One of the many perks of the industry: supplies for a handmade skin care business are few and affordable, allowing you to successfully create and sell out of your home without breaking the bank.
Most of the items you need can ‘technically’ be found in the average residential kitchen – but that doesn’t mean use them.
You absolutely, no doubt, 100% positively HAVE to have a separate set of supplies for your skin care making needs.
Luckily, many of the recommendations on this page only need to be purchased once – and you can even improvise on some while you wait for your business to grow.
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Types of Skin Care Formulation
Before purchasing items on this list, it is essential to know what kind of skin care products you are making.
There are (generally speaking) two categories of skin care formulation:
- creating products that contain water, and
- creating those that don’t.
Skin care recipes that include water need preservatives added to the formula to delay rancidity. This requires a few extra supplies than listed below, such as pH strips and stick blenders.
All of the skin care recipes that you’ll find on this website (and thus, the corresponding supply list below) are anhydrous – meaning made WITHOUT water.
Anhydrous skin care products don’t require preservatives, which keeps them chemical-free (assuming you’re also sticking to all-natural carrier oils, butters, and pure essential oils).
Must-Have Supplies for Your Handmade Skin Care Business
Many of the items on this list will look familiar to you and are likely to be in your kitchen cabinets already.
As a business owner, you have to have a separate set to safely create products for others.
At the time of writing this post, you can purchase this entire list of supplies for your handmade skin care business for under $150 – about the most beautiful investment for starting a business that you’ll see.
Check through your intended recipes to see what is needed for your product line – while many of these recommended supplies are useful for many formulations, it’s always best to simply start with what you currently need and build from there!
Measuring ingredients by weight (oz, grams) is a much more precise practice than measuring by volume (Tbsp, cups, tsp).
This small scale ranges from 0.05 g to 11 lbs, making it useful for both measuring ingredients as well as package weight for customer shipments.
The tare feature is a must for any skin care maker and has an easy two-button operation.
Ramekins are great for measuring out ingredients on a scale, such as butters, carrier oils, and beeswax.
This particular set includes lids for each ramekin, which means you can prep your ingredients in advance without leaving them open for contamination or oxidation.
(Added bonus: Clear glass ramekins are also useful as props in product photography!)
I used a stainless steel bowl in a saucepan as a homemade double boiler in my early skin care making days, and I wish I would have purchased this one so much sooner.
It fits nearly any pot and the pour spouts on each side are incredibly helpful when transferring melted ingredients to wide-mouth tins and larger tubes.
The inside is slick so it is a dream to clean, even when dealing with compounds that tend to stick around (like natural micas and titanium dioxide).
I use the above stainless steel double boiler whenever I can, as I like my ingredients to be as far from the heating element on my stove as possible.
However, there are times when a larger container is necessary for formulating bulk batches.
This set comes in three sizes, which is helpful for preparing a larger amount of ingredients than can fit in the ramekins or making multiple recipes at once.
Glass is the perfect material for mixing your formulas in a bowl or on a stovetop.
Glass stir rods don’t absorb any of the ingredients, they’re easy to clean, and they last forever when handled and stored with care.
Be sure to purchase the 12″ length so that they reach the bottom of your double boiler (the average glass stir rod length is 6″ and not long enough to sufficiently mix ingredients in a large, filled Pyrex).
These stainless steel funnels are the perfect size to sit on top of 10 mL roller bottles and 1 oz dropper bottles while adding your ingredients.
In addition to making it faster to get oils and carriers into your bottle, it keeps the outside of your container clean so that your product labels stick much better.
Using flask funnels like these (that have a short stem) rather than standard essential oil funnels (that have a longer stem) ensures you don’t waste or drip any product when removing it from the bottle opening.
In a different way than the small funnels above, pipettes help to transfer ingredients into containers with a small opening, such as a lip balm tube or glass dropper bottle.
These disposable pipettes hold 3mL, a bit larger than most droppers – MUCH more efficient when creating large batches of product.
Most home-based skin care business owners store their ingredients and supplies in a workshop or office and have to carry items back and forth between there and the kitchen.
Sheet pans make transferring multiple items much easier and efficient.
They’re also handy for keeping large batches level and organized if refrigerator storage is needed.
Heat guns are used to level out the tops of balms and salves after hardening in their containers.
When changing temperature too quickly, products that turn from melted liquid to solid form can develop cracks or sink holes.
Quickly reheating the surface of the product with a heat gun will create a flat, aesthetically pleasing product for your customers.
Additionally, if you use shrink wrap to seal your products, you will need to have a heat gun on hand (hair dryers don’t reach the temperature needed).
What Else Do I Need to Make Skin Care Products?
There are some specific recipes that call for more supplies than listed here, such as when creating herbal infusions, but the nine above are the basics.
In addition to supplies, you’ll also need ingredients, containers, labels, safety seal closures, and shipping materials for a full-blown e-commerce business.
Using organic and unrefined ingredients in your formulations will provide you and your customers with the most effective and safe products possible.
The best way to decide on all of these details is to know your ideal target market inside and out before making choices.