MSc Cosmetic Science graduate Aimee Nottingham has won a prestigious international award open to students across Europe. The annual competition is organised by the German detergents, cosmetics and fragrances association SEPAWA, and it works at three levels: BSc, MSc and PhD. Aimee won the award for the MSC category.

SEPAWA is one of the largest specialist associations in Europe, with experts from the detergents, cosmetics and perfume industries being part of it. Aimee will be attending a conference and event in Berlin next month, where she will receive her award and a prize of 1000 Euros.

Aimee Nottingham

Why did you enter the awards?

I entered the awards after receiving positive feedback on my work from my tutors. We believed my masters report contained some relevant and innovative research, in particular to do with a new testing method for antioxidants.

What was your submission about?

My work was looking at natural antioxidants for use in cosmetic products. The aim of the research was to determine a method to guarantee antioxidant activity of specific plant extracts as well as finished cosmetic products.

What did you study before Cosmetic Science and why did you decide to take the MSc at LCF?

Before studying Cosmetic Science I did a scientific baccalaureate in France followed by two years of intensive training in physics and chemistry engineering. I decided to study at LCF because I knew that I ultimately wanted to specialise in cosmetics. I wanted to find a path that would guarantee a job in that specific industry, and thought that the MSc would provide this for me.

What has it been like studying at LCF?

It has been great to be able to get an overview and understanding of the cosmetic industry as a whole, from perfumery to production management. Getting insight from industry experts thanks to guest lectures has also been a brilliant opportunity. LCF provided me with expert knowledge and key contacts for my future career.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of a career in Cosmetic Science?

I would say that you have to really be interested in all aspects of the cosmetic industry (not just the glamorous stuff!) and remain open minded to all the different sectors. There are many interesting aspects of the industry that people may not think of, such as claims validation or packaging sourcing. They are all areas that you can later specialise in.

What’s it like being a woman in Science?

There are a lot of women in the cosmetic industry, so I have never felt like there was any inequalities in my job opportunities so far.

What are you plans for the future?

I am currently a New Product Development Manager for Bulldog Skincare. I love every aspect of my job, especially because no two days are the same. One day, I’ll be thinking about new trends and new products and the next I’ll be in a factory looking at the products being filled. It’s very exciting and I would really like to continue to progress and grow in this career path.

In the past LCF has had successes at SEPAWA with two BSc students winning in 2012 and 2014, but this is the first one awarded for the MSc project.

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