I know a lot about skin and skin care, but when it comes to creating and manufacturing a skin care formula, it’s time to get the experts involved. Cosmetic formulation is a complex science and despite a solid science background courtesy of my Pharmacy degree, I have nowhere near the kind of expertise or equipment required to devise and manufacture a safe and effective skin care formula. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not whipping up things in my kitchen!

You Need A Chemist!

When it comes to introducing treatments to the Apothekari line-up, I know what I want. It’s important to deliver products that are both safe AND effective. To this end, I’m comfortable with choosing which ingredients should and shouldn’t be in formulations. I spend lots of time researching by reading scientific papers, pouring over clinical studies and by talking to formulation chemists. Most chemists possess strong science backgrounds, often with a Masters or PhD degree. They also have extensive practical experience in developing and creating effective, safe and stable preparations.

Working with a good chemist is key to not only developing formulas and manufacturing great products but also to keep up to date with new developments in formulation, novel ingredients and cutting edge technology. Chemists may send me samples that they are playing with to see if I like how they look, feel and smell. This helps me to refine our offerings at Apothekari and to consider the introduction of new products.

While it’s tempting to think of all the money you’ll save by creating your own skin care concoctions, there are many things to consider. Some recipes are terrific for DIY. In addition to it being fun, you can also save yourself a bit of cash and I’d never suggest that you should shy away from enjoyable projects like facial masks, which you will use immediately and not keep long term. However, when it comes to more complicated serums, which contain lots of active ingredients and an array of botanicals, sunscreens or treatments designed for around the eyes, it’s probably best to leave it to the experts unless you know what you’re doing. In addition to the possibility of creating something that just doesn’t work, you may also end up with a skin care formula that is downright dangerous.

Skin Care Formula

Here are just some of the considerations involved in designing a skin care formula that is safe, effective and pleasing to use:

  1. Are The Ingredients Supported By Science? Are they found in the right concentrations to deliver their action?
  2. Will The Product Maintain Its Integrity Over Time? Will it separate or clump?
  3. Is the Preparation Adequately Preserved? Most skin care products should contain preservatives to prevent contamination with bacteria, mold and fungi.
  4. Does the Formulation Make Sense? For example, will the combination of ingredients work well together? Can we cut something out? Add something different in?
  5. Is the pH Optimal for Efficacy?
  6. Can you Mix the Ingredients Together? For example, you may want to mix oil soluble and water soluble ingredients together. This is possible, but you will require additional ingredients like emulsifiers or solubilizers to keep the formulation intact. If you don’t, the mixture will separate and become unappealing and unusable.
  7. Do you Have the Right Equipment? While not always necessary, some formulations require heaters, high speed mixers or other specialized tools. Additionally, you need a clean environment – something like a dedicated lab and not your kitchen counter.
  8. It May be Effective but is it Pleasant to Use? While many ‘hand-crafted’, natural and/or artisanal skin care products are lovely, many more are heavy, greasy and not at all what most of us would want to put on our skin!

I’m sure that I’ve missed several aspects regarding formulation, but I hope that this post provides a bit of insight into the complexities involved with creating products that deliver results. Let me know what you think.


★ Judge.me Reviews

Let customers speak for us

49 reviews
Daily Infusion Moisturizer
Lisa Rodger (Vancouver, CA)

Love this moisturizer. So soft and dewy.

Love, love, love!

I've only been using this serum for a couple of weeks and the difference in my skin is already noticeable. I have very sensitive skin and didn't have any irritation. I was able to use it daily from day 1. Love this product! It's going to be a staple in my arsenal from now on.

Works good but..

I have been using this deodorant for a couple weeks now and it works very well to keep door at bay. However it dries sticky and when I sweat it gets even more sticky. I will keep using fur a while to see if I can get past the sticky feeling, but not sure if I can. It’s too bad because it really does work.

Dear Sandy,

Thank you for your review. We're so pleased to hear that our deodorant is working very well for you! We're always happy to receive feedback from our customers as we try to improve our products. We will take your comment into consideration to improve the formulation. Thank you!

Customer Service

Good customer service

Updated Review: Customer service reached out to me promptly and provided me with a refund. I was satisfied with customer service. Wish this product worked for me because prior to the rash it was great.

This worked for a few weeks and I started getting a painful red rash under my arms. I was about to purchase a set of 4 and I’m glad that I didn’t. I reached out to the company to inquire about what could have caused this as they claim to have products that don’t cause rashes. Of course no one ever replied. Will not purchase again

Dear Tara,

Thank you for your review. We're sorry to hear that you experienced a reaction to our deodorant. It's formulated to be irritation free (pH friendly ingredients and without baking soda). Very occasionally you may experience discomfort or tingling, especially after shaving or if you have sensitive skin.
We've checked our records and are unable to locate an email or call from you regarding this issue. We've tried reaching out via email but haven't heard back. We stand by all our products and offer a full money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied. Please get in touch with us and we will be happy to help resolve this issue.

Customer Service

Neroli Rose Natural Deodorant Roll-On
Jennifer C. (Princeton, US)
It works!

Happy to finally found a natural deodorant that actually works- worth every penny. Excited to try more scents, especially the lavender when it is back in stock.

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