the Faces section where first-hand accounts by industry experts can inspire them.

The Society of Cosmetic Scientists (SCS) also has an educational website, Scrub up on Science, for 11-16 year olds.  The aim is to provide free practical Chemistry resources to UK secondary schools with work plans, activity sheets and presentations for lessons ranging from learning how to describe the properties of cosmetic products to extracting natural fragrances.

MSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science Course at LCF

CTPA actively supports people in the UK who are looking to gain higher education in cosmetic sciences.  In particular, the MSc course in Cosmetic Science at the London College of Fashion receives annual support from CTPA for the continuous development of the programme as well as providing competitive bursaries to encourage high standards amongst the students and continuous improvements in results.

 LCF Students 2015

The course is an integrated MSc, with a BSc exit point, and an optional placement year in industry in the third year of the course. On 28 January 2019, Amanda Isom, CTPA’s Compliance Manager, attended a Science Programme Meeting at the London College of Fashion, UAL, to present the 2017/18 academic year student awards on behalf of CTPA.


Graduates from the course are already employed throughout the industry, both in the UK and internationally, in a wide range of roles. These include research and development, product manufacturing, marketing, technical sales, product testing, quality assurance, logistics, regulation and legislation departments. Some multinational companies also recruit directly from the course.