In Memory of J. Leon Lichtin


J. Leon Lichtin, PhD, passed away on June 10, 2014, at the age of 90. He was the founder of the cosmetic science program at the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy at the University of Cincinnati (UC), and is often referred to as the father of cosmetic science education. The Ohio Valley SCC (OVSCC) honored Lichtin last fall with a reception after its symposium, and was lucky enough to have him in attendance. 

According to the UC website, the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy was the first in the United States to have a graduate program that emphasized cosmetic science. It’s also the only college in the United States to offer a doctorate with an emphasis in the specialty, and it was the first to offer a distance-learning graduate degree program in cosmetic science. These UC programs would not have been possible without the dedication of professor emeritus Lichtin.

"His graduate program, both innovative and groundbreaking, was the template for others in the U.S. and elsewhere that have emulated UC’s programs in the decades since,” Winkle alumnus Stanley Milstein, PhD, remarked at the OVSCC event.

In the 1950s, in collaboration with faculty from the UC College of Medicine’s department of dermatology, Lichtin and colleagues introduced college of medicine and pharmacy students to the study of lotions, ointments and emulsions. He wrote his own textbook and built upon UC’s co-op education concept by arranging cosmetic science student "internship” placements in industry, contract testing labs, trade associations and government laboratory positions throughout the United States.

In the early 1970s he established the cosmetic science graduate program, with the first student graduating in 1974. Over 100 students have obtained graduate degrees in the time since—some of whom obtained their degrees through distance learning, which was introduced in 2006 by professor emeritus Randall Wickett, PhD. He assumed responsibility for the program in 1991 upon Lichtin’s retirement.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Dr. J. Leon and Beverly Lichtin Cosmetic Sciences Endowed Scholarship Fund, at the University of Cincinnati, by calling 1-888-556-8889 or visiting

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