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Charles Sweat

Principal Scientist

Formulated Solutions

Member since: 2001

Florida Chapter

What made you pursue a career in the cosmetics/personal care industry?

As a child, I was always interested in reading ingredients labels on any product within reach and wondering the purpose of each ingredient. After high school, I knew I wanted to major in Chemistry and pursued and received a Bachelors of Science in Analytical Chemistry from USF.

After graduation, I followed the Analytical QA/QC path into the personal care industry at Diamond Products. Once there, I slid into the formulator role while assisting one of the senior formulation scientists with the development of National Brand Equivalent shampoos, conditioners, lotions, mouthwashes and various homeopathic products. I was able to learn very quickly and my mentor encouraged me to continue. Eventually, Diamond Products bought the White Rain “value” brand hair care line, along with several other related product lines from Gillette. At that time, CARB had just instituted the reduction of VOC content for hair sprays from 80% VOC to 55% VOC which was extremely challenging to develop an affordable mass market hair spray that:

a.) dried quickly while using more water and less ethanol in the formula,
b.) had reduced amounts of hydrocarbon propellants and
c.) still had the familiar hold that customers had been accustomed to over the years.

Thankfully, with the help of my boss at the time, we successfully met that challenge. I then became fully involved in formulating various hold 55% VOC hair sprays (aerosol and pump sprays) for four product lines, 6% VOC mousses, hair gels, shampoos, conditioners, styling products and body washes. I had the privilege of seeing the majority of the hair care products that I had developed and/or contributed to development, go on to launch successfully and continue with strong sales for many years following.

Unfortunately, after 13 years of employment there, Diamond Products was eventually sold to an out of state company and thereafter ceased to exist. I had been asked to join the new company in the same capacity as a senior formulator but chose not to accept the position due to family commitments. Fortunately, I was then hired by Formulated Solutions, first as Senior Chemist for 2 years in the R&D Lab then as the R&D Lab Manager for the last 11 years until my recent promotion to Principal Scientist. Even though Formulated Solutions is a contract manufacturer, I still have been fortunate to have seen several products that I had formulated for our customers, both in the personal care and pharma industries, proceed to successful market launches.

What is the favorite part of your job?

Formulating a new product and seeing it make its way out into the marketplace. It is exciting to see it on the store shelves and know that it is there because of the work you put into it.

What has been your most recent professional accomplishment?

Working on new aerosol product forms for pharmaceutical use.

How has membership in the SCC been of value to you?

I have learned a great deal by attending the many conferences and continuing education classes offered through both the National and the Florida SCC. In addition, the relationships made in the SCC over the years are of even greater value to me both personally and professionally. The SCC as a whole has been such an amazing resource for me. I wouldn’t have been able to make it in this industry had the SCC not been available.

What is a fun fact about yourself, outside of the SCC and your professional life?

I am one of a set of identical triplets. Although we don’t look as much alike as when we were children, there are still instances where co-workers from each of our jobs has seen one of the “other” brothers and mistaken them for their co-worker.