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Scientist with plants in a lab for clean skin care.

Why There’s a Cosmetic Chemist Behind Every Great Formula

The average woman applies 9 to 15 products on her body each day, not counting perfume. Do you know who’s looking at the ingredients?

In this on-going business series, we decode different professions within the beauty industry, sharing groundbreaking insight from experts on Codex Beauty’s Advisory Panel. Come learn and be inspired!


The Science Behind: Cosmetic Chemistry

Insight From: Marc Cornell and Steven Trzaska


There are literally thousands of cosmetic products available on the market, each of which contain numerous ingredients. The overall number of ingredients a person applies on their body is astounding. In the United States, there are over 10,000 unique chemical ingredients approved for use in personal care products. A single cosmetic product will typically contain anywhere from 15 to 50 ingredients. Studies have shown that a woman, on average, applies from 9 to 15 products on her body each day, not counting perfume. That means that a woman's body is exposed to over 300 chemicals each and every day as part of her normal personal care routine. Statisticians estimate the daily number to be closer to 515, inclusive of perfumes.


Cosmetic chemists are often thought of in the industry as being like artists or chefs, always striving to create products that are as unique and elegant as they are useful. But they are, in fact, also scientists, with advanced chemical training. As a result, they possess knowledge and understanding about how different types of ingredients in formulas interact with one another to ensure that the creations are both safe and efficacious. For that reason, they work closely with toxicologists, dermatologists and ingredient suppliers, staying up on the latest, most relevant ingredient information. Regardless of whether the product is an anti-aging skin care lotion, a hair shampoo or a nail polish, it must first and foremost be safe.


At Codex Beauty, our cosmetic chemists are compassionate artists, chefs, scientists and innovators committed to making every single product—of the hundreds you could apply to your skin—the very best in the world.


Meet the Codex Beauty Experts

Marc Cornell is an expert in natural and organic product formulation development and the former vice president of Innovation at Englewood Lab. During his thirty-year career he has worked in research and development roles for Merck, L’Oréal USA and Neostrata. For the last twenty years he has worked primarily on cosmeceuticals and developed numerous transformational textures for the sensorial skincare category.


Steven Trzaska is the former head of patents and business development for the U.S. subsidiary of L’Oréal, the world’s largest beauty company. During his time at the company, Trzaska built the first fully functional U.S. patent department, handling all U.S.-originating patent filing, litigation and acquisition-related due diligence.

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