Podcast: Episode 19, the different professions in cosmetics

Listen to the audio episode on the different professions of cosmetics.

      The different professions of cosmetics:

      • Marketing
      • Research and Development (R&D)
      • Regulatory
      • Operation
      • Sale
      • Aesthetics
      • Administrative


      Cosmetics is a key sector of the French economy with 24 billion euros in turnover in 2018 . 24 billion is a figure so large that it can be difficult to imagine it, so I offer you an image: on Earth, there are 7 billion humans, so it is the equivalent of a purchase of 3 euros of French cosmetics, made by each person in one year.

      The turnover (turnover) of French cosmetics is enormous, it is not only due to the consumption of the French.es, it is mainly due to a colossal export . In 2019, 7 billion euros of cosmetics were exported to Europe alone, and more than 15 billion to the rest of the world. It is a sector that also creates a lot of jobs in France, because 170,000 jobs are devoted to it, including 65% of the positions occupied by women. With so many turnovers and jobs, it's easy to imagine that this industry involves a lot of people and therefore a lot of professions.


      Here is a non-exhaustive list of the main professions related to cosmetics, listed in the order of the product's life cycle, from the idea to beyond its marketing.

      The first step in creating a new product is its idea. It is generally one of the missions of the marketing department, which can be broken down into several teams if the company is large.

      1. MARKETING

      Product marketing: Product Development

      The idea for the new product comes mainly from the product marketing team such as the Product Development Manager / Product Manager. He is responsible for developing the product, from its idea to its launch on the market.

      His daily life involves a lot of project management, monitoring of actions, coordination with the various departments. If you want to know more, 🖇 episode 4 is totally dedicated to product development .

      The brand manager or group manager

      We can also count on the brand managers and group managers who take care of the image of the brand and the image of the group.

      Strategic Marketing

      There is also strategic marketing. It is the responsibility of the marketing director who has a long-term vision of the brand. It is based on studies carried out by the study marketing team.

      Study marketing

      Research marketing is made up of research managers, a database manager, a research and marketing intelligence manager. They analyze the latest sales figures, for example, to deduce new trends and what to look for in the future.

      Distribution marketing

      The distribution marketing team is made up of category manager, merchandiser , trade marketer also called in charge of sales promotion. He combines skills in marketing and commerce. Its primary mission is to stimulate sales with distributors thanks to POS = advertising at the point of sale, contests, visuals, displays, arguments, animations...
      These strategies highlight the chosen product at the point of sale to set it apart and guide the consumer's purchase.

      Customer Marketing

      It is also necessary to establish a relationship of trust with the customer outside the point of sale. These are the missions of the Customer marketing team, which is made up of the customer relationship manager, the direct marketing manager, the community manager, in particular with e-mailing and social networks.

      The press relationship

      We must also not forget a member to manage the relationship with the printed and digital press to ensure frequent mentions in magazines.

      The creative team

      The creative team can include a photographer, a videographer, a digital designer to retouch the photos and make montages. It is important to create content regularly for marketing but it is also necessary to define the identity of the brand with its logo, its colors, the design of its packaging, etc.

      When the idea of ​​the product is clear and well defined, it is necessary to count on the research and development team to concretize this marvel.


      All research and development, also known as R&D, is not part of the same company. It is necessary to bring together very different expertise in R&D for the development of a single product, it is then impossible for the brand to manage the entire process. To start, you have to define the active ingredients or raw materials to be used in the product for its effectiveness, but also for the story you want to give to the product.

      Commodity companies - extraction, identification...

      One can turn to raw material suppliers to identify the raw materials to be used. They bring together a whole ecosystem of different professions, from the cultivation of biomass, the production of the raw material to the sale of their materials.

      To name just a few professions, this sector includes farmers, chemists to extract, purify and identify the molecule of interest, biologists, a regulatory department, salespeople, marketers, etc.,

      Each supplier of raw materials has its own specialty (vegetable oils, gelling agents, humectants, emulsifiers, etc.) so several suppliers must be contacted to obtain the ingredients necessary for the formulation of a product.

      Formulation and physico-chemical control

      Then there are the formulation teams who formulate the product and generally carry out the physico-chemical control of the product over time, these are the compatibility and stability tests.

      Formula testing labs - for efficacy, safety...

