Cosmetic science and cosmetic brand building blogs:
Our cosmetic science and cosmetic brand building blogs will answer many of your questions about cosmetic formulations and cosmetic brand management - all written and posted by industry professionals to help you get the best free cosmetic learning.
Are cosmetic formulas containing natural and organic ingredients different to certified natural and organic formulas? Isn’t it just a matter of adding some organic and natural ingredients to a cosmetic formula and then it’s true to say it’s natural or organic? These are questions we get asked often, so we thought a blog was best to explain.
The short answer to the first question is yes, there is a difference between cosmetic formulas containing natural and organic ingredients, and cosmetic formulas that can be certified organic. The short answer to the second question is no, it’s not just a matter of substituting natural and organic ingredients for synthetic ones to create a natural or organic cosmetic formula.
The popularity of being vegan is growing at a rapid rate – and it’s not just impacting food choices, but skin and hair care as well. So how does one formulate vegan skin and hair care, and just how much does going vegan impact cosmetic formulation anyway? Read on to find out…
Post-covid inflation rates from 2022 resulted in increased cost of living unanimously around the globe – with some regions affected significantly more than others. Yet the personal care industry continues to show promising growth… why? Read on to find out about the biggest trends of 2023 and why beauty and personal care continues to not only thrive, but also make us look and feel great, even in tougher economic climates.
Since consumers increasingly look for brands with strong eco-conscious messages, formulating a sustainable cosmetic product is almost essential these days. We are also seeing consumers demand more truth and transparency from labels and product marketing claims.
Your brand can ensure your sustainability message is truthful and not misleading by providing clear statements about sustainability – but how do you prove sustainability statements you make, and just how would you calculate the sustainability of a formula? This blog explores sustainable marketing claims, sustainability calculations of cosmetic formulas, and how you can protect the marketing claims of your cosmetic brand.
You’ve got this fantastic sample of product, have approved the formula and are now ready to get it mass produced. It should turn out fine, right? Not necessarily!
If something does go wrong, it’s the fault of the formula, right? Not necessarily!
There are certain steps of production and product evaluation that go beyond initial formulation development that still fall into the scope of R&D. All too often, these steps may be skipped or not carried out effectively, because of cost - such as extended stability testing and appropriate scale up. Just remember though, there is nothing cheap about a failed production batch or product recall!
This report looks at 5 Costly Mistakes of R&D that all too commonly occur, and most importantly, tells you how to avoid them!
When manufacturing cosmetics, taking scale up steps are essential. The methods and equipment you used to make that 100g R&D sample will vary dramatically in size and time with a 100kg or even 20kg batch. It is essential to follow scale up steps to test the changes in mixing speeds and times, as well as the equipment used, and the batches of materials used, to rule out any variables that may turn into a ruined batch.
Let’s face it, no-one wants to waste a 100kg batch.
So, how do you conduct proper scale up and how much waste is tolerable in cosmetic manufacture?
Are you looking to create cosmetic formulas with minimal ingredients that still have fantastic results?
It’s incorrect to think a formula must have a long list of ingredients to work effectively; in fact some consumers prefer shorter ingredient lists as they consider the product to be more pure and focusing on its key performance benefits rather than ‘fluff’. While this perspective may or may not be accurate depending on the way a cosmetic formula is put together, if your cosmetic brand wants to appeal to the minimalist modern consumer, then this blog will tell you how.
Excessive sun exposure is without a doubt incredibly damaging to the skin. At best, it advances signs of dryness and ageing; while at its worst, it can cause fast acting fatal skin cancers. Since we know just how bad too much sun can be for our health, it is always astounding to us at the Institute that there are so many false claims made about sunscreens – which is, besides clothing, hats and staying inside away from any source of light, our best protective measure.
Consumers should not be made to be afraid of using sun protection! Yet scaremongering about the dangers of ingredients in sunscreen formulas are rife on the internet. In this blog, we’ll bust the myths you’ll commonly read so you can feel much better about applying your sunscreen liberally – and protecting yourself from harmful UV exposure.
Formulating sunscreens is not an easy task! In addition to the significant regulations which limit both the type and amount of sunscreen agents you can use, the base formula also needs to be formulated carefully to stabilise these materials, ensure an even spread over the skin for the best sun protection, and maintain a high level of performance – and homogeneity – over a suitable shelf life.
Essential oils can be a great addition to a cosmetic formulation: they add aroma, are widely recognized as being natural, and consumers love the history behind their use. But there are so many suppliers, and their prices can differ dramatically – how can one little plant oil possibly vary so much? In this blog we’ll explore the reasons why, so you know what to look for when you are next choosing essential oils for your cosmetic formula.
