How To Make Skincare Products

by Miral khattak
Skincare Products

Carefulness is essential when making skincare products at home, even though it can be fun and creative. Because the skin is so sensitive, using the wrong products or amounts can irritate or cause other problems. Here is a general guide to get you started. Before making your products, you should study and talk to a skincare professional.

It takes art and science to learn how to make products that meet people’s skincare needs. Work is to be done on products and ingredients before you can start making makeup in your home lab. As a new formulator, you can also expect to learn a lot by making mistakes.

But after making your first simple face oil, body butter, or eye cream, you’ll see how much fun and power it is to make your skincare products. It’s like a whole new world of natural formulation has opened up, full of exciting new paths that have changed the lives of many of our students and grads.

What Must Be Done

Let’s reassure you that anyone can make beauty goods right off the bat. You don’t have to be a beauty chemist to create cosmetics that are safe and work well. There are successful independent beauty formulators from various job backgrounds among the hundreds of Formula Botanica grads we show off in our online gallery. Almost all of them had never made cosmetics before, but while making their first goods, they became very interested in learning more about natural and organic ingredients.

Also, you don’t need fancy or expensive tools to make skincare items at home. New formulators need only 12 essential tools, which are easy and cheap to get.

As a makeshift lab, finding a small room in your house is easy. Our kids came up with creative ways to do this. The videos below show different labs and how our students’ tools have improved over time after starting in bedrooms that had been turned into labs and on kitchen countertops:

What goes on behind the scenes in our students’ labs

How to set up a home lab for the first time

Skincare Products

The Good Things About Making Your Skincare Products

Many people who make their cosmetics and start their beauty brands like that can explore cosmetic areas and organic ingredients that interest them. A cosmetic chemist who works for a big brand might have less freedom to be creative because the marketing department of the big brand might give them a product development plan to follow.

Many of our students and grads learn how to make their skincare products because they couldn’t find what they were looking for in stores. Other people may also be looking for the same skincare products you can’t see. You could start a healthy skincare business by making it. We’ve seen at least seven more reasons you should make skincare products. Check out our post:

Why you should make your skincare products even if you can buy a lot of them

If you want to know what to expect when you make your skincare products, check out our post, “A Day in the Life of a Natural Formulator.” In it, four Formula Botanica tutors talk about their jobs, from researching a new product to trying it out.

After setting the scene to show that anyone can make cosmetics almost anywhere, let’s go over the steps you must take to learn how to make skincare products.

How to Make Skincare Products: The Basics


Making plans and studying:

At first, your market might be your family and friends. Learn how to find out what skincare problems people have and what goods they want to see. People who graduated from Formula Botanica have started social media accounts to connect with possible customers, learn more about essential skincare issues, and show off what they’ve learned about natural and organic cosmetics.

To learn more about cosmetic formulation, find at least 10 online beauty and personal care tools that give you news about the industry. This includes beauty websites and social channels for consumers as well. You can use what you learn about the natural cosmetics market to improve your goods the more you get involved with it. Above all, think things through and don’t always believe what they say. You will find your voice and be able to find reliable online sites for news and opinions as you learn.

Formula Botanica’s podcast, Green Beauty Conversations, is a treasure trove of fair information about green and independent beauty. It does this by discussing the latest, often heated issues in sustainable beauty and interviewing essential people in the field. Before you decide what to make, keep up with what’s new in green beauty. Something you read, watch, or listen to might give you your best thoughts.

Give Details About Your Skincare Products

From your market study, you now know what products and ingredients are popular or what your target market wants. This lets you decide what kind of cosmetic you want to make. You could focus on solid formulations, cosmetics with natural retinol alternatives, or goods that do more than one thing and produce less waste, all of which align with sustainability principles.

You have to make decisions like these about the goods and packaging you use, how people will use your product, and where it will end up. If you want to make a product that lasts, you should also think about how your formula will end up in the drain and how you will get rid of its packing.

If you want to make a powdered cleanser instead of an emulsion or oleogel one, you need to think about what kinds of products you can use and how you need to package them. There are many more things to consider when choosing a cosmetic product type than there used to be. This is because people are now choosing brands based on their sustainability and fairness.

You might choose the type of product you make based on your goal to use less packaging, a star ingredient you want to use, or your desire to use a new, biodegradable choice like mushroom packaging. As you can see, figuring out what your product is and what your goal is is linked. This is especially true if you want to start your own beauty business.

Pick out and buy the essential ingredients.

