DIY beauty: ‘Revolutionary’ online cosmetic formulation programme launches

By Kacey Culliney contact

- Last updated on GMT

The online, subscription-based programme makes the world of formulation creation 'more accessible for everyone' - Getty Images
The online, subscription-based programme makes the world of formulation creation 'more accessible for everyone' - Getty Images
Pioneering programme Create Cosmetic Formulas is now live, enabling simple and quick formulation development – an offer set to draw in Indie Brands and drive up quality, says creator Belinda Carli.

Launched on August 5, Create Cosmetic Formulas is the brainchild of Carli, director of the Institute of Personal Care Science. Following five months in development, the subscription-based programme is now live, giving users the opportunity to create cosmetic formulations without any prior experience. An annual A$99 (€60) subscription fee provides unlimited access to the programme and manufacturing methods once formulations are created.

“This is a revolutionary programme and the first of its kind,”​ Carli told CosmeticsDesign-Europe. “It is not training, it is a programme that creates a formula for someone where they get to choose what goes into the formula and what doesn’t.”

Users, she said, did not need to know the “what, how or why of formulation”​.

“…It makes the world of formulation creation more accessible for everyone – with a proper and safe approach.” 

Cutting through ‘misinformation’

The online tool had been developed for Indie Brands and hobbyists, she said, a segment vulnerable to a growing pool of poor, easy-to-access information.

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“There is a huge demand from this sector and unfortunately too much information directed at this sector on the internet already,”​ she said. “There is so much bad, misinformation about how to formulate online, I might as well give users reliable and accessible sources that are credible."

Misinformation about cosmetic formula creation, Carli said, had led to confusion around aspects like ingredient selection and shelf life, among others, but this programme overcame those concerns. The coded online programme provided basic selections on ingredients like emulsifiers, preservatives, gums or surfactants and suggested certain combinations and methods of manufacturing.

“It helps [users] make good selections without needing to know how or why. This sector is continuing to grow, at a rapid rate, so we may as well give them opportunities to make safe, stable and suitable product through a programme like this, rather than uninformed selections.”

Competition for professional formulators?

Asked if there were concerns industry could consider the platform competition, particularly third-party formulators, Carli said: “No – there are still specialised materials and innovative formulation types that need an individual approach and specialty formulators. Professional formulators would understand this and also understand the need for this type of programme to help those just starting out, hobbyists and Indie Brands with good, reliable information.” 

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Create Cosmetic Formulas, she said, will “raise the level”​ of these players, enabling “more professional discussions” ​with formulators around individual brand needs when the time comes.

Advanced formulation types and certain ingredients, Carli said, had been left out of the programme, as this level of work required an individual approach by a trained professional.

“This programme doesn’t train or provide advanced formulation guidance – it is not competition to the professional, industry-level training that the Institute of Personal Care Science provides, nor professional formulators. It will replace the need to use stock-standard online recipes. People can create their own formulas with this programme quickly and easily, without needing to know what to do.”

Possible ‘pro’ and ‘colour’ version to come

In the coming years, Carli said more offerings would be added to the platform, potentially through a ‘colour’ or ‘pro’ version, although that wouldn’t be any time soon. “That is a lot of coding, development and rules, so it is a bit of a way off (…) You can’t jump in the deep end if you haven’t practised swimming in the shallows first.”

In the meantime, she said the platform would be balanced alongside the Institute of Personal Care Science which offered online, distant education in cosmetic formulation to diploma level.

“There are a lot of people that just want to work at the hobby or Indie level without a big learning investment – this programme fits them perfectly. And of course, if they want to learn how to formulate more professionally, or for those that decide they want to formulate for a career and become a cosmetic chemist, they can then study online with us from wherever they are in the world.”

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