We now know the dangers of basking in the sun – so how do you get that all-year-round summer glow without exposing your skin to UV damage? Self-tanners, of course!
If you’ve ever tried to formulate self-tanning products, however, you’ll know (or quickly learn) that dihydroxyacetone, commonly referred to as DHA, is one of the most unstable cosmetic ingredients you can work with. Whilst it yields the fastest tan, there are several rules about its use you’ll need to master, if you want to create stable self-tanning formulas.
The cosmetic industry is a very competitive environment, but there is still room for innovation and fantastic products, if you can make your brand heard above all the marketing noise.
Let’s be real: there is a lot of noise. Dozens, if not hundreds of brands, promise their product is the best. Regardless of if it is or not, your product needs to be seen and heard if you want any chance of being purchased, so: how do you rise above the clutter and make sure your products get noticed?This is where the 7Ps of marketing come in.
Preservative selection is one of the most controversial, yet most important, decisions a brand can make. Ever wondered how to create preservative free cosmetic formulas? This blog post provides 5 tips if you are planning to create preservative free products.
As consumers become increasingly demanding of great results from their personal care products, and increasingly fickle when it comes to brand loyalty, how can you best formulate a product to ensure your consumer gets rapid results and loves your product as much as you want them to?
This report takes a look at some formulating tips and tricks to help you build rapid results into your next developments, or may give you ideas on how to improve current products to give speedier results!
Ever had a great idea, only to tell your Regulatory Department about it and hear those fatal words: ‘It can’t be done!’? Don’t let a ‘no’ be the only answer you hear; if you approach an innovation in a suitable way, it may be a concept that can come to fruition. This report takes a look at some of the ‘roadblock breakers’ to help you turn a regulatory roadblock into a hurdle that can be overcome.
To develop a cosmetic product from concept to actually having the product in the market normally takes at least 12 months if everything goes to plan...
However, all too often companies face extended delays, extended development or a blow out on costs – mostly because the person creating the product hasn’t been realistic about what to expect from the development process, how long it takes, how much it costs and most importantly, what can go wrong.
This report looks at 5 tips to ensure product launch success – miss one of these steps and your project could take a lot longer, cost a lot more and worse - fail to eventuate at all!
The short answer is a very loud YES.
While it may seem obvious to some people, if you’ve only ever cared for, or played with your own hair, you may not be aware of just how many different hair types there really are – or how the hair types of different ethnicities vary so greatly. Read on to find out about the key differences of different hair types, especially those of different ethnicities – and how formulas need to adapt to suit these different needs.
As today’s modern consumer expects more out of every product, and innovative companies continue to expand and deliver on this promise, it’s becoming more and more important for formulators to be aware of, and formulate with, multi-functional materials. The use of multi-functional materials not only addresses increasing consumer demands, it also enables significant cost savings to companies as it means less materials on the floor, larger economies of scale through larger purchases of less materials (as 1 material can then do ‘more’ in each formulation), easier formulating methods, and significant labour savings through less dispensing and quicker processing. Multi-functional materials are those which offer more than one role. Multi-functional materials are split into one of two types: Multi-Functional ‘Functionals’ – functional materials with multi-functional capabilities; or Multi-Functional ‘Actives’ – active materials with multiple activities and/or functionalities to support the formulation efficacy.
To turn a great idea into reality, there is a long road ahead. A successful cosmetic development will normally take 12 months to go from concept to launch. Rarely does everything go right, so projects may run over 12 months. There are many moving parts to any projects, and it takes effective project management to succeed in delivering your product at the right time. Let’s look at the 6 key steps you will need to go through to develop your great idea into reality.
Faulty product: a brand owners’ worst nightmare! When the batch hasn’t turned out as planned – or worse, needs to be recalled from the market - who is responsible? Is it the manufacturer, who made the product? Is it the formulator, who created the formula? Or did the brand owner launch the product into the market place without conducting appropriate tests?
More importantly: how do you make sure this doesn’t happen to you?
While any brand can launch a new product, only certain products ever really make it to be leaders. Some launches are so innovative and successful they lead to the creation of multiple ‘me-too’ offerings.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so what does it take to stay ahead and launch truly innovative products that lead the pack?
While consumers say they want simpler lives and more transparency, the reality is quite different. They now require a much more convincing marketing campaign to really believe in a brand, especially when it comes to changing their purchasing behaviours. They also need much more complicated information before they’ll trust a brand and need convincing from multiple sources before they’ll purchase.
