Starting Your Own Skincare Range
The skincare, personal, haircare and cosmetics industry is one of the most competitive in the world – probably because the barriers to entry are relatively low. One does not need a massive factory or production line to get started. Many entrepreneurs simply start in the kitchen using basic ingredients and equipment.
This being said going, from creating and producing a few basic products for one’s personal use to having a range of products that can be sold to the public – whether at your local market or in a larger retail environment, requires a bit more investment and knowledge of basic chemistry, ingredients, safety requirements, labelling laws, packaging and manufacturing principles.
The good news for entrepreneurs is that the industry has changed quite significantly over the past number of years – the move towards natural, clean and holistic skincare has meant that despite a crowded market there are opportunities for niche brands. Whilst the global giants still take up the most shelf space, online retail has meant that launching your own brand is not impossible.
Where to start?
So, you have an idea, and you have a little bit of knowledge of ingredients but how do you take this further?
Before you even start looking for ingredients and experimenting make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to make. Is it just going to be a product or two for your own personal use or have you identified a gap in a particular market?
The next step is to spend some time learning about the basic principles of formulation, what ingredients to use, how to mix them and test them.
Whilst experimenting with formulations yourself will help you gain an understanding of the properties of formulation; errors can be costly you will waste valuable and expensive ingredients.
Start by doing some research online, there is a wealth of information on the internet and sources such as The Personal Care Coach and Training Company can be very useful as you start out on your journey.
You may want to sign up for some basic courses in cosmetic formulation which equip you with more in-depth knowledge.
You can also use ready-to-use formulations such as the ones on this site, for simple products such as moisturisers, body creams, hand creams etc. These tell you exactly what ingredients to use, how to mix them etc. You can, however, personalise these by adding actives or ingredients of your choice, which will make them more unique.
Invest in some basic equipment such as a glass lab thermometer, digital scale that measure to 0.1g, electric stick blender, hand whish, measuring jugs/beakers, pH strips, spoons, spatulas, protective gloves, double boiler or heating pad. This will enable you to measure and mix accurately.
Hygiene and safety
Even if you are only going to produce small quantities for your personal use or a small business, hygiene and product safety is critical. Make sure all equipment and the area you mix your products in is clean and hygienic.
Testing your products at every stage may seem like a waste of time but it is important especially if you do plan to sell your products to the public. You will lose customers if products separate or go off causing unpleasant reactions.
You can do some basic stability testing yourself, however experienced labs can be invaluable for new brands. They test your formulations to ensure that they’re free from yeast, mould, bacteria, and fungus during a product’s shelf life and use.
It is also important to educate yourself on preservatives, shelf life, allergens, and proper storage, labelling and handling of skincare products.
The Personal Care Coach and Training Company has been created to help skincare entrepreneurs develop and launch their own skincare products. Check out our free formulation guides, videos and articles. Sign up for our newsletter to receive regular updates.