How To Start a Cosmetic Production Line?

 Cosmetic Overview

According to Drug and Cosmetic Act – “cosmetic” means any article intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on, or introduced into, or otherwise applied to, the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and includes any article intended for use as a component of cosmetic or new cosmetic; Cosmetic Products are covered under Drug and Cosmetic Act & rules. A cosmetic preparation can be manufactured in two ways: a) Under Ayurvedic Manufacturing License b) Under Cosmetic Manufacturing License. We will be discussing only about the manufacturing of cosmetic under Cosmetic Manufacturing License Cosmetic manufacturing license is issued by State Drug Control Office in similar way as of Pharmaceutical Manufacturing License. Technical person and area required is different in case of cosmetics. Today, cosmetic products are the most important element in the human lifestyle. According to drug and cosmetic, cosmetics means any article dedicated to being rubbed, poured, sprinkled or sprayed on, or introduced into, or otherwise utilized to, the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, increasing attractiveness, or modifying the appearance, and includes an article meant for use as a segment. Cosmetic products are classified under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945. Bureau of Indian Standards, fixes the standards for the cosmetic products registered on Schedule ‘S’ under rule 1945. Also, BSI implements the specification for Skin Creams and Lipstick in the Indian Standards (IS) 6608:2004 and 9875:1990 sequentially. The Schedule ‘M’ occupied the regulation associated with manufacturing cosmetic products under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Types of Cosmetics Products

Today, there are thousands upon thousands of cosmetics products in the Indian market. The cosmetic can be divided into several distinct types. Here they are:

1) Powders – Most common and easily use a form of makeup.
2) Gels – shampoos, body washes, shaving products, and toothpaste.
3) Suspensions – Sunscreen, shampoos, and hand washes
4) Sticks – lipsticks and underarm deodorant
5) Ointments/ Pastes – This product helps to protect or heal skin and hair
6) Lotions – skin moisturizers and sunscreens.
7) Lips – Lipsticks, lip gloss, lip liner, lip plumper, and lip balm.
8) Capsules/ Tablets/ cakes – That’s helps you remove acne.
9) Primers/foundations/concealers – That helps to mask irregularities of the skin, such as pore, discoloration, pigment spots, and blemishes.
10) Eyes – Mascara, mascara primer, eye shadows, eye primers, and eyelash glue.
11) Eyebrows – Eyebrow pencils, creams, and powders.
12) Nails – Nail polish, nail gloss
13) Face – face powders, foundations, primers, concealers, and blush powder.

Is Cosmetic Production Profitable?

While you might think the cosmetic industry is limited to products like lipstick, nail polish, or eyeshadow, it is actually much bigger than just that. Color cosmetics represent only one part of the cosmetic industry. Other products like skin lotions, shampoos, body washes, and even toothpastes are considered cosmetics. In fact, almost any personal care product is considered a cosmetic.

That means the cosmetic market is a great one to get into as nearly everyone on the planet uses some kind of personal care product. There is a ton of competition of course, but consumers are always looking to try something new and with the right dedication you can create a following of loyal consumers who will be the basis of your business for years to come.

What can you manufactured under your Cosmetic Manufacturing License?

Cosmetics products includes mainly Dusting Powder, Baby Powder, Lip sticks, Eye liner, Face powder, Tooth pastes, Tooth powder, Hair oil, Hair Shampoo, Hair Creams, Skin Creams, Shaving Creams and After shave lotions, Nail polishes, Hair Dyes/lotions/liquids, Liquid soaps, Baby Soaps, Shaving Soaps, Toilet Soap, Bindi, Kum-kum powder etc. But you are required to take approval, product wise to manufacture any product.

Seven steps to follow to start a profitable Cosmetic Processing business

Here are the 7 steps to follow to start a profitable Cosmetic Processing business:

a) Create a Business Plan
b) Choose a Location for Cosmetic Processing Factory
c) Name your Cosmetic Processing Business
d) Acquiring License to make the business legal
e) Machine & Equipment for Cosmetic Processing
f) Cost of Starting Cosmetic Processing Unit (Investment Cost)
g) Promote your Products

1. Create a Business Plan

A business plan is the key to success for any business. A well-crafted business plan is required to speak of the operational process of the business in a profitable manner. The most important key to success for your cosmetic line is a well-defined purpose.

