top of page

Online Education: Who Can Become a Cosmetic Formulator?

Many beauty consumers today are eager for an education in formulation. You’ve heard it said for years now that today’s cosmetics and personal care consumer is more educated than ever. And this is true in many ways.

In recent years, consumers have become generally mistrustful of corporations and at the same time, there’s been a rise in entrepreneurship. So today’s educated beauty consumer expects transparency and is often drawn to indie brands, who are meeting that expectation, or [today’s consumer] maybe launching those brands themselves.

And in between those realities we have a spectrum of do-it-yourself and personalized beauty.

Do-It-Yourself Beauty and Personalized Beauty are About Self-Care

Even before the pandemic, DIY brands and product personalization were gaining popularity and market share. Now, consumers are hands-on in whole new way.

If you’ve been working from home for the first time in 2020 or find yourself very well-acquainted with the real meaning of self-care during stay-at-home precautions, you understand that this year, more than ever, it is your self-awareness that delivers the most accurate solutions for your needs.

At the core of self-care and DIY concepts are a sort of personal and collective consciousness—a self-knowledge or intuition that lets consumers determine what is smart, what is safe, and what is suitable given their needs and expectations. If this sounds dangerous or reckless, stick with me.

DIY Beauty is More Common Than Ever

DIY beauty brands and blend-it-yourself preparations have real traction in the personal care and cosmetics space. I’ve spoken a bit about this before in my DUviews video dedicated to Design Innovation, which ran in early March of this year.

And you’re likely already familiar with custom-made foundation and skin care or hair care products available from the Bare Minerals Made-2-Fit app, and from startups like Atolla, or Proven, or Prose.

And you’ve maybe even heard of real-do-it-yourself brands like Make This Universe out of Canada, the soon-to-launch custom moisturizer brand Ardolé, the pre-measured custom cosmetics brand Beauty Aisle, or the DIY plant-based hair and skincare brand Make It Classy.

And then of course there are blend-it-yourself brands like LOLI Beauty here in the States as well as, of course, all sorts of stir-it-up skin care masks and numerous other just-add-water skin care and beauty brands. All of which help us think about the potential and power of the product personalization movement.

Online Resources for Cosmetic Formulation Education

But let’s talk about this more in terms of consumers as formulators in the same way that we imagine the supermarket devoté as a home chef.

I know. I know. The kitchen chemist is cliché. She’s an affront to the years of education that every cosmetic chemist and R&D formulation pro has invested in science and statistics and product stability testing and so on. But today’s kitchen chemist, she is also terribly capable.

In 2020, she has tremendous access to resources and ingredients that the DIY product formulator of the past could never imagine, with affordable education platforms like Formula Botanica, scientific training options like The Institute of Personal Care Science, virtual university programs like the University of Cincinnati’s online Masters Degree program in Cosmetic Science And new online ventures, such as, launched just this year by Joan, Michelle, Brittney, and Melissa Morais.

Today’s consumer has access to the tools and information and ingredients they need to make truly practical, and at times even sophisticated, personal care and cosmetics products in their own home.

Today the customer-formulator also has access to ingredients developed expressly for by DIY beauty, like the new M-Polymer from Japan-based Pola Chemicals.

Who Formulates and Makes Beauty Products?

And let’s think even further than that. In 2020, life-long corporate chemists are becoming independent formulation and product development consultants at an impressive rate. The industry is shedding experts like never before in the name of cost-cutting and efficiency.

Over that past 9 months, I have spoken with hundreds of brand founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and product development educators from around the world. I am a trusted mentor and listening ear for both aspiring beauty brand founders and formulators; as well as for established experts and industry insiders.

And through these conversations, I have come to recognize that consulting formulators, independent cosmetic chemists, indie beauty innovators, and educated consumers are converging.

There is a knowledge and information gap between industry experts and everyday beauty consumers. But it is narrowing and that will have a significant influence on the future of beauty.

Want to stay up to date on the latest news and trends?

Subscribe to Beauty Insights from Deanna Utroske today!

this DUviews item was originally posted to LinkedIn and now appears on


bottom of page