How to Start a Skin Care Business

  Reviewed by: Michelle Seidel, B.Sc., LL.B., MBA
  Written by: Heather Burdo      Updated November 21, 2018
The cosmetologist is caring for the patient's face

Skin care is a large market and it tends to be overcrowded, so you will want to start your new skincare business off on the right foot. To have a higher possibility of being successful in the skincare industry, you have to stand out. Make sure you have a sound business startup plan and come up with a better offering than your competitors.

Make a Business Plan

Without a business plan, it's going to be difficult to set smart goals and know what steps are needed to achieve them. This document should cover every step of the process, from registering your beauty business to finding suppliers and marketing your products. Include a brief industry overview, an executive summary and a description of your mission and goals.

Your business plan should also outline the company's strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. This requires a good understanding of the market. For example, if you're selling organic or handmade creams and lotions, you have a competitive edge as these products are in high demand.

Follow Industry Regulations

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates most cosmetics under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. Products that are regulated as cosmetics are moisturizers, makeup, perfumes, nail care products, hair dye, straighteners and permanent waves. If a product is intended to treat or prevent a disease or affect the way a person's body works, it's considered a drug.

With this law, cosmetics can't be misbranded or adulterated. They must remain safe for consumers under customary or labeled conditions of use and always maintain a proper label. If you want to use color additives, you will need approval for the intended use.

Labeling and packaging can't be deceptive. The FDA encourages all foreign and domestic cosmetic firms to register their business and file product formulations they use with the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program. However, if a product is considered both a cosmetic and drug, that specific product will need to meet the requirements for drug registration.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Techwalla
Brought to you by Techwalla

Discover Your Niche

Just like any business, you need to figure out which niche market your skin business falls into so you can target the correct audience. A niche market is a subset of a larger market, and there are specific characteristics that separate them.

For example, figure out if your skincare line is going to focus on products for men or women, young or older individuals and also their budget. You will need to identify the price points as you wouldn't want to solely market your products to people with lower budgets if you were to run social media advertisements or place advertisements in specific towns.

Promote Your Beauty Business

Once you discover what your niche is and who your target audience is, you need to market your cosmetics. Without advertising, people won't know you exist, making it tough in such a saturated market. Some marketing options are being active on social media, running promotions online, creating a website and blog to drive traffic to your products or even advertise in specific towns and cities.

For example, if your skincare line is high-end and your target audience is individuals with high income, you will want to do some demographic searches to figure out towns and cities that have a higher-than-average income. You wouldn't promote your products in a low-income region. The United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) shows publicly available data which advertisers can obtain to target ads for a specific household income.

Manufacturing and Packaging

When it comes to producing your new skincare products, you will need a manufacturer. Do as much research as possible and don't settle for the first manufacturer you come across. Check reviews, make sure they are legitimate and follow compliance and other procedures that are relevant and important to you.

More than 23 percent of customers prefer organic skincare products. This market has an annual growth rate of 10 percent. If you choose this route, make a list of ethical, green or vegan manufacturers who can supply the products you need. Avoid any vendors that engage in animal testing as this may raise ethical concerns.

Also, research the import regulations in your state, especially if your products will be manufactured in Asia or other countries. Certain ingredients, such as bithionol and methylene chloride, have been banned in the U.S., but they may be allowed in other parts of world. If your products contain any of these compounds, you might not be able to bring or sell them in the United States.

You will also need packaging. If you aren't much of a creative person yourself, you can hire this task out to a freelancer for less money than hiring a large company. You can choose a website like Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services which has many creative designers who work for affordable fees as low as $5. Collaborate with your designer to ensure you get the package design you have in mind, one that will be appealing to your customers and represent your brand.

About the Author

Heather Burdo has been personally involved in business for six years. Her passion is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs through engaging and insightful content.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

startup_cost