Wait to make your first simple cosmetic recipe, even if it looks easy and tempting. Instead, take the time to learn about the ingredients first. Our students and grads love natural formulation because it lets them explore the wonderful world of botanicals and discover how their unique properties can help their skin. Here, our Formula Botanica teachers talk about how important it is for them to study ingredients and how well their time is spent:

A natural formulator’s day at work

Take face oil as an example of an item that needs to be looked into. You might only use five or six plant oils, but each one will be interesting.

It may be better to use some blocking the skin’s barrier or stopping trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Because each oil has its lipid makeup, you can pick oils based on their phytosterols and other compounds that interest you, like lipid-soluble antioxidants. It can take hours of study to find five botanical oils that will work well in your proposed formulation and for the people you want to use.

An excellent way to learn how to make cosmetics is to start with an easy formula and figure out how to change it. In these pieces, we give you ideas and tips on how to find and study natural ingredients for cosmetics:

How to Find Sustainable Ingredients: 7 Tips

What organic formulators say: how to find natural chemicals

Podcast 79: How hard it is to find pure ingredients

Podcast 33: Where to find organic skincare products that are sustainable

Check out the 30 articles in our run of “formulator’s guides” as well. We go over many valuable and popular active ingredients in detail, such as natural gums, emulsifiers, and humectants, as well as CBD extracts, antioxidants, peptides, and AHAs/BHAs.

You will learn more about natural ingredients over time, including how they work in different recipes and best with other ingredients. Above all, think about what part an item plays in a whole. When it comes to natural products, less is always more.

Our students can look through our list of suggested natural ingredient providers. These businesses can help small-scale formulators who need to buy small amounts or minimum order numbers to try out new formulas. We advise getting to know suppliers of natural makeup ingredients you can trust. If you want to make more cosmetics to sell, ensure that the sources you work with can give you the certificates of analysis and safety data sheets you need.

Make your home lab.

Initially, you can make a home lab or workplace anywhere. We’ve seen a Formula Botanica student follow her course using a lab in a suitcase as she moved a lot for her work. Boreal Folk is the name of a graduate’s independent beauty business, which she runs out of her camping van.

Find a quiet place away from the center of family life. Our teachers say they used to work on their ideas in a corner of their kitchen for short periods. As you can see in their films, our students set up home labs anywhere they can.

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) rules should be followed no matter where you set up your home lab. GMP may sound like something that only big, expert beauty labs need to worry about. On the other hand, GMP is a set of rules that are so obvious that even a home formulator can follow them. Check out the FDA’s GMP standards for cosmetics for a general idea.

If you learn about GMP early in your job as a cosmetic formulator, you can make cosmetics safely and professionally. Learning the basics of GMP now will save you time and give you peace of mind, even if you’re just making your first batch of makeup to give to family and friends.

Many pieces on our site explain how to set up a home lab and follow GMP:

How to set up a home lab for the first time

How to get your craft skincare lab ready

A natural formulator’s day at work

What goes on behind the scenes in our students’ labs

8 things you need to know before you start using natural skincare

Write down your formula

A notebook is one of the 12 essential formulation tools discussed earlier. In it, you should write down every formulation, trial, and change you make, as well as your thoughts on the method used, formulation problems, and, of course, the results of the product. What could be done better? How did the formula work when it was being made? Does it work the way it’s supposed to on the skin? You need to write down a lot of information about making cosmetics, whether in a natural or virtual notebook.

Imagine that you wanted to make more of a formulation after testing it for the first time several months ago. Still, you realize that you still need to write down the date or trial/batch number on the winning formulation so that you can compare it with your notes. Even versions that didn’t work are essential for learning on the job. Trial and error is necessary, but you must have records to review to avoid being lost if you try to repeat a formulation.

You have to work in percentages when writing down a method. Do not work in drops or with weight and fluid measures. When writing down cosmetic recipes, you should use percentages, but you might only sometimes want to make significant amounts of 100g or 100 ounces. You need to cut down and do the math in this case.

Our basic Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation teaches you how to figure out percentages and convert weights to percentages. From a weight-based formula, you need to figure out the percentages of all your parts so that you can repeat the same thing or scale it up if you need to.

