What Does Custom Formulation Mean in Skincare?


When it comes to skincare, there are so many products on the market it can feel like you always need to be thinking of new products and new ideas to entice customers to your brand. One of the ways that you can do this, and create unique cosmetic solutions in the process, is to use a custom formula for your skin care product.

Custom formulas are a great option for brands who already know what their target market wants from their skincare and have done the research to come up with a custom formula idea. Custom formulations are also useful if you would like to use the extensive industry knowledge of a custom formulation company to adapt, change up, or re-vamp an existing product.

A custom skincare product is a great way to create innovative skincare products and cosmetic solutions using a third party for the research and development of the said product. If you're considering submitting a custom product development request and are trying to find out more about the process, keep reading this article where we will cover all you need to know.

What Does Custom Formulation Mean in Skincare?

What is a custom formulation?

So, what is a custom formulation?

In basic terms, a custom formulation is a product idea that is developed, usually by a third party, to create a unique product for a brand. Creating a custom formulation with a specialist private label company allows you to hand off the research, product testing, and developing stages of a new product to a team of qualified chemists while you focus on marketing your products.

The company will take over all of your product development needs by reverse-engineering the formula to your specifications and going through all stages of quality assurances, including stability testing and preservative efficacy testing.

Custom formula products exist in a range of industries, from skincare to haircare to makeup, and are a great way to realise a product idea when you lack expertise yourself.

What do custom formulations mean in the skincare industry?

In the skincare industry, a custom formulation is a product that has been created to a client's requirements by a company that specialises in creating custom products based on individual clients' specifications.

A company that creates these kinds of products usually have a team of experts who assure the feasibility of product ideas, create them and then run tests, including preservative efficacy and stability testing.

Is custom formulation development worth it?

Custom formulation development has a number of benefits which we have listed below.

  • Tailored products - Custom products developed by a third party are unique to your company. This means that the products will be a part of your brand image and will reflect all of the brand values you have set out. As you have control over things like ingredients and branding, you can cater it exactly to your brand's needs and, by extension, the needs of your market niche.
  • Targeted products - In skincare, products that target specific concerns are of great value to customers. Creating your own formula that is designed to target one specific area of concern, rather than customising base formulations or buying white-label, can help to build trust with your clientele.
  • Expertise and access to research - By using a company that specializes in custom formula products, you have access to their knowledge and extensive inventory of ingredients. The specialists who work to develop custom products have the experience that you perhaps may not, which means you're getting the input of people who really understand. This can make for much more effective products in the long run.
  • All of the testing is done for you - In the skincare industries in most countries, there are lots of regulations on cosmetics. A company creating a custom product for you will ensure your product has undergone these rigorous tests and that it is totally safe and suitable for the market.
What Does Custom Formulation Mean in Skincare?

How can I create my own custom formula?

The first step in creating your own custom product is to seek out a company that works in the same product industry as you that specialise in custom product formulations. For a skincare product, seek out a company that has the knowledge and specialisms you need for the idea that you have.

Once you have found the right partner, you will then begin discussions with the company about the product. The product development stage can take anywhere up to a year but know that your product is being researched, developed and rigorously tested in this time.

The product that is developed may come from an idea you have created with a list of specific ingredients in already calculated quantities, or it may come from a vague idea you had. The specialists at the meeting will be able to guide you through the process to develop the product you have dreamed up.

You will likely be offered certain kinds of testing for your product formulation as part of the product development and it is recommended that you take these offerings. Allowing for these tests to be run can ensure the stability, safety and suitability of your product.

Some custom product developers may also provide packaging services wherein your product will be packaged into your own packaging and be ready for shipment from the company.

When you arrive at your initial meeting, it is good practice to ask questions regarding the kinds of tests they can offer, how ownership of the product works with them, and whether or not they provide packaging services in addition to manufacturing.

Is customised formulation right for me?

Customised formulations for your products might be right for you if you want to outsource manufacturing while you focus on selling and marketing your products. It is a good option for businesses that would rather pay someone else to research and develop products and can be a useful way of keeping costs down in-house.

It is also a good idea if you do not have specialists within your own company who specialise in the kind of products you want to create. Going to a company that create formulas to customized specifications opens you up to a range of specialists who have knowledge in your niche area that can help you to create the perfect formula for your product.

Creating custom products with a third party is a great way to develop products while still focusing on the sustainable growth of your business, however, it is not for some people.

Custom skincare products can be costly and many new skincare businesses do not have the means to fund this kind of product development. Smaller businesses who do not want to make products in-house may find that private label or white label products suit their needs for keeping start-up costs down and may progress to customised formulation products when they have built capital.

Some skincare companies may also prefer to make all of their products in-house with their own experts, making this kind of product development unsuitable for their brand values.

How do you create a skincare formula?

Creating your own skincare formula can be daunting but there are a few steps you can take to make it easier.

  1. To begin with, define the kind of product you want to make. Is it going to cleanse, exfoliate, tone? Or is it a moisturiser? Whatever it is, it will require a specific formula.
  2. Next, you need a base formulation to bounce off. You can actually find the ingredients to many base formulae for skincare online. Do some research to find the one that you think suits your product best.
  3. This next step is a combination of research and creation. You need to create your first batch working with the base formulas you have found and adding in the ingredients you want to target the specific needs of your product. There is a lot of trial and error in this stage.
  4. Once you have perfected the batch, you need to test it. In industry settings, this will be done on a mass scale, but you can test it on yourself first if it's just you. Note down any issues and take it all back to the drawing board.
  5. This final step will be repeated over and over and it is the revision stage where you perfect your batch to your needs.

This development could be the start of your journey into customised formulations. You may take this sample you have created to your initial custom product meeting to explore ways of making it better and developing it for your needs.

Remember that there are lots of regulations surrounding skincare products and so even if it works for you, it will still need to be approved by the appropriate authorities before it can be marketed and sold. Working with a custom product company is a great way to do this.

What Does Custom Formulation Mean in Skincare?

Final thoughts

Creating custom products for your skincare line is a great way of getting the exact product you dreamed up without needing to employ the specialists in your own company. It allows you time to focus on business growth and selling your current products while research and development are done elsewhere for new products.

There are lots of benefits of creating custom products, including tailored and targeted products that create brand loyalty. Why not take a look into customised formula skincare companies today and find out how they could help you out.