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How Long Does It Take to Create A New Cosmetic Product?

Richard Block

Oct 12, 2021 · 5 min read

How Long Does It Take to Create A New Cosmetic Product_goldn

The consumer cosmetic and beauty market moves at an incredibly rapid pace. Trends, technologies, and tastes evolve quickly, so Beauty Brands need to go from idea to finished product as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they may miss a golden opportunity.

But cosmetics aren’t developed overnight. Between formulation, testing, adjustments, more testing, packaging, any regulatory requirements, and marketing, it can take a long time to get that idea out of your head and onto store shelves.

So how long is “a long time,” and does it need to be that way?


The common wisdom is that the typical development time for a new cosmetic product is eighteen months to two years—though that’s not necessarily true for everyone.

Still, many Cosmetic Creators report that the process often takes much longer than anticipated, ranging from twelve to eighteen months—or longer, if they’re using a new or uncommon ingredient, if their brand is new, if extensive testing is required, or if there are bottlenecks somewhere along the assembly line.

Two common causes for a delay that Cosmetic Creators identify are retailers’ needs and testing requirements.

Two Bottlenecks: Retail and Testing

If you’re selling through brick-and-mortar retailers, understand that they may plan their shelf layouts many months in advance. So when you reach a deal to place a product in stores, that may not happen overnight.

Plus, once your products are in stock, their future at the retailer may depend on initial sales. That means you want to have as much time to spend on marketing as possible, to build hype so your product sells well and re-orders come in.

As for testing, it is the Beauty Brand’s responsibility to make sure that a product is safe and does what it says. That can require real-world testing, and when you have to see if your product stands up to hard daily use, there’s often no substitute for time.

But we all want to make sure that the time to market is as short as possible. At Goldn, we’ve set out to redefine how long it can take to create a new cosmetic product.

Digital Processes = Faster Cosmetic Development

In the analog era, product formulation and vendor sourcing took a ton of legwork. Individually searching for contacts, calling them, following up, and negotiating—and then repeating the process as many times as necessary until a product formulation was finalized—could eat up weeks or months.

With digital technology, though, that timetable can be much shorter. It depends on what your product does, what claims it makes, how extensive the testing needs to be, and other factors. But when you work digitally, you may find that that year-plus timetable gets shorter by a few months, thanks to intuitive, simple tools and easy collaboration.

Goldn: Your Ticket To Faster Time-To-Market

Goldn’s Product Builder, for example, uses comprehensive data sources and smart, predictive online tools to smooth over the rough spots before you run into them.

The Goldn cosmetic-creation method rests on three pillars: ideation, the product brief, and guided tasks. When a brand is in the early stages of creation, the idea is to reduce time to market as much as possible—but lots of interruptions can delay launch, at any stage of the process.

Goldn’s aim is to eliminate these interruptions and streamline the process so that you can meet your target time to market.

We start with the ideation phase. Cosmetic Creators can collaborate in the Ideation Space, an interactive and shareable gallery where they can save and share ideas, images, information, and inspiration. (Also important: validating those product ideas to ensure they’re feasible!)

Once ideation is complete, the Product Brief is the next step. Goldn provides Cosmetic Creators templates for creating product descriptions, commercial parameters, and ideal customer profiles (ICPs). The end result is a blueprint for your product, which you can share with formulators and suppliers so they know exactly what you need. Less guesswork = faster launch and fewer surprises.

Next, the Product Builder offers you the Guided Tasks tool. Visualize critical milestones at each stage of development, and manage your progress so that you meet them. With this project-management helper, you can quickly take care of tasks you may not have even been aware of.


Throughout, our focus on collaboration lets you build a cosmetic product development dream team. Invite contributors and manage tasks, all in the same secure online space as the rest of the process.

With the Product Builder, you can seamlessly go from idea to formula, then find all the suppliers and vendors you need to complete testing, manufacturing, and packaging—often in a fraction of the time compared to “offline” cosmetic product development.

Want to see first-hand how you can get your new beauty innovation to market faster? Sign up for Goldnand try it out!

Written by

Richard Block

Richard Block is an editorial jack-of-all-trades at Goldn

Connect with Richard Block on LinkedIn.

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