Cosmetic Product Development Services & Formulation

Cosmetic Product Development: From Concept to Final Product

Around the world, the beauty industry is worth around $532 billion. If you want a piece of that action, you can get it by creating your own beauty product to sell.

Cosmetic product development is simpler than most people realize, even though it may not be easy. There are several phases, each with a few steps you'll have to follow.

However, if you can stick with it, you can start marketing your own beauty products and build a business around selling makeup products or anything else you want in the beauty industry.

Phase 1: Creating the Marketing Brief

Whether you do this on your own or with a marketing team, it's important to start by taking a close look at how you will sell this product. Consider your audience and their needs while looking at growing trends in the market to understand what type of product will be best received by your target market.

There are four steps you'll need to go through to create your marketing brief. Let's look at them more closely so you can understand why each of them is essential.

Identify Opportunities

The first thing you want to do is make sure you're filling a legitimate need or gap in the market. If you come up with an idea that resolves a problem that 100 other products are already focused on, you'll have trouble selling your product because it's not unique.

Instead, take your time to look at the other products on the market and identify gaps. For example, there may be a certain hair type that doesn't have a lot of products for it or a skin condition that doesn't have many products addressing it.

Analyze Competition

Analyzing your competition goes hand-in-hand with identifying opportunities. Look carefully at what other companies are currently doing and find ways you can do it better or in a unique way that offers a better solution to your target audience.

You can sometimes find gaps in the market this way. For example, a makeup line of foundations that only has a few shades to cater to the most common skin tones. By creating a line for less common skin tones, you can meet the needs of people that will quickly turn into fiercely loyal customers.

Create Product Details

Once you have an idea as to what beauty product you want to create, you can then get into the product details. Be as detailed as possible so the product designers know what to do. Think about what it should accomplish, how it should feel, what it should look and smell like, and what ingredients it should have or not have.

Choose a Technology

The technology behind your beauty product describes how it works. Here are a few examples of some of the most popular technologies in the beauty industry today:

  • High-tech - Specific to a certain condition or problem, usually tested extensively to ensure effectiveness.
  • Natural - Primarily uses ingredients found in nature instead of synthetic ones.
  • Organic - Uses ingredients that are produced organically without any use of chemicals.
  • "Free from" - Removes certain ingredients such as paraben, dairy products, alcohol, or preservatives.
  • Sensory - Focuses on providing a certain sensory experience for users.
  • Illumination - Provides extra shine to a user's hair or face with the addition of illuminating ingredients.
  • Nutritional - Adds vitamins, minerals, and other forms of nutrition to the user.

Some of these technologies work well together, so you may want to pick one or two to put into the same product. For example, a lotion that is both organic and illuminary.

Phase 2: Prototype Creation

It's important to work out all of the kinks in your beauty or skincare product before it hits the market. That's why a huge part of global product development is creating a few samples of your product with product developers.

During this part of the process, you'll work with a product development engineer to ensure your cosmetics products are just the way you want them and meeting all safety standards. In most cases, this team will come up with several product formulations so you can find one that works best.

There are three tests done to ensure product safety once the prototypes are finished. Let's take a closer look at each of these and how they help you formulate a global product.

Chemical Tests

A cosmetic chemist will first check to make sure your beauty or skincare product doesn't react with other things it may come into contact with. This includes:

  • Water
  • Warmth
  • Human skin
  • Other cosmetic products

If a product unexpectedly reacts in a dangerous way to any of these things, the product development process will need to start again. The last thing you want is to release a product that becomes toxic when it gets wet.

Allergens will also have to be considered at this point. If your product has ingredients that cause allergic reactions in people, you'll need to decide what to do about them. You can leave them in with a warning on the label or swap them out for an alternative.


Laboratory Tests

Once a product has passed all of the chemical tests, it will go through a series of laboratory tests. At this stage, it's compared to existing similar products to determine if it meets the standards and does what it claims to do.

It's important to put your cosmetic product through rigorous laboratory testing so you know for sure it will perform the way it was intended. This is essential for the success of the product since users won't keep coming back for more if it's not as effective as it should be.

Human Testing

The final testing stage is on humans. While this type of testing used to be done on animals, products are now given to people who use it during their day-to-day lives. They can then report on the overall effectiveness of the product and express how well it worked for them in real-life situations.

Take the feedback you get during this step and carefully consider your next move. If your product was well-received by this small test group, you can move onto the next phase. If not, you may need to go back to the drawing board.

Phase 3: Sourcing Raw Materials

Once you have the list of materials you need, you can find a source for these materials. Make sure these are the exact same ingredients that were used in your prototype or you may find that the final product is not up to the same standards.

It's also important to consider quantities. You need to make sure you keep your manufacturer stocked with the right amount of each material that's needed. This will help keep production on track.

You may also want to make sure you're using an ethical source of raw materials. Today, many people are concerned with where their products come from and want to only use products that are sourced and created ethically. Doing so will help you reach this demographic and help you maintain a good business reputation.

Phase 4: Packaging Sourcing

The next thing you need to think about is your packaging. Once again, you need to make sure you're working with a company that will guarantee materials will be available when your manufacturing plant needs them so production doesn't get halted.

Some decisions you'll have to make regarding your packaging include:

  • Container size
  • Material
  • Cap type
  • Cap material

The material you choose for packaging needs to be non-reactive. Just as you don't want your cosmetic product to react to things like water, you also don't want it to have a bad reaction to the packaging materials.

Phase 5: Designing Packaging Artwork

Once you know the size and shape of the container you'll be using for your product, it will be easier to design the artwork. You want to make sure your target audience sees your product and is interested in purchasing it based on the packaging.

Think about the fonts and words you use and how these reflect your brand. You also need to think about colors. This is what will most likely get the attention of someone initially, so think about the meaning of colors and choose ones that reflect your brand and the feeling you want to express with your product.

Phase 6: Checking Quality and Compliance 

Although some of this will have been tested during the formulation process, it's also important to put your product through additional testing so you can confirm that it meets all quality and applicable compliance requirements.

It's essential to ensure your product meets standards so you don't face the possibility of a lawsuit in the future if there was something harmful in your product that you didn't know about or disclose.

Phase 7: Validating Final Product

Now all that's left is to confirm that the final product matches the marketing brief. If it does, then you can move onto marketing and selling your product before you move onto the next one.

Get Help with Cosmetic Product Development

Now you know how to take a haircare or other beauty product from concept to market-ready product. As you can see, it's important to go through each step so you can have a product that's unique and ready to be sold to your target audience.

If you need more help with cosmetic product development, contact us today. We would be more than happy to partner with you to create the product you want to create a business with or add to your current line.