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  • Formulation - private cosmetic chemist vs inhouse chemist

    Posted by Anonymous on September 22, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Hi all, 

    I am planning to start a skincare brand. I would like to know what are the pros and cons to hiring a private cosmetic chemist vs inhouse (contact manufacturer? cosmetic chemist?

    I know working with private chemist, I own the formulation. However, if I could buy out the golden from contract manufacturer, i don’t see that as a real benefit. 

    I am hoping someone who had been there be able to advise. 

    Thanks in advance. 

    Dr Catherine Pratt replied 4 years, 5 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • emily.flemer

    December 12, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    If we (we are a contract manufacturer) formulate your product, you own it as soon as you are happy with it and pay for it. Every company works different so it is hard to say what the experience with each one. 

  • Gunther

    December 12, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    No chemist can know it all.
    There are billions of different chemical substances (and zillions of possible combinations).

    At the end it all depends if the contract manufacturer or chemist already has experience developing that specific type of products. Otherwise the learning curve can become too slow and costly.

    Often, both contract manufacturers and chemists charge a relatively small amount to prepare the first samples for you. They are often off the shelf formulas for them. Make sure they prepare the first samples including the specific fragrance (and fragrance amount), and even coloring that you want in the final product.

    Besides the formula price and samples cost, you need to ask them how much do they charge to develop (tweak) the formula, until you (and your prospective customers) are fully satisfied with the final product.

  • chemicalmatt

    December 17, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    @singal the pros & cons are this: A consulting formulator will provide you with ownership of intellectual proeprty before you even begin the contract manufacturing process, granting you leverage when they are costing your job. Relying on the CM to formuate costs much less money, usually a nominal fee, but you will not gain immediate ownership with most CM - say 99% (which makes Emily’s offer compelling, depending what they are charging.) We always grant our clients a path to ownership, usually when they reach a prescribed sales threshold, since we prefer to make a living manufacturing not consulting.

  • Dr Catherine Pratt

    December 30, 2019 at 12:40 pm
    Hi @singal I am a private formulator and I do a lot of natural and organic formulations which has taken quite a few years, even though it seems easy.
    Here are the pros- lower cost, own formula, you will get me rather than a graduate, a lot more personal communication like you can ask questions whenever you want, I take on the funky formulas that no one else with do ( I think this is on purpose LOL), I let you have any ingredients unless they are from outer space. I guess I hold your hand from the start to finish if you want so that is a big difference! Hope that helps Catherine Pratt from Dr Pratts
  • Dr Catherine Pratt

    December 30, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    @singal also I would never send you a sample that was someone elses or one sitting on the shelf, its custom all the way.

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