How do we develop and produce our beauty products?
Jun 07, 2023
The development of a new cosmetic product is a complex and time-consuming process that involves three main steps: research and development, regulatory checks, and production. How do we achieve this? In this blog post, we'll explore what cosmetic product development is, and the exact steps we take before launching a new product on the market.
As part of the harmonization with EU cosmetic regulation, the Swiss Cosmetics Regulation was revised. On 1 May 2017, the new Cosmetics Ordinance came into force in Switzerland, and the transitional period ended on April 30, 2021 . From now on, before introducing a new product to the market, each product must undergo a series of tests and a cosmetic product safety report must be produced.
It's very important for us to offer exclusive and unique products. In other words, we don't buy ready-made formulas, but develop everything from scratch. Products are developed in our own laboratory, and we work in partnership with the laboratory Phytosphere Swiss Lab to guarantee the quality and conformity of our elixirs.
Step 1: Research and development
This first step begins with the selection of active ingredients and the design of the formula on paper. When selecting our natural ingredients, we give priority to certified natural and organic raw materials.
Then comes the product formulation phase, during which numerous prototypes are developed. The aim is to ensure that there are no incompatibilities between ingredients, and to perfect the product's look and smell.
During the entire R&D phase, we can count on the Phytosphere Swiss Lab expertise to help us develop quality formulas. Once the formula has been established, we choose the packaging for the new product.
Step 2: Regulatory checks
Once the right recipe has been found, several tests have to be carried out to guarantee product safety and regulatory compliance. For this stage, the first kilos of products are prepared. All tests are carried out and/or supervised by the laboratory Phytosphere Swiss Lab.
Here is a brief presentation of the tests performed .
- Stability tests. These tests check whether the product will undergo any changes over time (appearance, odor, consistency, or functionality). They are carried out under specific ageing conditions; temperature and/or humidity are factors that accelerate time and allow us to observe any alterations in the product. The results give an indication of the product's shelf life and storage conditions.
- Compatibility tests. This study is carried out in the final sales packaging to determine the interactions between content and container.
- Challenge test. This test evaluates the effectiveness of the preservative system. The preservation system is deliberately stimulated to ensure that it can defend and combat a load of microorganisms over the life of the product.
- Eye and skin irritation tests. These tests verify the safety of the product for the consumer. They are carried out under strict laboratory and safety conditions, without the use of live animals.
Depending on the results, it may be necessary to go back to step 1 and reformulate. Only after successful testing is a formula validated. A Product information file is then drawn up, containing the cosmetic product safety report (CPSR) written by an expert toxicologist.
Step 3: Production
Once step 2 has been successfully completed, production of the product can begin, in preparation for market launch. Routine tests are carried out on each batch. If the product meets the specifications defined during the development phase, the batch can be released for sale.
This means that after each production run in our laboratory, we take a sample to the PhytoArk in Conthey. Phytosphere Swiss Lab analyzes each of our production batches and issues a certificate of analysis. The following tests are carried out on the product:
These analyses guarantee that products containing water are not contaminated, and also that we do not deviate from the initially validated formula.
How long does it take to bring a custom formula to the market?
It takes 12 to 18 months to put a custom-made formula on the market.
We have chosen to manufacture our products in-house. This means that we manufacture, pack and ship all products ourselves.
We know the characteristics of each ingredient and control the manufacturing process, enabling us to offer a transparent, quality experience.
It also means that we produce only what's needed, ensuring the freshness of our products.
 Ordonnance du DFI sur les cosmétiques (OCos), https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/2017/165/fr
 FEUILLOLEY M., ORANGE N. (2018) Évaluation des produits cosmétiques - La sécurité. Cosmetic valley Editions.