The cosmetic industry is shrouded in secrecy, which is why it is why the Naked Chemist is all about transparency.
Many of my clients are keen to know, how their personal care products get from the ideas stage to sitting on the bathroom shelf – there is a lot to consider, basically the more specific the skin conditions or skin type being treated, the more complicated the development process becomes.
So we created this article to take you on a ‘behind the scenes journey,’ so you can get an idea of what is involved when it comes to the product development process.
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, which very often comes from requests from my clients in the clinic,
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 we are planning on creating a cleanser for a combination skin type, then we would spend a lot of time, considering how the final formula will look and the 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 and protective barrier and cause a whole host of other problems such as inflammation and breakouts.
When developing cleansers for specific skin types, we also have to consider the type of cleanser that is going to suit that particular skin type, and whether that the finished product will be 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 has to be carried out:
- The target market
- Age range
- Customer’s habits, are they sporty or professional?
- Lifestyle. For instance, if it’s a skincare range for busy moms they don’t have a lot of time on their hands, therefore it needs to be easy to remove, so a light foaming cleansing lotion may be ideal in this instance, or a cleansing balm.
Step 4 – The Prototype
Developing a prototype product is a really important part of the process, we 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 smell?
- Is the packaging appealing?
Once the survey comes back, time is spent analysing the data, If we aren’t happy with the research, then the product is retested until we’re 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 we choose to make specific claims on a personal care product, it is really important that we scientifically substantiate these claims.
This is usually beyond our remit and something we contract out to a lab.
Step 6 – The production process
It is important to us that the ingredients in our formulas work on a cellular level because we are all about returning the skin back to optimum health. We want all of our products to be as fresh and as natural as possible so that our customer’s skin cells harness the full enzymatic benefit from the potent ingredients,
Many skin care products that line the supermarket shelves are there for months at a time, which in reality, means they have lost a lot of their active ingredients. In order to manage quality control, we create all of our formulations in-house in small batches, so that we can control the potent activity of the formulas.
So as you can see, a lot goes into the product development process, and seeing the end results that the formulas have on my client’s skin, is the reason why I continue to do what Ido, and why I am so passionate about skin health.