Do you want to know how much it cost to hire a chemist for your cosmetic line? If YES, here is an estimated cost breakdown for hiring a cosmetic chemist. Cosmetic chemists are simply chemistry professionals who focus every of their research and development on analyzing or developing new cosmetics, such as makeup, lotions or shampoos.

By leveraging knowledge acquired from their study of molecular interactions of specific substances, these experts conduct research and experiment with the creation and improvement of cosmetic products. The first and primary duty of cosmetic chemists is to ensure the safety of products that will be applied directly to a consumer’s hair or skin.

They also consider how to enhance products and maintain shelf life. Chemists are hired to develop and design functional products, utilizing combinations of compounds that will interact with hair or skin and produce an expected result.

Types of Cosmetic Chemists

Common products such as deodorant, makeup and hair dye are developed by cosmetic chemists. This field is further categorized into different career paths. A chemist formulator is responsible for creating new products. These chemists usually work in a lab setting to conduct experiments using a variety of substances.

A quality control chemist evaluates products to make sure they are safe and meet all U.S. Food and Drug Administration standards. Cosmetic chemists also write reports based on their research and create marketing plans. Although it is impossible to dictate how much in dollar terms a cosmetic chemist might be able to save you on your particular formula, however, it is unlikely that the amount will be zero and those cents and dollars add up.

Have it in mind that hiring a professional cosmetic chemist isn’t about cheapening your product or replacing your beloved natural or organic ingredients with chemicals, instead it is about bringing it into balance, removing and adjusting the excess, and getting it fighting fit. You never know, you could even save enough money to do some proper efficacy testing and find out if your product really works.

Estimated Cost of Hiring a Cosmetic Chemist

Note that cosmetic chemists are able to customize deliverables according to the project requirements and charge either a fixed fee or hourly fee. Nonetheless, freelance cosmetic chemists in the united states typically charge in the range of to 0 per hour, and the typical rate of a fixed fee project is $2300.

Have it in mind that cost varies per project — something like performing basic research on a product might cost less than developing a new product through applied research. .

Howbeit, as of May 29, 2022, the average annual pay for a Cosmetic Chemist in the United States is $63,409 a year. Industry reports envisage annual salaries as high as $98,000 and as low as $43,000, the majority of Cosmetic Chemist salaries currently range between $50,000 (25th percentile) to $65,000 (75th percentile) across the United States.

Note that the average pay range for a Cosmetic Chemist varies little (about $15,000), which suggests that regardless of location, there are not many opportunities for increased pay or advancement, even with several years of experience.

However, while hiring a cosmetic chemist for any job, it is necessary you develop a job description that clearly defines the end goal of the job, which also translates to the problem you are trying to solve, the challenge you are facing, and what outcome you expect.

Be sure to clearly state the deliverables, which also means the final output or the results that you are looking to obtain from their work. Do not forget to state the time frame or number of days or weeks you expect the project to take.

If you are working on a specific product or chemical structure, describe the specific issues you are facing. If you are not willing to get into the specifics, don’t worry — you can always sign an NDA with the freelancer before disclosing any confidential information.

In addition, the major thing to look for in a cosmetic chemist is their education and work experience. Most cosmetic chemists these days have a Masters degree; if not a PhD. Industry reports have it that education plays a huge role in determining cosmetic chemist charges or salaries, with cosmetic chemist holding a PhD earning higher median base salaries than those holding a Master’s degree.


With the growing popularity of cosmetic products and the sharp rise in cosmetic chemist salaries, coupled with the equally steep rise in their shortage, cosmetic companies often struggle to be able to access and afford expert cosmetic chemists.

Freelance cosmetic chemists and independent consultants are tapping to tap into the demand by offering their services to those who need them. Note that hiring a freelance cosmetic chemist helps to cut across product formulation boundaries and access top-quality expertise, on demand, and at a fraction of the cost to hire an in-house, full-time employee.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Are The Duties Of A Cosmetic Chemist?

The primary duty of a cosmetic chemist is to use their chemical knowledge to develop cosmetic products like makeup, skincare, and other goods. There are experts who are involved in every stage of the development process from research to testing. They also create new formulas and test products to make sure that they are safe for humans before they go out on the market.

  1. What Do You Need To Do To Qualify As A Cosmetic Chemist?

First, note that job opportunities within the field of cosmetic chemistry are very vast as the range of services they render or products they create and test. If you decide to venture down this career path, you will have to consider numerous job-specific details that will improve your chances of success in the cosmetic industry.

