AHS202 Cosmetic Chemistry

Unit Description

This unit explores the theories and practices associated with cosmetic ingredients and skincare formulations used in aesthetic practice via the scientific field of cosmetic chemistry. The marketing ‘hype’ and language often used to promote cosmetics and related products and services are scrutinised and contrasted against scientific principles of cosmetic chemistry.

Cosmetic chemical classifications, functions, individual ingredients and finished products will be discussed and evaluated, providing the student with evidence-based cosmetic chemistry knowledge to differentiate from the many myths and hype in cosmetic products and use.


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit the student will be able to:

  1. Define cosmetic chemistry and describe the range of materials that may be applied in dermal and aesthetic industries
  2. Differentiate between cosmetic, dermal and pharmaceuticals and describe the range of ingredients and treatment protocols relevant to each
  3. Examine market branding and testing strategies related to the effectiveness and use of cosmetics
  4. Distinguish and clarify the differences between products and materials in the cosmetic and broader skin care industry
  5. Compare the routes of ingredient entry into the skin and how the skin structure influences these
  6. Contrast product delivery systems currently employed throughout the industry
  7. Identify and discuss legislative and regulatory standard relating to the cosmetic industry

Graduate Attributes (GA)

In addition to the unit-specific learning outcomes listed above, the following graduate attributes are taught, developed and assessed in varying degrees within this unit:

  • Knowledge of applied health science theory and practice
  • Knowledge of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities within healthcare delivery systems
  • The ability to communicate effectively with clients, peers and the wider community
  • The ability to demonstrate in-depth competence in their area(s) of specialisation
  • The ability to formulate and apply therapeutic interventions in their area(s) of specialisation
  • The capacity to lead, manage and/or work effectively with multi-disciplinary and culturally diverse teams
  • Awareness of professional and ethical responsibilities and a commitment to ongoing professional development and life-long learning.
Dermal Science
20 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000