How Much Does It Cost to Manufacture Skin Care Products?


Starting your own line of skincare products is a risky but potentially quite lucrative venture that continues to draw entrepreneurs of every stripe. With more and more Indie brands looking to jump into the market, these business-minded individuals will likely be concerned as much with the startup costs of their fledgling company as with any potential profits, with perhaps the biggest cost being the actual development and production of the products they wish to sell. So, for those interested in how to start a skincare line, how much does it cost to manufacture skincare products, exactly?

The answer relies on a number of factors, some of which are common to any new business, but some of which are unique to the skin care industry and to certain products specifically. Below, the skincare manufacturing experts at Anthem United States of Beauty will discuss the ins and outs of creating these products to give a rough overview of the costs involved.

Developing a New Skin Care Product

Modern manufacturing technology is capable of great flexibility in terms of product design and production, an ability which translates to significant customization opportunities for businesses. If you want a lavender-scented face mask made exclusively from organic ingredients, you can have it developed and produced in relatively little time, depending on the manufacturer. Anthem United States of Beauty, for example, uses two facilities – one in New Jersey and another near Miami – to offer a diverse array of manufacturing capabilities to customers.

The formulation of each product is typically the domain of a chemist working as a cosmetic formulator. These professionals can charge thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to develop a new prototype for your business, though in some cases manufacturers will have formulators on hand to work with customers.

Creating a unique, instantly recognizable sheet mask or facial cleanser is easier said than done, however, in part because of the glut of options facing new brands. While organic or artisanal ingredients can be very attractive to consumers, they can also significantly raise production costs. Businesses looking to use the “organic” label must, therefore, determine an acceptable cost/benefit ratio for the product and make a decision from there.

While the creation of your product may be the focus of your effort, it is important to remember that other steps are needed before you’re ready to begin manufacturing en masse. Pricing the raw materials you’ll need for production – as well as the packaging and labeling – are just as essential as formulation. Only once all these pieces are in place are you ready to begin the skincare manufacturing process.

Manufacturing Your Custom Skin Care Product

Just as with development, the exact cost to manufacture skincare products in bulk can vary widely by product type and customer demands. The cost of formulation (per pound) can range wildly depending on what you use. Packaging and labeling will add an additional cost per unit on top of that, with additional production costs as well.

Most manufacturers have a minimum production requirement, which means you should be prepared to place a large order – something in the neighborhood of 5000 to 25000 units, depending on the manufacturer and product category. This means there is a sizeable initial cost to produce a skincare product, but it translates to a lower cost per unit in the long run. Ordering a smaller batch may be possible, but it will generally mean a significantly higher cost per product.

Contract Manufacturing vs. DIY Production

One of your two primary options for crafting skincare products is to make them yourself, a fraught process that would require investing in expensive equipment – mixers, filling equipment, and a variety of raw materials – which would be difficult to store or use without training or professional assistance.

The other option, and the one more likely to make both practical and financial sense, is to hire a contract manufacturing company to produce your skincare product for you. Although this option isn’t always cheap, it is much faster and easier to leverage the expertise of manufacturing specialists to create your skincare line, thereby getting it out to market that much sooner and with that much more confidence in its quality.

So what should you look for in a skincare manufacturer? A proven track record of delivering products quickly and efficiently would be a good start, as would flexible manufacturing capabilities and staff chemists who can tailor a product to any customer’s specifications. Facilities capable of handling more delicate operations can also be important – a microbiological laboratory, for instance, can offer extensive testing for those who need it.

Anthem United States of Beauty Provides Custom Manufacturing and Packaging Services

With facilities in New Jersey and Florida, Anthem United States of Beauty stands prepared to handle any turnkey beauty product manufacturing needs our clients may have. We offer state-of-the-art equipment and testing, along with extensive expertise in product formulation and packaging. Our customers consistently see rapid speed to market, allowing them to stay competitive in a variety of markets. To learn more about all our services and how they can benefit your business, call us today at (973) 779-1982.