Did you know that Americans, on average, spend around $244 to $313 on cosmetic products every month? So, it’s also no wonder the U.S. personal care and beauty industry is worth an estimated $91.4 billion. That’s over a fifth of the global cosmetic business total value!
After all, everyone wants to look and feel good, so there’s always a demand for such products.
So, why not capitalize on that demand by starting a cosmetic business yourself? That way, you can turn your passion for beauty and personal care into a profitable venture.
The guide below shares the most crucial facts you need to know about starting a beauty company, so read on.
Decide Which Products to Develop
Identifying the products you want to develop is the first step to starting a beauty business. This desire may come from personal circumstances, such as having a fragrance allergy. While not highly prevalent, it still affects 2% to 11% of the general population.
You may also choose a product (or products) to develop based on personal preference. For example, if you’re a fan of nude makeup, you can create your own lightly formulated primers. These may include an eyelid, lip, mascara, or foundation primer.
Regardless of what you wish to develop, start with under five items. Doing so allows you to devote enough time and resources to create a few high-quality products. You can then expand your product line as your brand grows.
Know Which Regulations Apply to Your Products
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates cosmetic products. It does so under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act.
The FD&C Act sets stringent limitations on color additives you can use in cosmetics. If you plan to use such ingredients in your products, the FDA must approve them before they can go on the market.
You should also be aware of ingredients prohibited or restricted under FDA regulations. These include bithionol, halogenated salicylanilides, and methylene chloride, to name a few.
Rules also exist for classifying products that may be cosmetic or a drug. This depends on your product’s intended use, what you claim it can do, and the ingredients it contains.
If your product’s intended use is to cleanse the body or make a person more attractive, it’s cosmetic. But if it can affect how the human body works, such as preventing disease, it’s a drug.
You can’t market a product as cosmetic if it contains a drug. Instead, you must abide by federal drug requirements, including premarket approval.
Aside from the FDA, state and local governments also implement regulations for cosmetics. These include permits and licenses. To learn about them, contact your local Small Business Administration district office.
Formulate Your Products With Safe Ingredients
To lower the risk of your products harming users, use ingredients studied and found to be safe. Safety data for cosmetic ingredients and beauty supplies are often available through suppliers. You can also find information on scientific journal websites like PubMed and TOXNET.
It would also be best to work with FDA-registered ingredient manufacturers and suppliers. Likewise, they should always provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) for their products.
For instance, let’s say you’d like to develop a product with potential CBG benefits for skin health. In this case, choose a CBG supplier that provides COAs for their high-quality extracts.
Another excellent source for cosmetic ingredient safety data is the Cosmetic Ingredient Review. The CIR studies individual chemical compounds used in cosmetic products. It then publishes all its review findings online.
Name and Register Your Cosmetic Business
Once you have a solid business and product plan, it’s time to choose your business name. It should be descriptive, like “Bare and Beautiful” or “Glorious and Gorgeous.”
Next, narrow down your list to two or three names. Checking their legal availability can help you finalize your decision. You can use your state government’s business entity search tool for this.
Afterward, register your cosmetic company and obtain the necessary permits and licenses.
Begin the Product Development Process
You can create easy-to-DIY cosmetic products, like organic balms or body butter, on your own. For more complex formulations, work with a professional cosmetic scientist. Alternatively, you can partner up with a private-label manufacturer.
Depending on your chosen development route, you may need to secure financing. These include SBA loans, traditional bank loans, and credit cards. You may also consider crowdfunding your start-up business.
Test Your Products
After successfully developing your products, create samples for quality and safety tests. You can send them to one or two independent cosmetic laboratory testing facilities. You can have them perform one or all of the following:
- Non-animal ingredient safety test
- Toxicity test
- Microbial test
- Stability and shelf life test
- Preservative challenge test
Those procedures will help ensure your products can do what you claim they can. But, most importantly, they will determine the overall safety of your creations.
Establish Your Existence Online
The final step in starting a cosmetic business is making it known online. This is as vital as marketing your brand through traditional, offline means. A good enough reason is that 8 in 10 U.S. consumers shop online; over half even prefer to do so than shop in-store.
So, before the big launch, build an online store or set up one on an e-commerce site. You can do it yourself or enlist the help of a professional web developer. Then, boost your online presence further through social media.
If you have the budget, outsource tasks to a professional marketing firm. They can take over the entire process of making your brand known and appealing to your target market.
Start Planning Your Cosmetic Business Today
Remember: Despite inflation, people spend a lot on cosmetics and skin care. That should tell you how lucrative and withstanding this market is. That’s also a good enough reason to begin planning for the launch of your cosmetic business ASAP.
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