Where to find Free Cosmetic Formulas

One of my goals is to create a website that gives starting formulas to anyone who is looking for one. I’m modeling it after the Open Source Software movement and dubbing it Open Source Formulating (or something like that). Essentially it will be a place where people can find and exchange formulas. Almost a recipe swap.

But until I get that going, I thought it would be useful to provide links to places where you can get formulas to start already. Here is what I’ve got so far. The list will continue to grow. Please feel free to add other links in the comments if there are sources that aren’t mentioned.

General Cosmetic formulation lists

Cosmetic Bench Reference - A list of hundreds of supplier formulas searchable by type, ingredient trade name and more. Suppliers for all materials included. Requires registration.

C & T 2008 Skin Care formulary - Formulas for creams, lotions, cleansers, and masks.

C & T 2006 C&T Skin formulary - Formulas for creams, lotions, cleansers, and masks.

Happi formulary - Wide range of formulations from suppliers of cosmetic raw materials.  Also some formulation of household products if you’re looking for that.  No registration required

Personal Care Magazine - Nice set of easily accessible formulas.  No registration required.

UL Prospector - Requires registration but has hundreds (maybe thousands) of formulas from suppliers.

SpecialChem - They have an excellent starting formulations selector with over 3000 formulas!  Includes skin care, hair care, sun care, toiletries, fragrance, and makeup.  Requires registration but it is free

Merck formulations - Hundreds of cosmetic formulations and some other interesting things like insect repellent.  No registration required.

Google Patents - This takes a little digging but if you do a search of the patents on any kind of formula that you want to make, you can find example formulas in the ‘claims’ section of most any patent on the subject.

Google Books - Google has a number of books that list some cosmetic formulations.  Many you can get listed for free.

Supplier Formularies

Grant Industry Formulary - Lots of cosmetic formulas including make-up, creams & lotions, Sunscreens, Skin treatments, Hair care, and more. Over 100 formulas

Colonial Chemicals formulas - A number of cosmetic formulas.  Also some household cleaner and metal working lubricants too.

Croda Formulary - Some excellent starting formulas using materials from Croda.  Formulas in all types of different products and includes some “green” or Natural formulations.  Registration is required (a little annoying).

Dupont Tate & Lyle formulations - Offers a number of skin care and color cosmetic formulations.  Also has a couple of hair care product formulas. Check the formulation library tab.

Stepan formulary - One of the biggest surfactant suppliers in the business.  They have some excellent starting formulas for cleansing products and emulsions.

HallStar Formulations - A searchable list of formulations with particular focus on suncare and skin care.  It is handy that it allows for searching by keyword including INCI names.

Kobo formulations - A rather extensive list of formulas focused on color cosmetics and sunscreens.  Formulas are all freely available.

Lubrizol formulations - A wide variety of formulas in all categories of personal care and cosmetic products.

Seppic Formulations - One of the best features is that you can search formulas by keyword and also they have a formula selection tool that allows you to choose by application, texture, claim, and target consumer.  Nicely organized.

DIY / Hobbiest formulations

The Herbarie Formulary - More recipes for making personal care products.   Focuses on natural or green technologies.  More of a home crafter DIY site than a cosmetic industry site.

MakingCosmetics.com - A nice list of recipes for all types of cosmetics from creams, lotions, sun products and color cosmetics.  Formulas are available in a number of formats and list % weights and kitchen measurements.  Nicest thing is that it doesn’t require registration to get a formula.  Nice going Making Cosmetics!

Realize Beauty formulations - A variety of formulations with descriptive procedures for making them.  Not a long list but some nice starting formulas for soap, conditioner, toothpaste and more.

Ingredients to die for Formulary - 70+ formulations for both hair and skin applications.  Most formulas are for skin care products.

LotionCrafter - Not a lot of formulas but a nice collection of facial care, skin care, hair care, and spa products.  Also, sells raw materials so you are able to make the products.

Related Articles

How to Become a Cosmetic Chemist

The job of a cosmetic chemist, or as they call it in the UK a cosmetic scientist, requires you to do a wide variety of things both in and out of the lab. Your main responsibility will be that of a formulator. This means you mix raw materials together to create cosmetic products like lipstick, nail polish, skin lotions, shampoos, toothpaste and any other type of personal care product.

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