How to launch your cosmetics range properly. Here's what you need to know.

TLDR; From formulation & design to certification, making your own cosmetics takes more effort than buying from a reputable supplier. 

I want to get stuck in already!

 

So you’re looking to launch a new range of cosmetic products? Maybe you’re starting out as a newly fledged business owner. Or perhaps you’re looking to expand your range of products because they keep flying off the shelves. Awesome!

Cosmetics are an easy sell. That’s why they’re great at the till for a quick ‘oh I need a new lip balm’. If it looks good or smells delicious, it’s irresistible, that’s why our customers love them for craft fairs and exhibitions.

People just can’t keep their hands off them. Tester pots are empty by end of show.  ‘we’re going to need more for our next fair’. Fair goers are lured in by our dazzling bath bombs and a small crowd begins to form.

Customers can’t believe how amazing everything smells. Nobody leaves empty handed.

It sounds like a fairy tale, but there is some serious work that goes on behind the scenes. That’s the truth about success. It’s rarely a straight path from start to finish, it’s a winding, meandering road that shoots off in many directions. 

There are a few things you can bet on though. You got it, cosmetics regulations. I know, it’s the boring bit. Since you want to launch a cosmetics brand, we’ve got a guide to help answer your questions.

1. What cosmetics should I sell?

 

The possibilities are endless

 

So, you want to stock a hundred different products and look like your nearest Lush store? Whether it’s writing, film making or choosing a product range, it’s all in the edit.

Sometimes less is more. Think about your customer base when choosing your range. Are they family oriented (we formulated our Soothing Hand Salve to be gentle on soft skin)?

Are they a young adult market looking for style as well as substance (think our tinted lip balm)?

Refine your product offering so you can remain focussed on providing quality hand made products, like we do.

2. What should I put in my cosmetics?

 

Selecting your ingredients

 

Find a reliable, quality supplier of cosmetic ingredients. As a business, you want a reputation for using great ingredients, that doesn’t mean the cheapest.

You’re asking people to trust you to look after their bodies. That’s an important job! For us, as well as filling our recipes with lovely stuff, we refuse to compromise on ethics either.

We use plant based ingredients in all of our recipes for a simple reason. When you choose plant-based ingredients, you’re doing more than appealing to vegan consumers, you’re affecting everyone’s futures.

A hopeful fact is that avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on the Earth. By making cosmetics that avoid animal produce, you’re standing on the right side of history.

3. How do I perfect my cosmetics recipe?

 

Getting your products on point

 

You know what I said about success being the winding road? Let’s call it the scenic route, or the interesting path. When it comes to developing your cosmetics range there’s a lot of trial and error, and I mean a lot.

We trialled each and every recipe literally hundreds of times. A little more cocoa butter here, a little less Candelilla there. A ‘Woah that peppermint bath bomb is zingy! Let’s not make anyone permanently minty’ for good measure. You can see our perfected peppermint bath bomb here by the way.

My biggest tips for perfecting your recipe:

  • Write everything down. Everything. Keep all of your recipe records.
  • Measure everything in grams (even down to 0.05 grams of an ingredient)
  • Adjust every ingredient until it does the job
  • Retry the recipe
  • Get feedback from friends, family, customers (whoever you can grab)
  • Try it again
  • Try it one more time

4. How should I package cosmetics?

 

Be a presentation sensation

 

How are you going to style your product? Having a product that works is the tip of the iceberg. Consider the design of the labelling down to what the packaging is made from. When you launch a cosmetics brand, it all makes a difference.

Material

 

Customers love paper. Not only is it a recyclable, minimal packaging choice, a consumer survey revealed that your customers prefer products wrapped in paper or cardboard.

Aside from the eco-credentials, it gives the product a high quality, artisanal edge. True to our values and aims, all of our products have zero plastic packaging, with the majority wrapped in paper.

There’s a growing war on single use plastics, and consumers care more and more about the environment. People are cutting out plastic, whether to lower their environmental impact, or if they’re gifting to an eco-minded relative.

Times are changing, and businesses can’t afford to get left behind.

Design

 

The story goes that customers only take 7 seconds to make up their mind. Emotive stripes, informative text, bold colours and borders make products pop.

When our talented team designed the six bright, eye-catching themes for our labels, we had both consumers and shop shelves in mind. A well designed label does the sales pitch for you.

As a business owner, you’ll know all about the time constraints on entrepreneurs. You live it. The working day is short and the to do list is long.

