The global skincare market is valued at over $135 million. The industry’s growth has exploded in recent years, expanding by 60% in the past decade alone. A large portion of this business has been fueled by skincare startups and entrepreneurs — some of which started in dorm rooms and now operate multi-million dollar brands.

If students with little-to-no background in beauty or skincare can do it, why can’t you? There’s plenty of potential for a lucrative business, you just need a hero product that sets your brand apart from the rest.

Learn more about how to start a skincare line in this blog

1. Do Your Homework on How to Start a Skincare Line

The skincare industry has come a long way in recent years, with a key focus on organic personal care. In fact, this industry is already worth more than $13 billion.

Organic, natural skincare is no longer limited to small brands and boutique health stores. There’s big money to be made in this beauty ”niche”. This is why it’s so important to do your homework on potential gaps in the market when it comes to skincare. What can your brand offer that’s different? Otherwise, do some research on potential growth areas and develop a product based on these predictions. Ultimately, you want to do your homework on one key product first, then buildup your range around this flagship product.

2. Learn Everything You Can About Your Product Niche

If you want to be a successful and well-respected private label skin care company, you have to have the knowledge to prove yourself as an authority on the subject.

With knowledge comes power, so make sure you learn everything there is to know about your chosen skincare niche. As mentioned, focus on your hero product first. Learn as much as you can about its ingredients, take a short course, expand your education online and educate yourself on what you’re selling.

Before you dive headfirst into a new business of any kind, there are always certain requirements and legalities surrounding your chosen industry to tackle first. Legal business requirements for a skincare line are similar to most other small businesses. However, cosmetics are closely regulated by the FDA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

You’ll need to prove that your products are the same under customary conditions of use. They must also be accurately labeled and pass numerous screening tests before you can actually sell these products to the public.

If you plan on starting out from home, there are no laws against manufacturing cosmetics. But, you should consider following the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines. This is so that they pass FDA testing when you move onto a mass manufacturing stage.

4. Register Your Business and Secure Insurance

In order to operate a legal business within the United States, you must register your business first, then secure adequate business insurance. The best way to tackle this step is to enlist the help of an accountant and a lawyer from the get-go. If you’re on a tight budget, ask friends and family for advice, or platforms such as LegalZoom help you to set everything up online.

Business insurance may not be something that’s a priority at the start, but it’s wise to invest in none-the-less. There are easier and more affordable ways of securing business insurance than most traditional routes. Consider joining groups such as the Indie Business Network or Veracity who offer cheaper rates for smaller businesses.

5. Secure a Reliable Manufacturing Space

If you plan on starting out at home, then more power to you. Some of the greatest success stories have started this way! You can use your kitchen or a converted garage or bedroom as a designated workspace. Manufacturing skincare products does require specialized equipment, depending on your product(s). If you need some of this equipment, you may need to consider taking out a loan to finance your manufacturing set-up.

If you intend to work in a larger manufacturing space, make sure to include rent, utilities, and additional staff wages in your budget. There are a number of small business loans today that are great for startups and entrepreneurs. Look for bulk suppliers for your ingredients too, as this can really chew into your budget. Check out websites such as MakingCosmetics and Admix for more.

6. Build Your Brand and Packaging

Branding and packaging are crucial when it comes to the success of your skincare products. Essentially, your brand and packaging speak to the overall theme of what you offer. It’s the first point-of-reference for your customers and what you become most well-known for.

Secure a freelance graphic designer to help you work on a logo, product labels, boxes, and inside flyers for all deliveries. It’s best to work with someone that’s been highly recommended, who you can trust to bring your brand to life. A good place to start is by designing the basic products, then introduce more collateral at a later stage. Start with a custom logo and label, then move on from there. Try and be as specific about the look and feel of your brand. Research sites such as Pinterest and Instagram for relevant examples and inspiration.

After, take care of the manufacturing process. Find trusted custom packaging manufacturers that can provide you access to their top suppliers, international certified facilities, and skilled manufacturing teams and prepare for the next step.

7. Market Your Products

This is probably a make-or-break step for your brand and business. In today’s world, your best friend for skincare and cosmetic marketing is Instagram. Public relations efforts, partnerships, and events are effective, but Instagram is where you need to be. A strong online presence, coupled with a great product, could also attract stockists. So it’s worth investing your time into a solid Instagram profile and following — along with other social media spaces.

Your product needs a great website, too. Build a solid e-commerce website that is user-friendly and well-supported. Use only high-quality images of your products and maintain a business blog to boost your website traffic, too. Platforms such as Squarespace and Shopify are ideal.

Traditional means of marketing are important too. Host a skincare party and give away free product samples. Approach local health stores and offer to sell your products at wholesale pricing. Lean on friends and family to help you spread the word!

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