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The Phases of Cosmetic Formulation and Product Development

There is a lot that goes into formulating and developing a beauty product before it reaches the shelf. From the initial phases in the lab, testing and choosing different ingredients, to designing the final product package, creating a cosmetic product is extensive. Many companies wishing to start a product line are only familiar with the business side and lack the knowledge and expertise needed to execute the product development process.

Here are the critical phases of developing a cosmetic product, both in and out of the lab:

In the lab…

Choosing the Right Ingredients

When it comes to creating a formula, you have to choose the right ingredients. Technically, ingredients do not have to be approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), unless the product includes color additives. But how do you know what ingredients to choose?

The ingredients a brand chooses needs to align with their mission. Is the brand organic? Does the brand claim to only use “clean” ingredients? Who is the product intended for?

Once you understand how to align the formula with the brand, you have to think about the product itself, including the:

  • Texture

  • Color

  • Lasting ability

  • Scent

  • Weight

Every ingredient used in a product can potentially affect any one of these aspects, making it difficult to formulate without an expert. At e2e, our experts create custom and ready-made formulas to make your vision come to life. Whether you’re looking to create an ingestible or topical product, we will capture your concept and make it a reality.

Test and Manufacturing

Once the initial ingredients are chosen, it is time to test them together. Chemists must look at the active ingredients to ensure that they do not react negatively together or under certain conditions. These aspects of formulation include:

  • Wetting agents

  • Dispersion techniques

  • Crystallization

  • Additives

  • Surface chemistry

Then the chemists need to determine the correct quantities of each ingredient to ensure they are evenly distributed and stable throughout the product. They must also consider environmental conditions and logistics, such as temperature, traveling capabilities, and shelf-life. This is all while maintaining the brand’s product concept.

Once the initial formula is finished, several batches are made to test under different conditions to ensure no dangerous physical or chemical reactions occur. If tweaks are necessary, the formula is altered for optimal performance and the best batch is chosen.

Once the final formula is decided on, it is time to manufacture larger batches. In order to produce the product on a larger scale, the formula may need to be adjusted one final time to ensure it can be made at the desired scale. After the first large batch is produced, it is tested yet again to determine optimal shelf life. Once it passes this test, it is sent off for full production either in-house or to a third-party manufacturer.

e2e is an established manufacturer and wholesaler for various beauty products, from topicals to ingestibles. With a thorough understanding of product development, e2e ensures that their clients are involved and give their approval every step of the process.

Out of the lab…


Now that the formula is nailed down and the batches are made, it is time to dress the product. Packaging includes the bottle or component that the product lives in, as well as the box. This step is crucial to selling the product. After working meticulously to get the perfect formulation, you need to ensure that the packaging attracts the attention of the target audience. You also need to determine the different product variants. Consider custom-made containers, different product sizes, and even sample packets.

e2e is a one-stop-shop for your product development needs. Our clients have access to our graphic design team if they want to create original artwork or edit an existing design. We also offer customized packaging and labeling designs so you can meet your visionary goal.

Product Instructions

Once the packaging design is complete, clear instructions need to be printed on the label. Unfortunately, consumer misuse can give a product a bad reputation even if the formula is satisfactory. To show off your product’s functionality, you need to print explicit details on the packaging to eliminate any misdirection.

Are you ready to bring your product to life?

From white label to private label creations, e2e offers customized formulations through a collaborative product development process to craft your products specific to your vision and brand. Learn more aboutour services orcontact us today to get started.



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