Cosmetic Chemist to Product Development/Product Management?

Hi,

Seeking some insight. I am currently a chemist at a cosmetic raw material supplier and have experience formulating a wide range of cosmetic formulas for over 5 years. I do enjoy cosmetic chemistry but I am seeking a change.

I would like a position where I could still use my knowledge of cosmetic raw materials and cosmetic formulations, but not actually be formulating or conducting stability testing. I am looking for a non-manager role at this time. I am thinking a role in product development or product management, where I would help come up with ideas for finished goods, source packaging, and work with R&D/Marketing to finalize the product. But I am not sure if this is straying too far from cosmetic chemistry, which I still love. I still want to be heavily involved with making the finished product but not actually formulating it.  

Are there any other roles/departments that you think would be of interest to me to look into? Not looking to be in a strictly regulatory position either. I am located in central NJ and though there are a number of cosmetic chemist positions available, I am not seeing any roles that I think I would like to pursue: product development/product management. Has anyone been a cosmetic chemist and sought out a different path in the cosmetics industry? 

Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance. 

Comments

  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Start your own company. From what you say it appears that is your path.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • Thank you @Belassi. Great idea, but I am not looking to start my own company. 
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    I worked in the Innovation department of R&D at the end of my corporate career.  You could look for jobs like this.  Most likely you'll find them at larger companies like Unilever, P&G, L'Oreal, Avon...etc.
  • Thanks @Perry
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Most large companies have positions that are essentially liaisons between Marketing and R&D. The job is to translate what Marketing wants into something R&D can do. Some of the larger contract manufacturers have similar positions. These jobs are not easy, and turnover can be high at times - they tend to be blamed when a product/product line doesn't sell. They require an ability to deal with the corporate world that's more than most chemists are comfortable with, and an ability to deal with chemists that's more than most marketing MBA's are comfortable with. It might work out for you.

    When I was working in the NY area, the majority of these jobs were at the corporate HQ's in Manhattan, and there was a lot of travel to R&D labs.
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Thank you @Bobzchemist ;
  • Mike_MMike_M Member
    I worked at Unilever in product formulations on a contract for a year. I now work in product development for a different cosmetic company. We work directly with R&D, Marketing and supply chain in various different projects. It's really interesting and especially if you haven't been around for a really long time it's a great way to see things in a more integrated manner than just the innovation aspect of things. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have regarding compare/ contrast.
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    Happy to help. If you want a job like this, you're going to need to understand sales and marketing much better than most chemists do. Mike sounds like a great resource. Classes here might help, too:
    https://www.fitnyc.edu/cfm/ 
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • BobzchemistBobzchemist Member, PCF student
    I'm going to point out one other thing, fwiw. These jobs exist because big corporations have decided that their very highly paid marketing people shouldn't have to waste their time dealing with R&D chemists. It follows that the product development/product management jobs don't pay as much as pure marketing jobs. If it turns out that you have to get a marketing degree anyway...
    Robert Zonis, Sr. Formulation Chemist, Beaumont Products "All opinions and comments expressed are my own, have no relation to Beaumont Products, are fully copyrighted, and may not be used without written permission."
  • Thank you everyone. Gives me a lot to think about. Now I think I am looking for more of a technical (non-formulating) role in Product Development/Innovation/Product Management, if that even exists. 
    @Mike_M Thanks, I will reach out to you. 
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