To be a cosmetic chemist you have to learn to make cosmetic formulas. For most people starting out in the cosmetic industry, you’ll specialize in a specific type of formulation such as skin, hair, or color cosmetics.

However, to be a complete cosmetic chemist you should have an understanding of how ALL cosmetics work and are formulated. This doesn’t mean you have to go make them (although that is encourage) but it does mean that if someone asks you how a product works, you’ll be able to answer them.

In this series we are going to cover as many types of cosmetics and personal care products we can imagine. We’ll discuss what a product is designed to do, how it works, and some of the ingredients that make it work.

Cosmetic Formulation Basics

1. Hair Conditioner
2. Body Wash
3. Lipstick
4. Hair Gel
5. Skin Lotion
6. Sunless Tanning 
7. Antiperspirant
8. Nail Polish
9. Foundation
10.Toothpaste

57 comments

  1. Robert Fadil

    We are looking for a company to reformulate an aerosol spray for fingernails.. We can furnish original formula if needed. Product now being made in China.

  2. m asume

    hi
    please help me
    please, say what is cleansing agent in make up remover lotion??
    thank you
    best regard

    1. Perry Romanowski

      That depends. Typically, they are surfactants.

  3. alyse

    I need help in formulating a colorless liquid eyeliner.

  4. Manish Gupta

    Hi Sir,

    Can you please help me with the shaving cream formula, i am a small manufacturer in India and i am very much impressed by your reply’s given on the portal. After reading your comments i have starting feeling that you the one who can make my dream come true which is making my own shaving cream manufacturing unit. I will be highly obliged if you can provide me with the same.

    Below mentioned is my email addres:

    manishji.1986@gmail.com

    Thanks & Regards,
    Manish Gupta

  5. Joy adderly

    Looking for a chemist to help me with fomulaying my bath bombs for online sales. If someone can point me in the right direction it would greatly appreciated! Or do I need to have it fomulated at all? Thanks again. …..

  6. Regina

    Does Mascara fall under hair care since it goes onto eye lashes? Are lashes Hair…lol? Or does it fall under color cosmetics?

    1. Perry Romanowski

      Mascara is typically considered color cosmetics.

  7. Jackie

    Is there a standard formulation for natural face mask, using the following ingredients, for instance: activated charcoal + kaolin clay + rose powder + red rice?

  8. samir

    Hi perry . I want to know which perfume or chemicals suppress the odour of isopropyl alcohol in preparation of hair sprays

  9. John

    Can someone please help me resolve this problem. I used dehyquart A-CA, Nutrilan i, Ethanol, Water, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxythanol to formulate a product. The problem is the colour of the product keeps changing with time. The older batches always look deeper in colour. What can I do to stabilize the colour and prevent it from changing with time? Thanks

  10. sakshi

    I’ve recently completed my bachelors in biotechnology engineering and looking forward to a career in cosmetic science. Can you help me out with universities that offer this course as well as suggest any internships which could help in giving me a better idea about the field?

  11. Akshaya

    Hi..any idea of cosmetic formulation course in India?

  12. kasthuri

    Dear all

    I am in the need of developing hydrogen peroxide developer for hair color..i was used carpobol 2020 as a base and i got a viscous liquid developer..but after a month it get viscous gel and after 6 months again its viscous fully down and looks like liquid..And my package bottles and packets get swell. But there is no major change in hydrogen peroxide value.but grey hair doesn’t change into black as previous..bobbles formation is so high.Need good stabilizer and alternate base for formulation..

  13. Dr.Rayeji

    Hi, how can i make AHA15% gel? What materials can i use?
    And how can i make azelaic acid20% cream?

  14. Chirag gupta

    Hi Perry,
    I have been formulating Handwash with SLES, CAPB, glycerin,cocamide DEA,EGMS. But i am unable to prepare it as that of Commercial one. Please Guide me . Thanks

  15. Synarie

    What is the formula for eyeshadow please.

    1. Perry Romanowski

      See our post on color cosmetics.

  16. Peto Clement Kinsaka

    This is very informative and I am very close to producing my product because the information I receive from your website. Thank you for good heart.

  17. miller

    my cream developer (hydrogen peroxide) 40 vol is unstable need help with formulation

  18. mrs vora

    please may I ask you for simple shaving cream base formula

  19. DICKA CHRISTIAN

    I am a chemical Engineer living in cameroon.I will wish to work in team that will enable to come out with new cosmetic formulation.

    1. Mian Ghulam Mustafa

      Hello Mr Dicka
      i am mustafa from pakistan iwant to start the business of cosmetics
      kindly send me formulation of body lotions whitening cream cold creams
      face wash hair removing cream thanks

  20. TC

    Can you include formulations for shaving products for razor bumps and razor burn?

  21. Pingback:Cosmetic Formulation Basics – Shaving Cream

  22. Pingback:Cosmetic Formulation Basics – Toothpaste

  23. Pingback:Cosmetic formulation basics – Foundation

  24. Rish

    Hello!
    could you please include formulation information for eyeliners, mascaras, eyeshadows and blush? Thanks!

    1. shiv bahadur yadav

      Hi Perry and every other members of the forum.
      Plz, can any one help me wit a starting formular for hair setting lotion. Thanks

    2. shiv bahadur yadav

      hi rish
      shiv bahadur yadav
      (senior consultant f&D
      R&D ) COLOR COSMETIC
      for
      eyeliners, mascaras, eyeshadows and
      MOb.09675171134

  25. Dandollars2

    Hi Perry and every other members of the forum.
    Plz, can any one help me wit a starting formular for hair setting lotion. Thanks

  26. Pingback:Cosmetic formulation basics – Nail Polish

  27. siobhan

    Hi there,

    I have been reading this website for a few months now and find it really really useful, its a great place for info, I have now taken the leap to try and make a formulation for a body butter to get certified by a chemist but desperatly need some help with this could anyone help it would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Perry

      I would suggest you post the question in our Forum.

  28. Reap company

    Please if you can add botanical formulae too.

  29. Estelle

    I would appreciate it if someone can assist me with formulating body butter and body scrub?

    1. Desiree Mattox

      Hi Estelle,

      I would be happy to assist you with your body butter and body scrub products. If you are still interested feel free to submit an inquiry through my website. 🙂

  30. Pingback:Cosmetic Formulating Basics – Lipstick

  31. Pingback:Cosmetic Formulating Basics – Body Wash

  32. Pingback:Cosmetic Formulation Basics – Hair Conditioners

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *