Is it economically possible to enter this industry? Hear me out.
Hello, wonderful community I must say.
I have finally achieved the privilege of discussing my business idea with a cosmetic consultant and a regulatory expert. It was very dreadful, but very useful.
The basic summary was “just because your neighbor is breaking the law, doesn’t make it any more right.”
The basic idea was to create a cosmetic serum for the beard (for “nourishment, vitalizing, volumizing, enhancing” and not marketed directly as “
The cosmetic consultant told me I would file bankruptcy in 2 years max.
The regulatory expert informed me that every “Start your own cosmetic line!” is fantasy. He told me the harsh following:
- To market/implicate/suggest this cosmetic as hair growth would mean that it were a drug.
- Existing studies and scientific literature about ingredient “y” is not proof that your cosmetic will assert claim “x”.
- To formulate this product, with hope that the ingredients will assert the desired claims based on research, I would have to hire a cosmetic chemist ($1k-$5k) to mix 3-5 different sample formulations.
- To market it with claim “x”, I would have to conduct a clinical study to prove claim “x” (costs $10,000+). Not doing so would mean deceptive advertising, which would potentially get me sued.
- To market the product with more claims, like “it moisturizes the hair!”, I would legally be required to substantiate each and every claim with more series of conducted experiments. (Example, Camel claimed that “3 out of 4 doctors smoke Camel cigarettes. They were sued for millions because this claim was not substantiated). Not doing a study for each claim would mean deceptive advertising, and potentially get me sued for each claim.
- Writing the product description for my eCommerce site with 6 descriptive sentences/claims would have to be substantiated by ~6 conducted studies.
This sounds ridiculous to me, but the regulatory expert has ultimately crushed my hope for entering this industry. He has informed me that Congress and big businesses are pushing small businesses from entering this industry by implementing more lawsuits and heavier policies.Ultimately, this industry and its future sounds near impossible to enter and execute professionally and legally.One possible business plan is to acquire $30k+ in funding to formulate and market this formulation with solely 1 extract ingredient, and just market it as an extract (with cosmetic claims), but I could not even be to market it as “rich in antioxidants” because I wouldn’t have proof without conducting $10k+ studies. This seems like the only possible route.
- After these long clinical trials, I will then have to conduct tests on the formulation for safety, irritation …(i forgot what else he said). This would cost another $10k, according to his PhD credentials.
- I would then have to market extremely cautiously, or else my company will be tagged by the pesky FDA auditors.
- Once I become tagged, I will receive the grace period of correcting any false advertising. However, the lawyers that are subscribed to these FDA warning letters will sue me for millions despite me correcting claims.
I’m wondering how you guys do it? I’m also wondering why do it? Are the cosmetic regulator’s words not correct? It sounds like any cosmetic business could get shut down in any minute, due to some mistake with marketing/claim substantiation. When I was talking with him, I gave him an example of a million dollar company promoting “beard growth” claims, and right then and there he tagged them, because of me! I’ve spent 6 months+ planning for my cosmetic product and spent hundreds, yet I couldn’t be more discouraged by the harsh reality of this industry. Sorry to end on a bad note, but startups aren’t cut out for this industry, it seems.
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