How To Start A Skincare Line Business? (Detailed Guide)

Jon Morgan
Published by Jon Morgan | Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Last updated: June 21, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
We meticulously research and verify the information presented in our articles. By consulting reliable sources and ensuring factual accuracy, we are committed to providing readers with well-informed, trustworthy content.

To start and run a successful skincare line, you must understand the state rules, product requirements, operational systems, and business plans required for the entity.

To help you figure everything out, we solicited expert business advice from our licensed business advisors, who have been in the entrepreneurship industry for over two decades.

We worked together and compiled this detailed guide on how to start a skincare line business.

Quick Summary

  • Starting a skincare line requires understanding legal requirements, finding a unique niche, and ensuring products meet FDA regulations.
  • Developing a brand identity, including a distinctive name and packaging, is crucial for differentiation in the market.
  • The global skincare market is expected to reach $189.3 billion by 2025, highlighting the industry's lucrative potential.
  • In my opinion, focusing on a specific niche and maintaining high-quality standards is key to succeeding in the competitive skincare industry.

8 Steps to Start a Business Line

Here are the detailed guidelines on how to start a skincare line.

A business woman filing legal documents and starting skincare line business

In the US, selling handmade cosmetics and skincare products does not require a nationally recognized license. However, the FDA controls a variety of chemical compounds and preservatives as part of the Cosmetic Act of 1938 (FDCA) [1].

Your skincare business also needs a license to sell and produce goods with FDA-regulated components.

You should also include particular instructions or cautions on the labels of your products. Before selling organic and beauty items to clients, consult a lawyer and review the laws governing those skincare products.

Additionally, consider any permits and paperwork you may require to safeguard your brand.

Consult an attorney if you're unsure about what would be appropriate for your skincare business:

  • Skincare product liability and professional liability insurance.
  • Licensing for cosmetics and skincare and expert licensing for services.
  • Safety and product health certifications.

2. Find Your Niche

Finding your niche is the next step in launching your skincare brand. Think about the position you want in the skincare industry and investigate gaps and areas where major companies have already matched customer wants.

You can fulfill a need by identifying the kind of good or service that doesn't exist or isn't meeting customers' expectations.

After deciding what market niche you will occupy, you must determine who your target market is and what they need from you.

It will be simpler to eventually market to them if you are more specific when identifying your type of customer.

Think about their age, income, and gender, in addition to more niche characteristics like their skin tone, skin type, clothing preferences, and hobbies.

Here are the niches that you can consider for your own skincare line business:

  • High-end skincare: This product is for luxury and has high-quality ingredients in the treatments. If you're targeting customers with a larger budget, you might create dermatologically proven products like luminous face masks that include their own gold flakes.
  • Socially conscious skincare: Today's audience finds natural, ethically produced skincare particularly appealing. For a more environmentally conscious clientele, go for vegan or natural and organic products that never conduct animal testing.
  • Treatment skincare: These items address a particular skincare problem, such as dry skin or acne. You may create facial oils for those with dry skin or serums for folks with oily skin.

3. Build Your Brand

A tablet device with a beauty brand logo

A great tip for running a lucrative skincare business is to own a brand that resonates with your products and customer base.

Your brand should incorporate all your strategies to differentiate itself from the skincare industry.

This includes not just your product line but also your packaging preferences, brand colors, logo, and even business name.

One of the most recognizable elements of your brand is your company's name. Ideally, you should pick a business name that aligns with the principles of your skincare brand.

In my experience as a business consultant, I've emphasized to clients how pivotal their company name is to their brand's identity, especially in the skincare industry. Choosing a name that embodies the essence and values of your skincare brand can significantly influence its market perception and success.

Additionally, it's crucial to confirm that the name is accessible before attempting to use it.

After verifying and registering your business name, the next thing is to design an eye-catching logo representing your products.

For example, if you're running an organic skincare product line, your logo should include aspects of nature like leaves or fruits.

Another important aspect of branding is the product packaging. You want to use packaging that safeguards your items while representing your skincare brands.

Select a packaging you can personalize with your company's colors and logo, but make sure the packaging is useful, creative, portable, and environmentally friendly.

4. Find a Reliable Manufacturer

Before you start a skincare line, you must select the appropriate manufacturer for your products.

With over 4,271 beauty product manufacturers in the US, as reported by IBISWorld, the industry offers a wide range of options, from local artisans to international factories [2]. This diversity ensures that you can find a partner aligned with your brand's values and quality standards.

A quality manufacturer will supply your products efficiently, in large quantities, following the strictest legal requirements of the skincare world, allowing you to concentrate on developing your beauty brand.

When choosing local or international private label manufacturers, do your research to guarantee you're working with those that are verified and reliable.

You can verify the legitimacy of the manufacturer by looking at their:

  • Customer reviews
  • Verification badges
  • Amount of goods sold
  • Compliance records
  • Shipping turnarounds
  • Years of experience in the industry

By choosing a local manufacturer, you increase your chances of getting in touch with them anytime you need; you can request a site visit to the manufacturing plant or sample products to check the quality of the items. Additionally, with a local supply, your own line of products is delivered more quickly.

On the other hand, going with an international manufacturer provides access to a larger selection of goods at a lesser cost.

