The Product Development Process Involved When Launching a Skin Care

The cosmetic industry is shrouded in secrecy.

Which is why, it is important for me to be all about transparency.

And the reason for this blog.

Many of you don’t know how your personal care products get from the ideas stage, to sitting on your bathroom shelf.

There is a lot to think about, when it comes to creating personal care products.

Basically the more specific the skin conditions or type being treated, the more complicated the development becomes.

So join me, as I take you behind the scenes, and take a peak, at what is involved, when it comes to the product development process.


Step 1
The Idea’s phase
This is the most important part of the process, recognising the need for the product in the first place.

Step 2 
Product Characteristics
A lot of thought needs to go into the research and the product development process.

This includes identifying the product characteristics, in relation to the skin type the product is formulated for.

For instance, if I was planning on developing a cleanser for a combination skin type, then I would spend a lot of time, on thinking about how the final formula will look and feel on the skin.

Ideally the cleanser would need to be strong enough to remove surface oils, but not so strong that it strips the skin of valuable lipids, otherwise this would undermine the acid mantle.

When developing a cleanser for specific skin types, I also have to think about the type of cleanser that is going to suit the skin, whether that is a gel, lotion or oil based product.

Step 3
Client profile

This is a really important part of the product development process.

The following analysis need to be carried out:

  • The target market
  • Age range
  • Customer’s habits, are they sporty or professional?
  • Lifestyle, if it’s a skin care range for busy moms, they don’t have a lot of time on their hands, therefore may be an easy to rinse, lightly foaming cleansing lotion would be ideal

Step 4
The Prototype

Developing a prototype product is a really important part of the process.

I create sample products that are tried and tested on members of the public, in this case obviously my clients.

Real people, that want real results

The type of feedback from those sampling the product, needs to be well thought out.

  • Was it cleansing
  • Was it moisturising
  • Did the clients like the texture
  • How did it feel on their skin
  • Did anyone experience any reactions
  • How did they like the fragrance
  • Was the packaging appealing

Once the survey comes back, time is spent analysing the data.

If I am not happy with the research, then the product is retested, until I am satisfied with the survey and the quality of the product.

Step 5
Independent testing

This is an important part of the product development process.

If I choose to make specific claims on a personal care product, it is really important that I scientifically substantiate these claims.

This is beyond my remit, and something I usually contract out to a lab.

Step 6 

I want all of my products to be as FRESH, LIVE and NATURAL as possible, so that my customers skin cells, can harness the full enzymatic benefit from the potent ingredients.

It is important to me that the ingredients in the formulas work on a cellular level, because I am all about returning the skin back to optimum health.

Many skincare products, line the supermarket shelves for months at a time, which in reality, means they have lost a lot of their active ingredients.

In order to manage quality control, I create all of my formulations in house, so that I can control the potent activity of our formulas.

So as you can see, a lot goes into the product development process.

Seeing the end results my products have on my clients and customers skin, is the reason why I continue to do, what I am so passionate about.

5 thoughts on “The Product Development Process Involved When Launching a Skin Care

  1. Linda Gearke says:

    Samantha, this is an excellent and highly helpful article! I have helped bring hundreds of skin care products to market over the past 14 years of owning my consulting business, Strictly Personal – The Personal Care Marketing Experts. I can be reached at

    Linda Gearke

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Thankyou, whilst i wouldn’t usually endorse a company on my site in this case I will leave your link here. My site gets a lot of traffic and you never know your services may be useful for fellow readers that may be thinking about launching their own company…All the best Samantha

  2. Tahner says:

    Hi, I’ve come across a remedy for psoriasis through my own experimentation. It is really basic right now because I have no knowledge about formulating a salve with multiple ingredients. Do you have any recommendations for somewhere I might be able to go to work with them or formulating a complete product? Thanks

    • Verified Author Samantha Miller replied:

      Hi Tahner, it all depends on where you live I am afraid, my advice dig deep on ingredients, do your own testing on real people to get real results, remember psoriasis is tricky to treat as it is an over proliferation of skin cells. The company psoria gold you may find a good resource.

    • Russ G says:

      Hi there,

      Can’t say I have a remedy. But years of “concocting” lotions, has
      brought me close, too. Say hello, if you can.. 30 year sufferer, PPP.

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