That said, I hope you’re not thinking of taking a shortcut on your product labels. But, if you are, you could always try one of our samples instead. That’s the quickest way to launch a cosmetics brand.

5. What do I need to sell cosmetics legally?

 

Cosmetic Safety Assessment

 

Onto the serious stuff. Cosmetics are more tightly regulated than a lot of products, and with good reason.

After all the work of designing, testing and experimenting you’ll be desperate to take your awesome products to market. But first, a few tests.

To make sure your cosmetics are safe and suitable for use in the UK, you’ll have to send them for lab testing and also obtain a safety report.

You can go as far as dermatological or clinical testing, but this isn’t necessary.

Challenge Testing

 

If your recipes contain water, this is a must. A challenge test checks that your products inhibit bacterial and fungal growth.

It takes at least 28 days, during which the laboratory monitors your products.

Challenge testing also ensures that your formulations still work aesthetically and functionally. In short, you need to make sure your products won’t ‘go off’, and that they work, and continue to look great.

You’ll need one of these before progressing onto the next step.

Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR)

 

If you manufacture your own cosmetics and plan to sell in the UK or EU, a Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR) is a legal requirement.

We’ve put all of our products through the rigours of the CPSR, meaning our customers (business owners like you) don’t need to waste time thinking about it.

The CPSR makes sure the recipe is safe and suitable for sale, and all product formulations need an individual assessment.

These usually cost a few hundred pounds upwards, depending on the complexity of the product, type of service, and speed of assessment you need. You may be paying top dollar to launch a cosmetics brand in a hurry.

6. What records to I need to keep?

 

The Product Information File (PIF)

 

This is a folder of important information about your products.  Your ‘Responsible Person’ will need to keep this information to hand, and be able to produce it to the authorities on request. 

You have 72 hours to supply it, as a safety precaution in case of emergencies. The public can also ask to see certain sections of it.

The Responsible Person is essentially the go-to contact for any essential information about the product. They’ll be registered with the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal, which you’ll read about later on.

The PIF needs to contain:

  • A description of the product.
  • Details of the artwork.
  • The CPSR.
  • Info on how you manufacture your product.
  • A statement that you comply with good manufacturing practises.
  • Evidence to support any claims you make about the product (eg ‘healing’).
  • A statement that the product hasn’t been tested on animals (because you’re a kind person).

The PIF needs to be updated if any information changes and kept for ten years since the last batch was sold. This is true for sales in Europe, but you should follow that guidance if you are UK based anyway. The PIF can be digital or physical, but it’s worth printing out a hard copy.

We keep PIFS for all of our products. That’s another administrative job taken off your hands if you’re one of our customers. Perfect!

7. How do I manufacture cosmetics safely?

 

Good Manufacturing Practises

 

The full breakdown is too long to put here, but you need good manufacturing practises. 

Essentially, you have to make sure you and your makers are competent and adequately trained. You’ll also need systems in place for processes, quality control, storage and shipment. 

In summary, you need make your products hygienically, have batch traceability, with methods for spotting when something’s not right with the quality.

Before bringing your product to market, take an in depth look at the GMP cosmetics guidelines.

8. What do I need to put on a cosmetics label?

 

What’s black and white and read all over?

 

There are nine mandatory details to list on every product label. We’ve provided a short list of the essential label information our wholesale customers need include if they label their own products. 

For our labelled products, they arrive ready to sell. If you’re hoping to launch a cosmetics brand, checking our labelling info page is a must.

9. Do I need to register cosmetics anywhere?

 

The short answer: yes. Where: the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal (CPNP)

 

The last bit! You’ll need to register with the CPNP. This is the Europe-wide database of cosmetic products, and it allows you to sell across the EU under one system. You’ll need to register as a manufacturer, and then you can register your products.

You’ll need to provide your CPSR (that’s the safety report), an image of the product packaging and details of your responsible person. That can be you personally, or your business entity.

The CPNP is an old-fashioned looking website, and I wouldn’t give it first place in user-friendliness either. Regardless, it’s great to know consumers are being kept safe with an accessible database of cosmetic products.

For every product we sell, we update the CPSR for our customers, completely free. For example,  if you order unlabelled products off us, all you need to do is send us a photo of the final product and we do the rest. There’s no faff, we look after our customers!

Is it really worth the effort?

 

Whether you’d like to give our products a try (we’ve done all the hard work for you!) or if you still want to give it a go, I hope you’ve found this mini-guide useful.

It takes at least 6 months to develop a product range, and for a lot of people that’s too much of a time investment. However, if you relish the challenge of product development and design, go for it!

