How Can I Find A Cosmetics Manufacturer?

Many cosmetic brands have an owner or a brand ambassador who represents the face of the brand, but there are only a few brands where the owner formulates the products themselves.

It's no secret that everyone uses experts because developing a cosmetic product requires multidisciplinary, cross-scientific knowledge. By the time a formulation is finalised, dozens or even hundreds of doctors, chemists, biologists or other experts may have contributed to the development of the formulation and, most importantly, to the research and development of the active ingredients.

Cosmetic formulations can be divided into three types.

These three categories largely determine what options we'll have in the future with regard to our own brand.

1. Private label products

The so-called "private label" or "white label" products are already finished formulations. The recipe is ready, the packaging is ready, you just have to stick the label on the product and it can be sold.

Advantages of private label products:

● Speed: The main advantage of such products is that they are already ready. It is not necessary to develop and test the product for months or even 1-2 years, but the product is immediately available within a few weeks or even months.

● Small quantity: Another advantage is that it is available in relatively small quantities as the process, manufacturing, packaging, etc. are already established. Everything is already available from the manufacturer, so there is no need to order large quantities.

● Limited liability: One of the advantages of private label products is that the manufacturer remains the responsible party in most cases, so there is no need to comply with all the complex legal requirements.

Disadvantages of private label products:

● No uniqueness: Generally, products that cater to a broad market are sold as private label products. The most typical are functional products (e.g. shower gel, shampoo, liquid soap, in skin care the cleansers, moisturizers, etc.)

● General composition: Since private label products are usually bought as an add-on product for a particular store, the composition is usually not too unique.

● Available elsewhere: As these products are widely available, it is conceivable that our competitor is also selling the same product as they may have sourced it from the same manufacturer.

● Lower profit margin: The purchase price is usually higher than that of uniquely developed and self-manufactured products

● Intellectual property: The intellectual property, i.e. ownership of the product, remains with the manufacturer, so we can only buy the product from the same manufacturer and our pricing depends on their pricing as the manufacturer sets the selling price and we cannot switch to another supplier if it is not acceptable. This is the biggest risk, which is why it is not worth building an entire business on private label products.

2. Semi-customized products developed by a contract manufacturer

Cosmetics manufacturers offer a wide range of product developments, just like specialized laboratories such as A&T Formulation.

The difference is that most contract manufacturers modify a previous base formulation according to the customer's needs and sell it as a unique development.

Advantages of developing with a contract manufacturer:

● The advantage is that they primarily work from their own stock, so there are usually no minimum order quantity issues with raw materials

● The packaging material can be selected from a ready-made catalog.

● Based on basic recipes, the product can be developed more quickly with just a few changes

● The basis for development is already a tried and tested recipe

Disadvantages of development by a contract manufacturer:

● Since the developers work from their own stock, the products are often not unique enough, the formulas can be very similar to each other

● The formulas and their components will be very similar, so the end result is not truly unique

● Manufacturers usually do not deal with product packaging at all, or they recommend themselves to their existing partners.

● In many cases, development is done on the cheap, but the intellectual property is not transferred.

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3. Customised development

Customised development is what A&T Formulation mainly offers. With customised developments, the customer's needs are central. The starting point is always the expected effect, the price and the concept.

Advantages of customised development:

● The product will be completely unique, which can be a major competitive advantage on the market

● Every single detail of the product is carefully thought through

● The formula, packaging and brand are all based on a unique and well thought-out concept that forms the basis for competitiveness.


● Due to its uniqueness, this is the most time-consuming and cost-intensive form of development

To whom do we recommend the development of customised cosmetic formulas?

Those who really want to develop a marketable, unique and successful brand. If you are serious about your own brand, then this is the way to go.

How do I get started?

If you fill out this questionnaire, we will give you a quote at the first meeting, which includes our service costs.

In addition, with our unique project initiation service, we help our clients get started and jointly determine the project budget before the project starts.

We have developed an affordable package to help our customers get started. The fee for creating the product concept documentation is deducted from the total fee at the start of the project. So, if you are still unsure, this service can give you a fuller picture of what you are undertaking during product development, and if you decide to go ahead with product development, this service will cost you nothing. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about this service.

Defining the Product Concept

In the product concept, we define the following with the customer:

  • The first products of the product family in the first two years and their timing
  • Properties of the products (effect, fragrance, texture, main ingredients)
  • Determining the packaging of the products
  • Creation of the brand's mission, core values and vision
  • Positioning of the brand (pricing, target group)
  • Defining the brand style (we create the brief and propose 3 design studios that fit the budget and mood board)
  • Market research (market research from a specific perspective, similar to the product concept. E.g. research on a brand and products based on a specific effect or active ingredient)
  • Detailed definition of the schedule
  • Detailed budget development

Contact us

Book a free 30-minute consultation with one of our founders if you would like to find out more about our service.

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