You might think that making your own natural, organic skincare is as easy as whipping up some unadulterated shea butter and coconut oil bought in a health food shop and adding a drop or two of a favourite essential oil.
On one level, it can be. But if you wish to make products that are safe, high-performance and are more than homemade gifts for family and friends, then you'll need to work through some serious science, gain business know-how and get to grips with cosmetics' legislation as well as be prepared to dig in and get formulating; with all the trial and error as well as empowerment and fun that comes with learning to formulate.
This is where you leave the kitchen table and start thinking more like a cosmetic formulator than a DIY hobbyist. The worry for any new skincare entrepreneur with vision and a mission to create truly natural, organic skincare products, is how you can compete with the likes of XYZ already on the market?
The first piece of advice is that you will be your own unique formulator and have your own take, stance and flair. And secondly, the natural and organic cosmetic market is growing so fast that there is room for the newcomer. Consumers are clamouring more and more for natural solutions and also keen to explore indie brands who often have greater transparency and a discernible founder behind them.
The leap isn't easy but there is an online space out there that can support you all the way from concept to your first consumer sales - that space is online school Formula Botanica, the world's leading online organic, cosmetic science school.
A Skincare School based on science and senseFormula Botanica courses are rigorous and require you to do more than dust off rusty school science. There's a lot to learn if you wish to train as and think like a professional natural skincare formulator. When I started out with the concept of Olentium, I knew I needed a pro training course behind me to ensure that I not only comply with the minefield of stringent EU and US legislation and requirements to place skincare on the market, but also to have the know-how to create unique formulas that can differentiate my brand from others.
The CredentialsI knew I needed total confidence in my training provider to give me the confidence to create safe, professional organic skincare. Being the world's leading or first organic skincare school wasn't what really attracted me to Formula Botanica; it was the professional credentials and dedication of its teaching staff. That said, the school now teaches over 13K students spread over 177 countries and has over 200 graduates with their own brands. These figures are testimony to the school's success and soundness of its teaching and curriculum.
Formula Botanica CEO Lorraine Dallmeier is a biologist and chartered environmentalist whose passion for passing on her extensive knowledge in both the structured courses and through personal support is limitless. Under her leadership, the now 40-strong staff ranging from in-house cosmetic chemist and other scientists to experienced formulators as tutors, comprise an impressive team.
The school may teach online but there is rigorous teaching, marking, and student support and now, in the form of The Lab, a CPD membership site which is open to non students as well. Together all these prongs of learning form the ultimate hand-holding eco system for anyone wishing to launch into natural formulation - especially if they want the kind of pro training to enable them to change career.
The school offers flexible learning at your own pace with courses ranging from Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas in Organic Skincare Formulation to its International Skincare Entrepreneur training. There are also shorter, individual units in natural skincare preservation and anti-ageing formulation.
Lastly, and one of the most important aspects of Formula Botanica is its supportive student and graduate community which is online somewhere 24/7 in the school's managed Facebook groups. There is always someone who has had the same issues as you in formulation and is willing to chip in with their experiences and suggestions. The groups are monitored by Formula Botanica mentors who have been chosen for their wide-ranging formulation expertise.
Do you want to learn to formulate?
The organic, natural skincare sector is one of the fastest, if not fastest, growing segments of the personal care market. Heightened consumer concern about the long-term effects of less desirable ingredients on our bodies, it has seen a huge rise in the number of organic skincare brands coming onto the market - the global organic skincare market is growing at around 9.6% a year and predicted to reach US$13.2 billion by 2018.
If you wish to use ingredients as natural and organic as possible in your skincare, then formulating your own is the way to go whether you wish to sell or simply supply family or friends with your creations. With Formula Botanica it's a path of discovery that's tough at times, but do-able and a journey among a fantastic, friendly group of like-minded formulators.