Retail shelves with multi-colored beauty products

Beauty Products: Custom Formula vs. Private Label

In the initial excitement of daydreaming about starting your own beauty line many people assume they have to create their own products from scratch. Often, formulating your own products is what many beauty entrepreneurs see as the “fun part”. However, you may not realize it’s not the only way to start your own brand.

In fact, formulating your own custom haircare, skincare, or cosmetic products from the ground up can be very expensive, time consuming, and research intensive. It could take up to a year or more to create each product, perfect the scent, test it on potential buyers, collect feedback, and then make sure the formula is stable and passes the necessary microbiological testing. If you are thinking about selling your products internationally there will be additional work of researching which ingredients are permitted in each country in you sell in, labeling requirements, and paperwork, etc.

Overall, you will be dealing a lot with the manufacturers and their specific requirements. Each company will have minimum order quantities (MOQ) that you have to hit in order for them to even produce your product. It’s not unusual for the MOQ to be 10,000 units per product (SKU) or the cost can go up significantly. Let’s say you want your skincare line to have 5 products to start. You can see how this can get very expensive and time consuming quickly.

However, there is another way to get your beauty products on the market more quickly and less expensively than starting from scratch. It’s called using a “private label” or “white label”. It can be a great way to test the market and dip your toe into the beauty biz. You are able to make your products available more quickly and save a little money in the process. Many people don’t realize this is even an option.

It’s not unusual either. There are many brands that just put their own label on other people’s products (think about any drug store or grocery brand). The benefits to you are it eliminates the time needed to develop your own products and the minimum order quantities are typically much lower. Just design your label and “Ta da!” you just created your own beauty line. If your business does well you could always custom formulate your next product.

TIP: Google “private label” or “white label” and your product type (i.e. “private label shampoos”) to start your search for manufacturers who specialize in doing this.

Private Label

Pros
Less money needed for startup
Easier to get started selling your products
Quicker than formulating your own product
Lower minimum order quantities (MOQ)
Only a custom label is required to start your brand

Cons
Less control
Don’t own the formula
Less flexibility with customization
Manufacturer could decide to stop selling the product

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