Consumers love to feel that they are doing their part for their environment and are commonly drawn to natural claims on products. Over recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase in ‘green’ and natural claims, including sustainability and all sorts of eco-conscience statements – but how do you know when they are true or not, and more importantly, how do you make sure your brand doesn’t cross the line into non-compliance but still maintain its competitive edge – especially when it really is as green as you claim? This blog will consider the key issues with green claims, when they are overused, and how your brand can build credibility rather than be another ‘me-too’ with greenwashing.
The standard cosmetic formulation (R&D) process is at least 12 months to allow for innovation and evaluations, yet consumers are increasingly expecting product launches and innovations in reduced time frames. How can companies keep up without risking safety, stability and efficacy? This blog looks at ways to fast track your formulations to get to market sooner with the latest and greatest personal care products!
Strengths and weaknesses exist within your cosmetic brand, while opportunities and threats exist in the marketplace. Cosmetic brands use SWOT information to know what they are doing well (strengths), identify what they can do better (weaknesses), look for ways to grow (opportunities), and protect themselves from external influences – including cosmetic brand competitors, growing pains when starting a cosmetic brand, or national and international economic impacts (threats). This blog will take a look at two key questions: what is a SWOT? And, why do cosmetic brands need a SWOT to be successful?
Ever seen those sites warning of the potential dangers of certain cosmetic chemicals? Want to know the truth about cosmetic chemicals labelled as ‘toxic’ that are used in everyday personal care products? Read on to identify the top 5 cosmetic ingredient myths and get the truth on the cosmetic ingredients that seem to be such a big concern. This blog also provides links to reputable sites should you want to do your own INCI and cosmetic ingredient list research, and need reliable and scientifically informative sites to do so.
There is no doubt that natural ingredients are popular with consumers – but we have been limited in some regards as how to create vibrant colours in makeup formulas just using plant extracts and clays. This blog is going to provide you with vibrant, stable natural plant and clay formula solutions to replace synthetic colourants and even your iron oxides in makeup formulas.
Sustainable products are an increasing trend for consumers in all categories, so it is little wonder they are looking for sustainable sourcing with the ingredients used in their cosmetic products. Sustainable sourcing starts from when the cosmetic formulator begins creating the product formulation – but must suit cosmetic marketing and packaging requirements as well. In this blog we’ll look at the top 5 sustainable cosmetic formulation trends impacting the cosmetic industry, and how your cosmetic brand can formulate sustainable cosmetics to meet consumer demand.
Vitamin A can be a great addition to your skincare formulma, but certain forms of vitamin A can cause significant skin irritation. Vitamin A in cosmetic formulas can also be very hard to stabilise - and there is no point using a cosmetic active ingredient if it is not in the right cosmetic formulation base to ensure its performance. Find out how to use vitamin A safely, and effectively, in your skin care formulas.
Hyaluronic acid is a key molecule involved in skin hydration, however there is a lot of misinformation about the use of hyaluronic acid in skincare formulas. In this blog we will look at the science of hyaluronic acid in the skin, as well as what happens when it is topically applied. There are also various weights available: oligo hyaluronic acid, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid, and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. How do you know which hylauronic acid to use in your formula, and which will benefit your consumers skin type the best? Read on to find out how to formulate with hyaluronic acid.
When a cosmetic formula doesn’t work the way you’d hoped, there are 3 main reasons why. The science of beauty ingredients are crucial to ensuring the best results from any cosmetic formula. This article will take a look at some fundamental elements to improve the performance of your cosmetic formulas and help your consumers get better results from your cosmetic products.
The use of AHA, BHA, PHA and even fruit acids in skin care formulas has become increasingly popular, to provide accelerated skin renewal and a revitalized appearance. This blog will take a closer look at each of the categories of cosmetic acids, their pros and cons, and how acids should be added to cosmetic formulations.
The latest trending cosmetic ingredients yielding the best results in active skincare formulas are peptides. This free report will explore the beauty science of these remarkable structures and why such tiny cosmetic ingredients can provide such big results in your skincare formulas.
With the hype around ‘clean beauty’ and ‘free from’ claims scaring consumers away from otherwise perfectly safe cosmetic ingredients, this blog looks at how some of the ridiculousness of ‘toxic beauty’ started. This blog takes a look at how they used to make skincare in the early modern era, and provides some valuable links to show how cosmetic ingredients are regulated to ensure safety today.
