Checklist for launching a skin care brand in South Africa

Steps to follow when launching a new skincare product

Checklist for launching a skin care brand in South Africa

What is your vision?

Whilst the skincare and cosmetic market is very competitive, there is always room for new products. This is because trends come and go and often make a return. However, to ensure your brand stands out from other brands you do need to make sure you know who your target customer is, as well as what problem you are providing a solution for.

Figure out the finances

When starting any business, there are always costs – and a skincare business is no different. Some of the costs you will need to consider include business name registration, branding, equipment, stock, packaging, website development and insurance. Get these costs down on paper and spend some time looking at the big picture to work out cash flow and make sure you actually have enough funds available.

Also remember when planning to formulate that you need to factor in the costs of ingredients and the minimum order quantity of ingredients. Often the pack sizes are large, and you may only need a little for each batch. The implication of this is that part of your cashflow will be tied up in ingredients. This can often lead to projects grinding to a halt as the cost to buy the ingredients for the first batch exceeds the available budget.

It is quite common for formulators and labs to ask for hefty deposits. This is to ensure that their costs are covered and that you are serious and understand what you are committing to.

Homegrown or outsourced

This does not just refer to the actual formulating and creating of the product, but everything around it. Doing what you can yourself can help save valuable capital. But think carefully before trying to do everything yourself. Things like logos and labels can easily be created by yourself or a creative friend, but when it comes to the serious stuff like formulation, compliance etc. it may be better to get some help or pay someone to do the job properly. Messing up formulas can be costly and cause time delays. This is not to say you cannot be the involved, but unless you have sufficient experience, you may waste precious ingredients, funds and time trying to get it right yourself.

Whatever you do, just keep asking yourself “is it professional”? and “would I buy this if it were not mine”?


One of the best ways to make sure your business venture works is to learn what you can yourself. Even if you are not going to formulate yourself to start with, perhaps enrol in a formulation course or work with a mentor so that you can understand exactly what is happening in your business. This will allow you to be more in control and make better decisions. Contact us at The Personal Care Coach and Training Company to find out more about our formulation, and mentoring offerings. We are here to help you.

Play by the rules

Different countries have different regulations governing cosmetics. If you are planning to keep your product local, then make sure it complies with local regulations, however if you aim to export at some stage you will need to comply with EU regulations which are quite strict. This is one area that you do not want to DIY – get a professional to help you ensure your labelling, packaging and testing are all compliant.

Whilst you may have your eyes set on the end goal of that amazing skin or hair care product, there is a lot of planning and preparation that has to take place before you can start selling your products. However, don’t let this stop you from chasing that dream. Read this article too for more guidance and advice – Starting your own skincare range.

The Personal Care Coach and Training Company has been created to help skincare entrepreneurs develop and launch their own skincare products.