Are you curious about what it takes to create a remarkable natural skincare product?
Do you find yourself wondering about the creative process, the careful formulation, and the countless hours of research that go into bringing a new skincare product to the market? Well, get ready to dive into the fascinating world of product development as I take you on a behind-the-scenes journey from the inception of an idea to the highly anticipated launch of a new natural skincare product.
Determining your product
When I embarked on my skincare formulation journey, I initially focused on creating products that appealed to me. However, I soon realised that it's crucial to consider what your customers want rather than solely relying on personal preferences. By listening to my customers, I discovered a demand for a day time moisturiser, which was missing from my product range.
Identifying your target audience and their needs
I learned that attempting to cater to everyone often leads to connecting with no one. Instead, it's more effective to narrow down your focus and develop the perfect product for your ideal customer. To achieve this, I conducted customer market research among my current customers and social media followers. This research helped me determine the most common skin types and the specific skin problems my ideal customer sought to address.
Conducting ingredient research
Now comes the enjoyable part that every natural skincare formulator loves: research! I delved into finding ingredients that would effectively solve the problems faced by my ideal customer. During this phase, I considered factors such as ingredient availability, multiple suppliers (important due to supply issues post-Brexit), quality (aligning with my values), price (avoiding excessive costs for customers), and sustainability (palm oil-free, cruelty-free, and avoiding endangered ingredients). I also explored options closer to home with similar profiles.
In the realm of natural cosmetics, packaging is a critical aspect to consider early on in the process. Given the challenges of natural preservation, selecting the right packaging that complements the preservation system and preserves the integrity of plant oils is vital. For instance, airless pump bottles can be a suitable choice. Furthermore, independent brands often face barriers in finding sustainable packaging, so it's best to begin the search early.
Learning, formulation and development
Creating a face moisturiser took longer for me because I needed to learn how to formulate water-based products. Up until then, all Amaranthine products were oil-based. Formulating water-based products proved to be a more complexprocess. To acquire the necessary knowledge and skills, I enrolled in Formula Botanica's Organic Skincare Formulation Diploma, which I pursued while simultaneously running my business. This learning journey spanned two years.
Once satisfied with the formula on paper, the next step is to practice, test, and make adjustments until achieving the desired outcome. This process typically takes several months.
If your brand is certified by any certification body, any new product you develop must also undergo certification. In my case, I submitted my new formula to the Palm Oil Free Certification Trademark, where they meticulously assessed all myingredients to ensure none were derived from palm oil.
Obtaining honest feedback from a sample group is beneficial. Based on the feedback, you can refine the formula if necessary. In the EU, it is a legal requirement to obtain a Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR) conducted by a cosmetic toxicologist to ensure the product's safety for public use. In the case of water-based products, like our Superactive Day Cream, samples need to be sent to an external laboratory for microbial 'challenge testing' over approximately six weeks. This testing ensures that the preservatives used effectively maintain the product's resistance to bacteria and mould. Additionally, stability testing is necessary to check if the product remains intact under various conditions, such as exposure to high or low temperatures or vigorous shaking during shipping. These tests also provide the "period after opening" date, allowing you to inform customers about the product's recommended usage duration after opening.
Professional photography plays a crucial role in e-commerce. High-quality photos showcase your product in the best possible way. A white background "cut-out"photo serves as the main image on the website and is often requested by journalists if you receive press coverage. Additionally, having a selection of captivating lifestyle photos is beneficial. Finding a photographer who aligns with your brand and shares your vision may take time but is worth the effort.
Label design, writing website descriptions, and preparing for the final stages are essential tasks at this stage.
In conclusion, I hope this overview provides you with an appreciation for the time and effort it takes to launch a new skincare product, which typically averages around a year and a half! We recently launched our brand new natural face cream - Superactive Day Cream - a luxurious daily face moisturiser for combination skin types prone to redness, acne and hyperpigmentation.