Many do-it-yourself skincare recipes on the internet discuss different spoon sizes for other items or drops of essential oils. It would help if you stayed away from these recipes because there is no safe way to make them again. Not all essential oil drops have the same specific gravity, so their weights differ. Even if two drops are from the same bottle, they rarely weigh the same. The tests we did show this to be true. These pieces give you some background on why you need formulations based on percentages:

Answers to the top 10 questions about an organic mixture

Why you should never use drops to measure essential oils

You can look at recipes on this site to see how we write them. You’ll see that the ingredients are mentioned in groups such as A, B, C, and so on. This not only tells you what items to mix, but it also helps you understand how it’s made.

For example, gums are generally mixed with glycerine or something similar to ensure they dissolve properly before mixing into an emulsion. In most recipes, heat-sensitive ingredients are used. A lot can go wrong if you need to know when to combine certain ingredients and stages.

Natural stabilizers and essential oils are added last, especially during the “cool-down” stages of making an emulsion.

Figure out how your products work together and why and when they are used in production. As important as the percentage formula is the way it is made.


Armed with your working formula, it’s time to make a first trial batch of your new cosmetic skincare products. Prep your workspace or home lab, and ensure you have the tools hand that you need for the formulation. This article shows you the essential kit you need to make your first formulations:

Cosmetic formulation kit: 12 tools to get you started

Make a small batch only, such as 25-100g, depending on the type of formulation and the weight of the smallest amount of ingredient added. It may be impractical to make tiny trial batches if you cannot weigh out the minute amounts needed. Most beginner formulators start with cheap pocket or jewelry scales, which work up to two decimal points and up to around 500g.

Ensure you follow your proposed method, and make notes about any deviations and your observations. This information is invaluable as it will guide you when you try the formulation again. You will undoubtedly adjust your percentage formula or method to improve the product outcome.

Most skincare products, especially oleogels, gels, balms, and emulsions, need time to settle to allow air bubbles to disappear or to cool, so only expect to assess your final cosmetic product 24 hours later as a bare minimum. Even cold-blend formulations will thicken over time. This brings us to the next stage in how to make skincare: testing your cosmetic skincare products.


Try your homemade skincare products to see if it works how you thought it would. Check out how it absorbs, feels on your skin, smells, thick or thin, and how well it comes out of the bottle you choose. Here are some simple tests that you should do right away and then do again and again over the next few days or weeks.

Of course, your goods must also go through more formal, routine tests that cosmetics labs must do on batches that will be sold. Stability and microbial tests are used to determine if a makeup is safe. Even after weeks or months, an emulsion can split, which can be dangerous. A cosmetic preservation method needs to be tested to ensure it keeps the cosmetic safe to use as planned. Even products that don’t need water may need preservatives if they come in touch with fingers or wet places.

If you are new to natural formulation, these tests seem complicated. But many easy ways to test your skincare products in your home lab exist. Our Certificates in Natural Cosmetic Preservation and Cosmetic Stability Testing cover a wide range of tests that can be quickly and cheaply done in an artisan lab. They also cover tests you would need to have done on goods you want to sell by certified labs outside your business.

Read these to learn why and how to test your makeup:

4 signs that a beauty product isn’t stable

Three reasons why all makeup needs to be tested for stability

Here are 10 natural recipe myths that need to be busted, such as the idea that antioxidants are preservatives.

What you need to know about natural chemicals

Make changes to your formula

Last but not least, you must change your recipe based on what you learned before making a cosmetic product. Everyone needs to come up with the perfect idea the first time. Changing the amounts of the functional ingredients in a product is a typical way to change things like its viscosity or how it feels on the skin.

When they make recipes for our blog and our private membership site, The Lab at Formula Botanica, our teachers try out a lot of new ingredients. For example, they might try the same recipe with various emulsifiers to find the best result. Regarding cosmetics, functional ingredients like emulsifiers can be some of the hardest to work with and “get right.” Be patient and learn to take careful notes.

As a makeup formulator, you must be ready to try again and learn from your mistakes and what you see. As a natural formulator, this is how things go. Remember that working with natural botanical ingredients can be more predictable than synthetically created ingredients. But making your skincare products will be fun and add to the thousands of years of using natural ingredients to make cosmetics.


In conclusion, making your skincare products can be fun and creative, and you can change the ingredients to fit the needs of your face. But it’s essential to be careful and responsible when doing your skin care. To ensure your creations are safe and effective, you need to study, pick your ingredients carefully, and follow good hygiene habits. Always put your skin’s health first by trying on a small area, starting with small amounts, and getting professional help when needed. As long as you know what you’re doing and take the proper steps, making your skincare products can be a fun and rewarding part of your beauty routine.

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