However, in the United States, to qualify as a cosmetic chemist you will need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. However, if you intend to advance further in the field, you will probably need a master’s as well. Even for an entry-level position, cosmetic chemists need experience working in a lab as interns or research assistants.

  1. How Can You Get A Cosmetic Chemist To Help With Your Brand?

Aside from using Google to research cosmetic chemists in your city, you can check on the Society of Cosmetic Chemists website or search through Happi Magazine. These platforms always have an updated list of chemical companies that can help you.

  1. Do You Need To Be A Cosmetic Chemist To Formulate Skincare Products?

No, you don’t need to be a cosmetic chemist to formulate your skincare products. In addition, you don’t need a degree in cosmetic science or meet any other formal requirements to create your skincare formulas. It all depends on your practical experience and how much time you are eager to invest in fine toning your product.

  1. How Do You Become A Cosmetic or Pharmaceutical Chemist?

To become a cosmetic or pharmaceutical chemist, here is how your career path should go:

  • Get a Degree in Chemistry
  • Consider Obtaining an Advanced Degree
  • Research the Industry
  • Choose Your Job Position
  • Find a Temporary Job
  • Interact with Other Cosmetic Chemists
  1. What Kind Of Licenses And Permits Does One Need In Order To Start A Cosmetic Line?

While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) heavily regulates the use of certain cosmetic ingredients, it does not mandate cosmetic lines to obtain a special license to sell safe and compliant products.

However, to ensure products are safe and compliant, it is necessary to ensure you meet labeling requirements, and avoid health claims that are not backed up by evidence. Some states may mandate skincare sellers to apply for a local state license to distribute products. Also note that you will need a business license and depending on your location, you may also need to apply for a Seller’s Permit for tax purposes.

  1. How Do People Find Labs Or Chemists To Start Making Cosmetics?

There is a lot of information on labs, chemists, and formulas online, in books, or in classes. However, to find labs or chemists to start making cosmetics, head to the society of cosmetic chemists website. Also, note that you can find some independent chemists on Upwork.

  1. How Long Does It Take To Become A Cosmetic Chemist?
  • 4 years – Bachelor’s degree
  • 1-3 years — Experience in product formulation
  1. What Is The Best Way To Hire A Chemist To Create A New Beauty Product Formulation?

This will depend on your business goals and intention. Nonetheless, there are two different options to pick from:

  • Get a formulation from a contract manufacturer
  • Get a custom formulation created by a chemist
  1. How Much Does A Cosmetic Chemist Make A Year?

As of Sept 21, 2022, the average annual pay for a Cosmetic Chemist in the United States is $63,409 a year, and this works out as around $30.49 an hour, $1,219/week, and $5,284/month.

  1. Would A Biochemistry Degree Be Good Enough To Get A Job In This Field?

Yes, a biochemistry degree is good enough to get a job in this field. Note that to succeed on this career path requires excellent skills in both organic chemistry and biochemistry, as well as a good foundation in inorganic chemistry.

  1. What Are The Licenses Required To Manufacture Cosmetics?

Note that the FDA does not license cosmetics firms. However, state or local authorities may mandate certain licensing or have other requirements you need to know about. It is vital to contact your state or local authorities directly.

  1. What Is A Good Lab That Will Make Cosmetics For You?

A good lab that will make cosmetics for you should have the following;

  • Credibility
  • Innovation
  • Good Turnaround Time
  • Organizational Focus
  • Understand FDA Regulations
  • Attentiveness
  • Document Quality
  • Understand the Industry
  • Understand Chemistry
  • Understanding Microbiology
  1. Do You Need To Have A Deep Knowledge Of Chemistry In Order To Create A Cosmetics Product?

Yes, especially if you intend to make the products yourself. You can always tell if a product was created by a professional with deep chemistry knowledge or if it was made by an amateur who doesn’t understand chemistry.

  1. How Much Does It Cost To Create A Cosmetic Product?

To create a cosmetic product, your key start-up costs will be in three major areas including:

  • Product Development – around $5000 for a single product
  • Business Expenses – varies but expect to pay at least $2000
  • Marketing & Sales – around $500 and above
  1. How Do You Know If Someone Is A Good Chemist?

There are certain factors to consider when trying to know if someone is a good chemist, these factors include;

  • Do they have a degree?
  • What is their work history?
  • Are they an SCC members?
  • How much are they charging up front?
  • Do they give a timescale?
  1. How Does The Average Person Find A Reputable Chemical Manufacturing Company?

To find a reputable chemical manufacturing company, you only need to search for a particular substance by searching a chemical properties database like SciFinder or Reaxys, or you can search through a chemical directory or catalog.

Joy Nwokoro