How to create a cosmetic formula


Element 44 Inc, Chicago, USA

As a student on your way through college getting a degree in chemistry, you don’t learn much about what you will do with that knowledge once you get out of school. In fact, most of the information you learn, you don’t ever use again – I’m looking at you partial differential equations.


This means that learning to formulate products is something you do on the job. It isn’t something that can easily be learned through books and courses, but rather you have to actually get in the lab and start putting products together. You also have to take products home and use them. Not only do you have to become expert at figuring out the right mix of ingredients to use, you also need to become expert at using products and evaluating what’s good and bad about them. These skills were certainly not covered in college.


Since product formulations are intellectual property, companies in the cosmetic industry can be a bit secretive about them. This is understandable, but it also makes it hard for a new formulator to learn. To aid you in your quest to become a better cosmetic chemist, let’s go through the process of how to create a formula. We ...