What Cosmetic Product Should I Create?
Aug 4, 2021 · 7 min read
How to Decide What Beauty Product You Should Create and Launch
Are you thinking about launching a Cosmetic Product? Congratulations!
Have you already decided what beauty product to make?
If you’re not sure yet, if you just know you want to put your unique stamp on the industry and help out beauty and personal-care consumers, don’t worry. There are many different products out there—and each one is an opportunity to add your individual twist.
When you’re deciding which product to create, it’s a good idea to know all the possibilities, and specifically which categories each product falls into according to the FDA (i.e., cosmetic, drug, soap, or more than one). Fortunately, there are resources for that.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a program called the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program, under which Creators register their formulations with the FDA. This is not a mandatory program, but it is highly encouraged in order to promote excellent safety and high standards for personal-care products.
The registration process includes filing a form called the Cosmetic Product Ingredient Statement (CPIS), also known as Form 2512. On that form, the FDA has defined thirteen categories of cosmetic product, along with several sub-categories for each one. No matter what product you’re creating, it will fall under one of these headings.
The full list is here, and here is an overview of the categories:
- Baby Products: includes shampoos, lotions, and more.
- Bath Preparations: oils, salts, bubbles, and more.
- Eye Makeup Preparations: pencil, liner, shadow, lotion, mascara, remover, and other products.
- Fragrance Preparations: colognes, perfumes, powders, etc.
- Hair Preparations (non-coloring): straightener, shampoo, hair spray, and others.
- Hair Coloring Preparations: dyes, colored shampoos, bleaches, and more.
- Makeup Preparations (not eye): blush, foundation, lipstick ...
- Manicuring Preparations: lotions, basecoats and undercoats, polish, etc.
- Oral Hygiene Products: toothpaste, mouthwash, and related products.
- Personal Cleanliness: bath soap, deodorant, other personal cleanliness products.
- Shaving Preparations: shaving cream and soap, aftershave, etc.
- Skin Care Preparations (Creams, Lotions, Powders, and Sprays): cleaners, hair removal agents, moisturizers ...
- Suntan Preparations: suntan formulations not including sunscreen.
Keep in mind that some of these categories overlap with drug classifications. Drugs are more tightly regulated than cosmetics, and some products are considered both. Before you create a product, know what the rules are for that product.
You may go through this list and find yourself naturally drawn to one or two categories. Great; focus there as you start the next step in the process!
The next thing to consider when making your decision: market conditions. What is demand like, what are the challenges, who is your competition, and where are the opportunities? What trends are emerging, which ones are past their prime? Overall, where seems like the best place for you to make your mark?
For each product you’re considering creating, you should be able to answer these questions.
Demand is high for beauty and personal-care products. Your job is to have a clear plan for how to meet some of that demand.
The process starts with primary market research. Primary market research involves online surveys, focus groups, user testing, interviews, field research—methods designed to get consumer data directly from consumers. Some companies do this themselves, some farm it out.
If you are just starting out, your primary research might be more “personal”. You can act as your own focus group, or ask friends and family about their needs, their habits, and what they wish was on the market.
Then comes secondary market research: looking at published sources of data and information. For a high-level overview of the cosmetics industry, you could start at Statista.com. Reports can be bought from various sources; beauty-industry websites have a wealth of data. (Start with this very Goldn blog!)
The market-research company Pollfish has a guide that goes a little bit more in-depth on how to conduct beauty-industry market research. (We’re not business partners with them; we just found this guide useful.)
You also need to consider where you’re going to sell. Will you be online (almost certainly yes)? Will you be selling at local boutiques, salons, or spas? Will you attempt to get your product stocked in major brick-and-mortar retail chains?
This decision is an ongoing one, and the sales strategy will almost certainly evolve as time goes by. But if you already have an idea of where you plan to focus your sales efforts, you will be able to figure out what products the people shopping there prefer—and what niches there have not yet been filled.
What Are You Excited About and Good At?
After learning about all of the above, it’s time to review what got you interested in creating a product in the first place.
Are you looking to meet an unmet need? Have you identified a way to improve upon a product? Or are you just really interested in a certain type of product and want to make your mark on that space?
If you’re particularly interested, experienced, or skilled in a product category or type, it will probably show through in your approach to the creation process. So if there’s a product that you’re naturally, truly passionate about, once you’ve done the legwork, you’d be smart to focus on that.
And Goldn is here to help. Our service will connect Cosmetics Creators and Service Providers from around the world. Under a single unified ecosystem, they’ll have the freedom to create cosmetics simply and delightfully. Sign up to stay in the loop—we launch soon, and we want you to be there!
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