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Introduction to Cosmetic Science Short Course

Course description

Through lectures and practical workshops, this course will teach you the basics of formulating cosmetic products in a laboratory environment.

The lectures will introduce you to the underpinning science disciplines, e.g. skin biology and formulation science. You will also be introduced to the classes of raw materials used in cosmetic formulations and to the key legislative requirements for marketing cosmetic products, including natural and organic products.

To apply your knowledge, you will have the opportunity to make a variety of products in the laboratory in the context of skincare, haircare, suncare and colour; this is a great chance to experience being a cosmetic formulator.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will have a greater understanding of the role of cosmetic ingredients in cosmetics and toiletries. With the scientific principles learnt on the course, you will be able to have a more critical approach to the use of cosmetic products and understand their basic physicochemical structure. Over the week, you will develop your critical opinion with regard to the cosmetic industry and gain confidence in working in a laboratory.

Who Should Attend

Beginners. This course is a great foundation for those who are considering joining the MSc Cosmetic Science in the near future. It is also ideal to those working in the beauty industry or the retail of cosmetic products and want to learn more about the science behind their ingredients, their making and their basic effects on the skin and hair. GCSE level Chemistry or equivalent knowledge is an advantage.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older.

Clear, easy to understand lessons:

  • Our tutors will explain things in easy to understand, accessible English. If they need to use any special terminology they will make sure they explain what they mean.
  • New methods will be shown to students through live demonstrations, in a way thats crystal clear and easy to understand.
  • Experience life on campus
  • Network and share ideas with students from across the globe
  • Access the technology and materials relevant to your discipline
  • Shop in our college shops for any materials you might need
  • Ask questions of your tutor in real time
  • Receive feedback and critique on your assignments
  • Experience the many sights of London on your down time

A certificate of completion:

  • You've put the work in so we want to make sure you have something to show for it!
  • As long as you attend a minimum of 80% of your classes, we will provide you with a certificate of attendance.
  • We always recommend you attend all of the classes so that you get the most out of the experience!
  • Certificates are great to compliment your cv.

This course is scheduled to run on campus in a face to face delivery format. Please note that due to the ongoing pandemic situation this course may be adapted in line with UK government guidance or other operational requirements. This may include changing course location (to another UAL site), cancellation of the course, or moving part or all of the course online. In the event of any changes being required we will inform you as soon as possible and support you in any changes required. Please bear this in mind when making any travel, visa, or accommodation arrangements.

Available dates

Enquire about this course and we will contact you when new dates are published.


Topics covered:

  • Classes of cosmetic products and cosmetic raw materials;
  • Cosmetics legislation and guidelines on natural cosmetic products;
  • Principles of colloidal science;
  • Introduction to skin and hair biology;
  • Introduction to colour and the use of pigments;
  • Introduction to sun protection;
  • Introduction to packaging and sustainability in the cosmetic industry;
  • Making skincare, haircare, colour and suncare formulations.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:

  • A laboratory coat
  • Notebook and pen
  • Laptop/iPad/tablet


Meet the Tutor:

This exciting Introduction to Cosmetic Science short course has been designed for those who would like to learn about the science behind cosmetic products. The course is delivered by the academic team behind our integrated MSc Cosmetic Science.

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