Create a bill of specifications for your cosmetic formulation

The formulation of a cosmetic product consists of creating a stable product with clearly identified properties by combining ingredients that sometimes present certain incompatibilities.

As a creator of a cosmetic brand, you generally entrust the formulation of your cosmetic products to a specialist service provider. They will use your bill of specifications to propose formulas that meet your marketing positioning and the expectations of your target audience.

These specifications include all your expectations for the desired cosmetic product: 

  • Cosmetic properties: you want to produce a moisturising, repairing, nourishing or anti-ageing cosmetic product? The formulation must include active ingredients that provide the desired properties.
  • Positioning: your marketing positioning also has a direct impact on the specifications. For example, the formulation of a halal, vegan or organic cosmetic product must take into account specific constraints.
  • Galenic form: do you want to offer a product in cream, powder, gel, solid, liquid, gel, balm, stick or spray? The formulation depends on the galenic form and texture you want, as well as the packaging you prefer.
  • Marketing ingredients: some ingredients have a primarily marketing function. Exotic oils and butters, plant extracts, innovative or trendy active ingredients can win the decision to buy.
  • Sensoriality and use: the intended use also impacts the formulation of a cosmetic product. The texture can be adapted to nomadic use, for example, or on the contrary offer a sensoriality appreciated in a care routine. A fragrance or a colour can reinforce the pleasure of use, or recall a marketing ingredient.

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Comply with the regulatory texts

Cosmetic products must comply with strict regulatory requirements. 

In France, the regulation of cosmetic products is mainly based on :

  • the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on cosmetic products 
  • the provisions of Law No. 2014-201 of 24 February 2014 on various provisions for adaptation to European Union law in the field of health (Article 3).

A strict formalism must also be respected: 

  • A responsible person, legal or natural, must be appointed before a new cosmetic product is placed on the market. This person must, in particular, ensure that the product is safe for human health under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use, verify the absence of animal testing, and guarantee the compliance of the product with the Cosmetic Regulation.
  • The formulation must not contain traces of prohibited substances, in particular those classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction.
  • A product information file (PIF) must be prepared for each cosmetic product. Its content focuses on the safety assessment report. It contains, inter alia, a description of the cosmetic product, including the qualitative and quantitative formula, a report on the safety of the cosmetic product, a description of the manufacturing and packaging method, a declaration of compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), evidence of the claimed effect when justified by the nature or effect of the product, data on animal testing, if exceptional conditions allow for derogation.

Specialised service providers can help you with this. 

Pay particular attention to claims

The formulation of a cosmetic product must meet specific needs, which translate into benefits for the customer. The claims you make for your product must comply with the regulations.

A cosmetic product cannot claim curative or preventive properties with regard to human diseases. Indeed, this type of claim is reserved for medicinal products, as defined in Article L. 5111-1 of the French Public Health Code (CSP). You cannot claim that your cream cures psoriasis, as the curative property is reserved for medicines. However, you can state that it can be used by people who suffer from psoriasis. 

Claims concerning efficacy or other characteristics must not be misleading to consumers. 

Unverifiable claims are also not allowed. For example, you cannot claim the absence of endocrine disruptors in your formulation, as there is no official definition of what an endocrine disruptor is.

It is also not allowed to claim the absence of a substance prohibited by the regulation (criterion n°1.3 of Regulation 655/2013). For example, you cannot make the claim “carcinogen-free” in an advertisement or on the packaging, because the law prohibits you from using all substances with a proven carcinogenic effect.

Healthy and natural cosmetic ingredients for your formulation

Are you looking for partners to help you formulate your cosmetic products? As a manufacturer of healthy and natural cosmetic ingredients, Sophim collaborates with formulation experts to produce demonstration formulas such as My Softness Journey, a new solid moisturising stick. 

Based in France and Spain, Sophim offers many natural products, organic cosmetic vegetable oils and COSMOS certified products. Our ingredients are used in healthy, natural and environmentally friendly cosmetic formulas! We can put you in touch with experienced service providers who know the properties and advantages of our ingredients.

You can contact our teams on (+33)4 92 33 17 17, or send us a message online.

Category: Cosmetics Expertise

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