Sabrina Khoosal is a Hair Development Scientist in the Research and Innovation department at L’Oréal South Africa. Currently pursuing a Society of Cosmetic Chemists South Africa (COSCHEM) diploma, she recently graduated with her Masters in Environmental Analytical Chemistry.
Sabrina is passionate about green chemistry and environmentalism as a whole, and channels this passion through her daily work at L’Oréal South Africa,
Sabrina joined L’Oreal as a research intern in August 2021, and in July 2022, was promoted to the Hair Care and Manageability division as a Hair Development Scientist. When she’s in the lab, she’s involved in all aspects of product formulation, including quality, safety and performance. As a project leader, she also manages the various stakeholders and processes needed to take a project from marketing brief to launch.
Always inquisitive, Sabrina was drawn to a career in science from a young age. She sees creation as an art form, whether it’s cooking a meal or putting the pieces of a puzzle together. The process of creating “something” out of “nothing” inspired her to study chemistry. “Growing up, I thoroughly enjoyed science. I had fantastic science teachers as role models who encouraged me to follow this path. The beauty industry involves a complex network of various science domains, for example, chemistry, biology, and computer sciences just to name a few – and the opportunities are endless!”
“I was drawn to the role at LÓreal because it allowed me to apply my scientific knowledge to practical products that I use on a regular basis. I anticipate that the most exciting part of my job will be seeing the results of my hard work on the shelves for people to use.
As a young female scientist pioneering environmentally conscious products in the beauty industry, Sabrina encourages other young people, especially girls, to consider a career in the sciences.
“The world needs scientists. This is because we encounter science every day and it is at the forefront of problem-solving. We need scientists to ask the important questions that allow us to solve the problems of tomorrow today. We need to keep encouraging young people to enter the field because they approach challenges with fresh ways of thinking and innovative ideas – young people will keep the industry moving forward.”
From a female perspective, Sabrina believes that female scientists are particularly needed for their unique perspectives and to enhance greater representation in the field.
“Chemistry is a typically male-dominated field, and as a female chemist, L’Oreal has provided me with an opportunity to use my chemistry skills in an industry that I am passionate about. People might have misconceptions about the industry and not really understand the depth of science that goes into the products they find on the shelves, and I really enjoy being part of the science behind the beauty.”
When it comes to encouraging young girls aspiring to be scientists, Sabrina says “Science presents endless possibilities and you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”