How is a cosmetic formula made?

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Element 44 Inc, Chicago, USA

When starting a formulation job in the cosmetic industry, you quickly discover that not much of what you learned in college chemistry courses applies to formulating. And you’ll find that creating new cosmetic formulas can be challenging. But learning the steps to make a finished product will make this task on your new job easier. 

Step 1 - The concept
In the cosmetic industry, marketing is mostly in charge of the direction of the company. Therefore, the first thing that happens before any R&D work is done is that the marketing group develops what they see as a winning product concept. Concepts are just ideas described on paper and shown to consumers. Companies pursue the ideas that consumers like best. Of course, this is not an exact science and sometimes the products that get launched are the ones that the president of marketing or the company likes best. 

After a few rounds of market research testing and refining, the concepts then go to R&D to get turned into actual product.

Step 2 - The starting formula
Usually, winning concepts are minor iterations on products that have already been ...