How Long Does It Take to Make Your Own Cosmetic Product?


One of the first questions our customers often ask is: How long does it take to develop a cosmetic product?

Factors Influencing Project Duration

Formula development can be very quick, but creating a cosmetic brand requires not only the formulation, but also the coordination of various other processes.

During the development of a cosmetic product, we have to coordinate hundreds of different processes, some of which run simultaneously and others that build on each other, so the maximum duration of the project is determined by the processes that build on each other.

It is important to note that the project lead time often depends on the speed of the customer, as the product samples need to be tested and this time also influences the duration.

The Complexity of Product Development

In some cases, a unique product development can be realized in 5-6 months, in other cases, this period can be 1.5-2 years. The duration of the project largely depends on the complexity of the product development, the quantity of products, the speed of decision-making and other factors.

How does product development begin?

The first step is to define the product concept. In some cases, the customer comes with a ready-made business plan, which makes it easier to get started, but in most cases, we also help to define the product concept and strategy, as this is the first step in any product development.

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

Once the product concept has been defined, we start formulating it according to the customer’s needs. In the first few weeks, we conduct research to find new, innovative active ingredients that add value to the product.

Within 3-4 weeks, the first sample is ready to be tested. We then reformulate the product based on the customer's feedback, if necessary. It is important to emphasize that we do not restrict changes. Our aim is to achieve a perfect result if the product meets the customer's needs in terms of effect, feel and ingredients.

After the product development process, the necessary laboratory tests must be carried out. Three tests are mandatory (microbiological test, challenge test, stability and compatibility test) and optional tests may be required, such as dermatological tests or application tests.

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Parallel Processes During Product Development

Various other processes also begin in parallel with the product development process, such as the development, procurement and manufacture of primary packaging, the development and procurement of cartons, marketing and branding processes, raw material procurement, legal and content production processes and many other tasks.

Once the laboratory tests have been completed and the raw materials and packaging materials have arrived, we can start production, which is usually a three-stage process known as the scale-up process. This involves using the laboratory sample under industrial conditions. In the first step, a sample of a few kilograms is produced, then the sample is scaled up to 10-20 kilograms, and finally the final production can begin. During the entire process, we continuously check the parameters of the cosmetic product and the customer can also test the product. In this way, we can ensure that we always get a perfect result that corresponds to the sample we created during product development.

After production, the product information document required for product registration must be created if the product is to be registered in the EU, as well as the CPNP registration. The product can then be sold.

So how long does the entire process take?

- Product concept: 1 month

- Product development: 3-6 months

- Laboratory tests: 2-3 months

- Production: 1 month

- Documentation and notification: 1 month

The total time is therefore between 8 and 12 months, but usually closer to 10-12 months.

Contact us

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

Marketing & Branding
Product development
Project management