To make your own skincare is to be part of an unstoppable movement in natural beauty. This wasn’t always the case though. When Formula Botanica launched its courses just a decade ago, the naturals’ sector was still in its infancy. Indie beauty entrepreneurs, bloggers and advocates felt the need to educate consumers and to explain why natural, botanical cosmetics could be just as efficacious a choice.
Nowadays, the natural cosmetics’ sector is one of the fastest growing areas of the beauty industry. The global market value for natural and organic cosmetics and personal care is projected to hit just under $59 billion by 2031, registering an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.3% between 2022 and 2031*.
We have seen our school’s community of formulators be part of this growth and success of the naturals’ sector. In 2021, Formula Botanica graduate brands and products won an astounding number of major beauty industry awards – some 60 brands garnering over 130 awards across all categories, and from across the world.
Be part of the natural formulation community
Beauty consumers have plenty of information at their fingertips these days, which means natural formulators need to back up their formulation skills and expertise with qualifications and continuous professional development in order to keep up to date with innovation in the natural cosmetics’ sector.
The Formula Botanica community has risen to this challenge, and their year-on-year brand success and many awards are testimony to their ability to formulate and market high-performance natural cosmetics with the kind of innovative, sustainable natural ingredients consumers clamour for.
There may be plenty of natural cosmetics to buy, but there are good reasons to make your own skincare and join this international groundswell of indie beauty formulators – and to set your sights too on turning a passion for formulation into a new career.
If you would like to explore this, register now for our Free Masterclass Series – How to Become an Organic Skincare. Learn how to make natural skincare and formulate the beauty business (and the life) of your dreams. Our 9-part free course has been used by hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs, helped kick-start countless beauty brands around the world and proved to be truly life changing.
Here are our top 8 reasons to make your own skincare8 reasons to make your own skincare even if there's plenty to buy. You'll know what goes into your cosmetics but with @FormulaBotanica it can be life changing too. #naturalformulation #cosmeticscourse #indiebeauty Click To Tweet
1. You know what is in your skincare
Our number one reason to make your own skincare is that you will know precisely what it contains. You research and control your formulation’s ingredients and therefore know what goes into your finished product. This can be just a few botanical oils and butters, if you make a simple body butter, for example. But there is another side to the ingredient story.
Even with beauty consumers far more aware of cosmetic ingredients, we still see a lot of misinformation circulating online and the use of the words such as ‘toxin- or chemical-free’ to describe natural products.
As a trained natural formulator, you will know that every ingredient, natural or not, is composed of chemicals. By celebrating what our natural formulations contain, we can give beauty consumers an informed choice. By following accredited formulation courses such as those we offer at Formula Botanica, you can make your own skincare or haircare with a far better understanding of natural cosmetic ingredients and make a positive difference to you and your potential customers’ lives.
Importantly, you will understand how to explain your ingredient choices to friends, family and also customers who will be using your products. Knowing what goes into your skincare is immensely empowering, and as a trained natural formulator, you will have a level of expertise that goes beyond that of beauty consumers.
We can all search and look up ingredients online to form an opinion, but truly understanding what they are, the role they play in a formulation and how they act in synergy with the other ingredients comes from structured study feeding into practical formulation skills, and not just from casual research.
2. You custom-make your skincare to your needs
How many times have you bought skincare only to find it doesn’t suit your needs? It then lies in a bathroom cabinet unused, only to be thrown away – responsibly, we hope.
Being able to customise your cosmetics to suit your precise needs is one of the most powerful reasons to learn to formulate. It has been the driving force behind many of our graduates’ brands.
We heard in our podcast with Pai Skincare founder Sarah Brown how her own skincare issues led her into formulation and a totally new career in the beauty industry. Sarah grew Pai from a garage start-up in 2007 to being voted the 5th most popular skincare brand in the world in 2021 with almost 5 million global online searches. This shows just how powerful a reason it is to make skincare for your own needs.
There are myriad niches in the cosmetics sector and we’ve seen our community explore them and create innovative indie beauty businesses to exploit gaps in the market. There are almost limitless permutations of matching products to new market niches. If you are not catered for by off-the-shelf cosmetics, you can guarantee there are others facing the same issues who can’t find skincare or haircare to suit them.
3. You can have fun
At Formula Botanica, we say that everyone can formulate and that it can be as easy as learning to cook. In fact, many of the processes in cosmetic formulation, such as those to make emulsions or to thicken and stabilise products, are very similar to those in sauce and mayonnaise making.
Learning to formulate is fun because you acquire new practical, creative skills as well as expertise and knowledge. Formulation involves many aspects of personal development. You can learn to make your own skincare for your needs or those of family and friends, or take your skills further and turn formulation from a passion pastime into a business. If you love learning, then making your own skincare is definitely a field to explore.
In addition, it is a pastime you can share with others who will appreciate handmade, homemade skincare and the thought and skills that went into making it. Many of our formulation community started out simply with the desire to have fun making artisan skincare to gift.