Whether you want to do the legwork, or you want to try us out, now you know how to launch a cosmetics brand yourself.

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Top 4 Skincare trends 2022

Selling skincare? Yeah. You need to know this 😝

FIRSTLY… Hi! How is it February already?!

Ok let’s get stuck in.

You know that we’re not one for following fashion or trends. BUT as a business, it is kinda helpful to know what people are getting excited about this season.  Right?

 

Luckily for you, we’re here do the legwork! It’ll take just 5 mins to read, so no excuse!

Grab a cuppa, and let us guide you through our top 4 trends this year.

 

1) SKINIMALISM … Minimal Skincare

Who needs 14 different products, when one will suffice. (Who has that much space in their bathroom cabinet too!?).

 

Sometimes less is more. We also reckon that’s a very eco approach. Less packaging, less waste. And that’s what people are thinking this year.

Who needs 14 different products, when one will suffice. (Who has that much space in their bathroom cabinet too!?). 😜

 

Stuck for ideas? Checkout these:

All Over Body Salve

First aid in a tin!

With the power of Calendula and Chamomile, this superhero salve is a winner. Use literally, ALL OVER!

Solid Shampoo Bars

Shampoo, Conditioner AND Body wash in one!

Minimal showercare? Sorted! These solid bars are gentle enough to be used as a luxurious body wash, whilst also cleansing and conditioning hair.

2) Healthy Beauty

Yep, it took a pandemic for people to finally realise that it’s not just the look of your skin that matters, it’s the health.

 

Rather than going for how a product changes the way your skin appears, consumers are now more invested in meaningful HERO ingredients that actually protect the skin, reduce inflammation, and overall be chock full of useful stuff.

Rather than glitter.

(No offence to glitter, it has its place…at Christmas). 🤣🥳

 

Our top picks for healthy skin:

Ultra Pro Facial Cream

Hero Ingredient: Vegan Squalane!

Supplements the skin’s natural squalane levels, which reduce as we age. Essential for keeping skin supple.

Hand & Body Regen Polishing Scrub

Hero Ingredient: Sea Buckthorn Oil!

This wonder berry brings an array of micronutrients, minerals and omega fatty acids, boosting skin regeneration and improving overall skin health.

3) Spa at Home

Last year was a biggie for this one.

 

Wearing face masks, using antibacterial gel, washing more. It has taken its toll on all of us. I mean, we’re not complaining. But man are we ready to give our skin a little bit of love back! A little bit of luxury at home.

2022 looks like more of us are wanting a rejuvenating experience at home, whilst it’s still tricky getting out to the spa. It’s not just good for your skin, it’s good for your mental health too.

Our suggestions? Our two bestsellers from last year: 👇

Charcoal Detox Face Mask

With activated charcoal, for a super effective skin detox. This premium face mask is a luxury spa in an eco-jar!

Each face mask contains approximately six servings, making it an irresistible pampering gift experience.

Royal 24k Gold Facial Elixir

With authentic 24 carat gold, for pure opulence.

Packed with highly prized oils for the ultimate facial skincare routine. Featuring Precious Argan, Rosehip, and skin healing Castor oil.

4) Earth Friendly Beauty

Come on.

 

You know we are beyond excited to hear this! Finally, after being a growing trend for the last 5 years, 2022 is set to be the most popular time yet for eco-friendly beauty and skincare.

Palm oil, plastic and animal-derived ingredients have had their day.

Move aside, and welcome in natural, vegan products. Wahey!

We could suggest our ENTIRE range for this one, but here are our top two suggestions for businesses who champion eco-friendly beauty:

Facial Coffee Scrub Bar

With authentic 24 It’s a moisturising bar, scrub, and facial cleanser in one.

With exfoliating Fairtrade coffee, silky scrubby oats, nourishing hemp and refreshing peppermint. It’s a wakeup like no other.

Superfood Spirulina Body Scrub

The ultimate nourishing body buff for the eco-conscious customer.

With Blue Spirulina: naturally packed with skin nourishing vitamins. Wrapped in fully compostable, plant-based wax paper.

That’s our round up! Enjoy these 4 trends, we kind of hope they stay forever though 🙃🌿

 

Thank you for all your orders, we have been so incredibly busy this year already! Sending love and good vibes from us all here at White Label Botanist.
And don’t forget…dream big 🥰🌱

❤️From your personal team of cosmetic makers, here at White Label Botanist ❤️

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