When you start reading about how many herbal ingredients can be antioxidants in skincare, and the potential pro-oxidation effect of vitamin E in a cosmetic formula, it can be confusing what information to trust. When is too much vitamin E TOO MUCH in your skincare formulas? How do you ensure you use the right amount of vitamin E in your skincare formulas to provide a protective antioxidant effect? This blog looks at how to use vitamin E in your cosmetic formulas to prolong the shelf life of your product formula, and also provides information on the pro-oxidative effect of too much antioxidant in a cosmetic formula.
There are not many materials that are as versatile as sucragel, to create a variety of cosmetic formulas and innovative cosmetic product forms. Oleogels are a trending product form that use sucragel in the cosmetic formulation. We get a lot of little questions about using sucragel in cosmetic formulas, especially to create oleogels, so we thought we’d create a blog on this topic, to help guide you and give you some answers.
The pH of a cosmetic formula is incredibly important for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, safety on application and ensuring performance of preservatives and active cosmetic ingredients.
Do not dilute your cosmetic formulas to test pH, unless it fits one of the few exceptions weprovide in this blog, along with the reason why. In every other case, do not dilute your cosmetic formulas to test pH. Regardless of what you read elsewhere, cosmetic formulas should not be diluted to test pH. This article will explain, in detail, why.
Using herbal extracts in cosmetic formulas is a hotly trending formulation technique. There are different types of herbal extracts, however, and this can impact how much you use, and how you use them in not only skincare formulas, but haircare formulas as well. This blog will take a look at the types of herbal extracts you can use in cosmetic formulas, how to make your own herbal extracts to use in cosmetic formulas, how much to use and how to add them. It also provides some great video links to help explain how to use herbal extracts in cosmetic formulas too.
We often get asked: what does it take to create a Brand Leading cosmetic product? And, what cosmetic products sell the most? We are also fortunate to work with (and train the staff of) some of the Brand Leading cosmetic companies from around the world. The cosmetic products that sell the most, and in fact, all Brand Leading cosmetic products have certain things in common, so we’ve compiled these into a report to help you learn what it takes to Create Brand Leading cosmetic products.
The ‘green’ sector of the personal care industry has grown continuously over the last 10 years despite relatively tough economic times… but organic products tend to face bigger challenges in terms of cost, stability, performance and aesthetic suitability. In this blog, we'll take a look at the big issues when creating organic formulas - and how to overcome some of these issues, to formulate organic skincare and haircare products easy.
The use of hemp oil and cannabidiol (CBD) in cosmetic formulas has become a growing cosmetic ingredient trend. Learn why the trend for hemp oil and CBD as cosmetic ingredients has grown so strongly, what benefits hemp oil and CBD can have in a cosmetic formula, the current cosmetic regulations for hemp oil and CBD around the world, and what cosmetic ingredient innovations exist for cannabis, CBD and hemp oil in cosmetic formulas.
With so much misinformation on the internet, how do you know which sites to trust for CORRECT cosmetic ingredient information? What is an INCI and can you use it to correctly preduct the safety of a cosmetic ingredient, or performance of a cosmetic formula? How can you check the beauty science of ingredients using reliable sources? This blog will take a look at reliable sites for cosmetic ingredient information and provides some sites with cosmetic regulatory information providing ‘safe when used’ cosmetic ingredient limits.
At the Institute, we get asked a lot of little questions about beauty science, the science of cosmetic ingredients, the science of cosmetic marketing and claims and how to sell more cosmetic products – especially by small cosmetic brand owners! Here are some answers to commonly asked cosmetic science questions - as well as answers to common beauty science questions and even those questions posed by cosmetic brands needing help to promote and grow their cosmetic product sales - and where you can find more information.
Making colour cosmetics means paying close attention to cosmetic formula principles, because you not only need the cosmetic product to apply the right amount of colour and keep it there during the day, you also need to stabilise the colour pigment in the makeup formula over a prolonged shelf life. Makeup ingredients and makeup formulas must also comply with strict cosmetic regulation limits, and this can vary depending on the country in which the makeup formula is sold! This report looks at 5 Big Issues when creating makeup formulas and how to fix them; so you can get back to creating truly beautiful, and beautifying, colour cosmetic formulas!
With the recent demand for sanitizing hand gel and santizing hand wash formulas, this blog is designed to guide you in how to formulate sanitizing hand gel and hand wash products. There are also cosmetic regulations that oversee sanitizing hand gel products, so we provide you with links to reliable information, videos and sanitizing formulas. Read on to learn how to make sanitizing hand gel and hand wash formulas even at home; and gain access to sanitizing hand wash formulas and manufacturing methods you can use, even if you’ve never made cosmetic products before.