5. Create Your Signature Product

A woman testing a certain beauty product

The most intriguing thing you must offer when your company launches is your hero product.

Drawing from my experience, before creating a hero product, it would be best to consider the skin requirements of your target market. Then, consider which substances would best fulfill those demands.

For instance, you may use a unique ingredient in all products under your brand or line. Alternatively, it may be a component with a tale to tell that is integrated into your marketing and the background of your product.

Or, you could use your favorite ingredient—the one you use most frequently and have a special bond with—as your hero ingredient. You may tell your intended audience a compelling tale about it by drawing on this personal connection.

You could share with your audience that the hero component is a star not just because it works brilliantly for the intended function but also because you connect well with it.

Conduct extensive research on current skincare market trends before settling on your signature or hero product.

6. Decide on the Location of Business

Businesswomen discussing while reading a guide

Before you start selling, deciding if you'll do so online, in a physical shop, or both is important.

Online Store

Online shops are a substitute for or addition to traditional retail for business owners. You may save money by selling your skincare products online instead of paying rent for a storefront and buying inventory to supply it.

Since with an online shop you are not restricted to local clients, you can also expose your products to a wider beauty industry market.

You must choose a platform to power your website if you choose to sell products online.

You must make a few crucial considerations while developing a website to construct a strong online presence for your own skincare business.

They include the following:

  • Your website must, first and foremost, be aesthetically appealing and simple to use. It should be simple and quick for prospective clients to discover the details they want about your goods and services.
  • Your website has to be visually appealing in addition to being loaded with useful, keyword-rich content.
  • Make sure to include blog articles, product descriptions, and other interesting material on your website since search engines like Google like websites packed with pertinent information.
  • Last but not least, don't forget to place compelling calls to action all around your website, encouraging users to go to the next stage of their customer journey.

Using these straightforward guidelines, you can make your own skincare brand website that is aesthetically pleasing and educational, positioning your company for success in the beauty industry.

Physical Store

There are several benefits to selling in a physical store that internet retailers cannot match. For instance, having a physical store might be more practical for customers in the area, allowing them to try things before purchasing and eliminating shipping fees.

If money is an issue, selling in person doesn't always require having a store solely for your skincare line. Negotiating with established retailers to carry your items in their stores is a simpler and less expensive solution.

7. Market Your Skincare Line

Explaining a skincare product to a costumer

The global skincare market is anticipated to reach 189.3 billion dollars by 2025 [3]. As an entrepreneur in the skincare industry, you must strive to improve sales and take a share of this massive revenue.

As the skincare industry expands, there is a lot of rivalry for developing brands. An effective marketing plan should enable you to stand out from the competition and attract the clients who will benefit from your product the most.

Your target audience should dictate the kind of marketing strategy you employ. For example, suppose you're selling skincare products that target the younger population.

In that case, you must maximize your ad campaigns on youthful social media platforms like TikTok or Snapchat, where you'll encounter a large customer base.

Your brand will also gain credibility immediately by connecting with the appropriate influencer. Look for partners online that your consumers already trust and make an investment with them.

To create trust by association, you may collaborate with other complementary beauty businesses on contests and giveaways or give your influencer partners free items in exchange for a frank review.

Additionally, it is common knowledge that consumers read product reviews before purchasing. Encourage your existing customers to provide reviews and testimonials to persuade potential buyers that your skincare products are worthwhile.

Related articles:

8. Order Fulfillment

A line of skincare products on a table

Before beginning to sell, you must determine exactly how your skincare line items will reach your clients.

Order fulfillment involves:

  • Receiving an order.
  • Choosing the appropriate items.
  • Packaging them.
  • Sending them to the customer.

There are two options for how to distribute your line of skincare business products.

First, you have the option of fulfilling orders on your own. This is a fantastic choice if you have the time, resources, and space to pack and transport your goods.

Alternatively, you can outsource order fulfillment if you don't want to handle it yourself. When you include the cost of your own time, effort, and resources, it might be advantageous to outsource order fulfillment on occasion.

Working with a person or business that stores and sends your items on your behalf is part of using a third-party fulfillment service. This method is hands-free since your items may be sent directly to your consumer, from the producer to the fulfillment facility.

"An effective way to eliminate middlemen in the skincare business is to find a private label vendor who also provides order fulfillment services."
- Delina Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, Distinguished Expert in Mergers & Acquisitions


How Much Does It Cost To Make a New Skincare Product?

It costs $2500 to $$25000 to make a new skincare product. The amount may be more or less depending on the raw materials required, amount of processing, product packaging, and shipping.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Make Skincare Products?

The qualifications you need to make skincare products include a bachelor's degree in Science, particularly in Cosmetics Chemistry. Additionally, you’ll need professional licenses from the relevant governing bodies.

Can I Make Skincare Products at Home To Sell?

Yes, you can make skincare products at home to sell. However, you must adhere to all FDA rules regarding cosmetics and produce safe and healthy items for consumption.



About The Author

Co-Founder & Chief Editor
Jon Morgan, MBA, LLM, has over ten years of experience growing startups and currently serves as CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter. Educated at UC Davis and Harvard, he offers deeply informed guidance. Beyond work, he enjoys spending time with family, his poodle Sophie, and learning Spanish.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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