      Once the formula appeals and seems robust, it is sent to various laboratories for microbiological tests with the challenge test, irritation and/or tolerance tests such as patch tests, efficacy tests. Besides, if you want to know more about the tests, 🖇 episode 8 is dedicated to the stability and compatibility test and 🖇 episode 13 is dedicated to the patch test . The main professions of these test laboratories are biologist or even microbiologist. It is also necessary to rely on a toxicologist to ensure the safety of the formula.

      Packaging development

      When everything is ready for the formula, don't forget to put it in primary and potentially secondary packaging. The primary packaging is the one that touches the formula, for example the jar, unlike the secondary packaging such as the cardboard box. The packaging is designed with the packaging supplier for tailor-made development or standard references. The packaging can be developed especially for the project when the order is very very large and has several tens or even hundreds of thousands of copies. If this is not the case, the brand then chooses standard packaging, that is to say present in the supplier's catalog. Many engineers work in the development of packaging.


      Then when the formula has passed all the tests, it passes into the hands of the regulatory department.

      • They ensure that the formulas comply with the regulations in force in the countries where they are sold

      • They register the formulas with the local authorities. In Europe, each cosmetic must be notified on the CPNP portal, and must be accompanied by a product information file.

      • They also check that the claims are supported by studies. In large groups, he may have a separate team for claims, because it is an expertise between marketing, regulations and studies carried out on raw materials and especially on the finished product.

      • They actively monitor new decrees or international regulations, to ensure that products remain compliant over time.


      When the regulatory department has done what is necessary to ensure that the product is compliant and up to standard, the operations department can then begin to get down to business.

      The production

      The first stage of production is the study of the formula because it is necessary to make an industrial transposition, that is to say an increase in scale. The formula was developed at benchtop scale in beakers no larger than 5 kg and with benchtop tools and stirrers. On the contrary, the production is done on hundreds or even thousands of kg, the agitation, the shearing, the homogeneity of the heating are different from that of the bench. It is therefore necessary to create a protocol with the production tools to best reproduce what has been done on the bench.

      Then, you have to weigh the raw materials for production, produce the formula on a large scale, package it and therefore put it in the packaging items. The production teams also manage the schedules for the use of production tanks, packaging lines and personnel.

      Quality control

      As soon as the production is done, it is necessary to control its quality, that is to say to make a sensory, microbial and physico-chemical evaluation (pH, viscosity, density).

      Flow management: supply chain

      It is also necessary to manage incoming and outgoing flows, which is the responsibility of the supply chain teams. Where are materials and packaging items stored? How to label them to avoid confusion? How to manage stocks electronically? When to recommend materials to arrive in time for production? How to manage the sending of orders? ...


      The supply chain team is therefore in contact with the purchasing team and ensures that orders are placed on time to respect the production schedule. The buying team also negotiates the prices of materials, and clearly almost everything they buy.

      After production and when we have the product in our hands thanks to the operation department, we will have to sell them.

      5. THE SALE

      The sales strategy

      The sales strategy team answers questions such as: Do we sell to companies, therefore in B to B (business to business), do we sell to individuals, therefore in B to C (business to customer), what is the distribution network, what price...

      Customer account management

      Then, we have to manage customer accounts, that is to say make sure that our big customers, when we do B to B, have received their orders, that they have received the new catalog with the new products. , that they have a strategy for launching our new products, ... It's important for the brand because selling to Sephora, for example, ensures a lot of sales. Sephora has many places of sale and therefore you have to negotiate prices, delivery times, launch schedules, etc.


      Salespeople can work directly in parapharmacies, at distributors, or even directly in the brand store, if the brand is big enough to have stores.

      Customer service

      Then, you need an after-sales service team to answer customer questions and complaints.

      The products can also be sold to companies that use them for their activities, such as the aesthetics sector.


      ◦ Beauty salons, hairdressers, nail salons, spas that use cosmetics for their activities

      Professional makeup artist, etc.


      And finally, there are all the ancillary sectors that contribute to all businesses running well.

      ◦ HR, payroll

      ◦ Accounting


      In conclusion, the field of cosmetics is a source of many jobs, particularly in France where it is a key sector of the national economy. The professions are very varied and affect in particular the marketing sector, research and development, regulations, operations, sales, aesthetics and like any other administrative company.

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      A chemist in the cosmetics industry for more than 5 years and a graduate of the Natural Raw Materials in Cosmetics Master's degree from ISIPCA, Julie is an expert in the development of natural cosmetic products.