4. You are empowered
People have been making their own cosmetics for millennia and it is only within just over the last 100 years that we have been accustomed to cosmetics made in labs and sold by brands. From ancient Egyptian times to the early 20th century, women – as it has mainly been women – have been creating homemade skincare for their families. Around the late 19th century, advances in chemistry coincided with concept of the consumer. This tipping point saw women buying personal care from brands whose products were devised in labs, manufactured on mass and marketed for their desire and not as necessities.
Many of the giants in cosmetics today, such as Estée Lauder, Helen Rubenstein and Elizabeth Arden, started out as small home businesses by the women whose names these companies bear. Their founder stories are fascinating tales of female entrepreneurship in the early 20th century and of women battling against the odds.
Now, we are coming full circle and seeing the indie beauty movement rekindling and reclaiming these age-old, artisan and home-based formulation skills that were so common in the past. In doing so, they are empowering themselves, controlling what goes into their products and building a new generation of cosmetics’ entrepreneurs.
5. You can save money
Did you know that often a large part of the price of a cosmetic product, especially at the luxury end of the market, pays for branding, marketing, PR and other peripherals rather than for the cost of the ingredients themselves? In some cases, the ingredient costs can be just three to five percent of the product price. Mark-ups for distributors and retailers and others in the supply chain all add to the cost of goods sold.
If you make your own skincare, you will be spending on the best, natural ingredients rather than intermediaries. You will need some basic tools to equip your home lab, but this can be just a new set of some basic household and kitchen utensils like glass bowls, mini whisks and spatulas and cheap, digital jewellery scales. Entry costs to home formulation can be very low. There is no need to invest in much lab equipment until you wish to make skincare to sell.
6. You can use the freshest ingredients
At Formula Botanica, we teach you how to research and understand key natural cosmetic ingredients that are the building blocks of formulations, from simple to advanced level. These ingredients include natural emulsifiers, surfactants and preservatives, gums, chelators, botanical oils, essential oils, hydrosols and botanical pigments and include many innovative, active natural extracts on the market.
Natural ingredients can have quite short shelf lives and won’t contain synthetic preservatives designed to extend their usage dates, but this can be an advantage. Many of our graduate brands use this point in their marketing to stress their small-batch, artisanal formulations.
By making your own skincare, you will be buying in and using cosmetic ingredients in amounts to suit your batch requirements. This means your botanical oils and essential oils, foundation and active ingredients will be pristine and at their best for use in your formulations. There are stability tests you will need to do to work out the shelf life of your final formulated products, but using the best quality and freshest botanical and natural-compliant functional ingredients at the outset will be both good for your and your customers’ skin.
7. You can use more sustainable cosmetics
The mainstream beauty industry is only just waking up to its responsibility to playing a role in mitigating climate change. From its plastic packaging to its heavy use of water, and from the energy used in manufacturing and supply chains to the damage to biodiversity done by the mono-culture crops it relies on, beauty is an industry with a long history of unsustainable practices.
Things are changing, as we have covered in our Green Beauty Conversations’ podcasts on issues of sustainability in beauty.
However, one area of the industry that has a chance to deliver fast and now on sustainability is indie beauty. Natural formulators and brand founders have opportunities to explore and pioneer sustainable options and bring with them a new type of beauty consumer looking for small, local, ethics-driven brands.
We see indie founders active in promoting locally-sourced ingredients, offering refillable beauty, pioneering formulations such as solid cosmetics needing less packaging, dry products needing less energy to manufacture, and minimalist products needing fewer ingredients.
As a formulator making your own skincare, you can make your choices and choose your goals. Sustainability is a journey and may take time and hard decisions, but at least you control your decisions on issues such as single-use plastics, using upcycled ingredients or offering refillables.
8. You can change your life
Last but not least, making your own skincare can be life changing. With over 15,000 students studying with us from over 180 countries, we have seen hundreds of natural formulators launch indie beauty brands having followed our courses. We showcase over 200 in our graduate gallery.
What starts out as a hobby soon becomes a passion and a thirst for learning more about natural formulation. From this is born the desire to not only make your own skincare but to share your products more widely and go on to sell them.
You gain an immense sense of empowerment and achievement at seeing your products retail under your own beauty brand label. We have seen graduates go within just a year or two from start-up to international retail and garnering major beauty awards.
Behind the scenes, indie formulators put in hard work, dedication and dig deep. There is no single path or founder story that is alike, and we are astonished by the niches and innovation of their products and brands.
Life changing too for our students is finding they are part of a like-minded, supportive community of natural formulators across the world. Be part of the indie beauty success. Make your own skincare and who knows where it might lead you.
References: *Allied Market Research.
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Liz is Formula Botanica’s Content Coordinator and joined our team in August 2020. Liz worked as a professional blogger, journalist and site developer for many years and was also part of the Formula Botanica student community. Read more about the Formula Botanica Team.