You need to clearly articulate a purpose that aligns with what you are trying to produce and sell. The key ingredients of your products should be the major selling point. Specifically laying out the benefits of using the product will serve as a guiding framework as you move the product toward the marketing process and launch. The three steps in a business plan can include:

i) Select your Niche
Many small cosmetic companies operate within a particular industry niche. For example, a cosmetics company may commit to crafting fragrance-free skincare and makeup for people who have sensitive skin. Another company may choose a line of very light formulations for women who don’t like to wear a lot of makeup. Do some market research and consider your own preferences: after a while, you’ll get an idea of the type of cosmetic line you’d like to start.

ii) Do some Market Research
Before you begin formulating your cosmetic line, you need to perform a thorough market analysis. Ask yourself: has this particular type of product has been done before? How did it perform? Equipping yourself with this knowledge will help you to better meet the needs of your target audience.

iii) Learn About Cosmetic Formulation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates the cosmetics industry. The FDA has rules about the kinds of ingredients you can and cannot use in your cosmetics; the kinds of claims you can make about these ingredients on your labels; and the FDA requires you to take responsibility for the safety of your products. This means that you are responsible for knowing the ingredients that go into your products, and that you ensure that your products have not become adulterated, and that they remain in compliance with federal labeling restrictions.

2. Name your Cosmetic Processing Business

Select a name that people can relate to your Cosmetic processing company. Do not forget to check the availability of a similar domain name to the company name. This helps you in creating a website similar to the company name.

3. Choose a Location for Cosmetic Processing Plant

Drug and cosmetic act discuss about the location and surroundings that is required for the manufacturing of cosmetics. The factory should be situated at sanitary place and clean place. Hygienic conditions should be maintained within premises and outside premises. Premises should be not be used as residence or be interconnected with residence.

Building: Building should be so constructed to facilitate easy production environment under hygienic conditions. It should have adequate space for machinery installation and smooth manufacturing process.

Minimum Area  and Space for setting up Cosmetic Products

Minimum area requirement is different for different types of cosmetic preparations. You can start manufacturing of single cosmetic preparation or more than one cosmetic preparation in single manufacturing unit but each section should be separate from one another.

  • For Powder Section: Minimum of 15 square meter area is required. Adequate Exhaust Fan availability should be present at premises.
  • For Cream, lotions, emulsions, paste, cleansing milk, shampoo, pomade, brillantine, shaving cream, hair oils etc: Minimum of 25 square meter area is required
  • For Nail Polishes and Nail Lacquers: Minimum of 15 square meters area is required and premises should be situated in Industrial area. This section should have flameproof exhaust system.
  • For Lipsticks and Lip gloss etc: Minimum of 15 square meter area is required
  • For Depilatories: Minimum of 10 square meters area is required
  • For preparations used for Eyes: Minimum of 10 square meters area is required for different section of eye preparations separately and manufacturing area must maintain strict hygienic conditions.

4. Documents Required for Applying for Cosmetic Manufacturing License

The document required for license procedure:

  1. Application at Prescribed Form
  2. Fees Slip/Challan
  3. Blue print and layout of premises
  4. Ownership proof or rent agreement in case of rented premises
  5. Nature of Business i.e. Proprietorship, partnership or private limited etc along with affidavit accordingly
  6. Detail of Technical or competent Staff
  7. Qualification certificate of Pharmacist or competent person along with Registration certificate copy under state pharmacy council of concern state.
  8. Appointment or Joining letter of pharmacist or competent person, in case if any of partner or proprietor is not registered pharmacist under respective state pharmacy council.
  9. Affidavit of registered pharmacist
  10. List of cosmetics intend to be manufactured with formula
  11. List of machinery and laboratory equipments
  12. Site Master File
  13. NOC if any

After receipt of application, concern authority physically inspects the premises and approves or rejects the application on the basis of their inspection. In case of approval, concern department issues license at Form no. 32 for manufacture for sale and distribution of cosmetic products.

5. Machine & Equipment for Cosmetic Processing

1) Powders Section:

Cosmetic Powder preparations include face powder, cake make-up, compacts, face packs, masks and rouges etc.

Equipment and Machinery

i. Powder mixer of suitable type provided with a dust collector.

ii. Perfume and colour blender.

iii. Sifter with sieves of suitable mesh size.

iv. Ball mill or suitable grinder

v. Trays and scoops (stainless steel).

vi. Filling and sealing equipment provided with dust extractor.

vii. For compacts: – (i) a separate mixer, (ii) compact pressing machine.

viii. Weighing and measuring devices

ix. Storage tanks.

2) Creams, Lotions, Emulsions, Pastes, Cleansing milks, Shampoos, Pomade, Brilliantine, Shaving Creams and Hair-oils etc.

Equipments and Machinery-

i. Mixing and storage tanks of suitable materials.

ii. Heating kettle – steam, gas or electrically heated.

iii. Suitable agitator.

iv. Colloidal mill or homogeniser (wherever necessary).

v. Triple roller mill (wherever necessary).

vi. Filling and sealing equipment.

vii. Weighing and measuring devices.

3) Nail Polishes and Nail Lacquers:

Equipment and Machinery

i. A suitable mixer.

ii. Storage tanks.

iii. Filling machine – hand operated or power driven.

iv. Weighing and Measuring devices.

Special Requirements:


a) The following are the special requirements related to Nail Polishes and Nail  Lacquers: –

b) It shall be situated in an industrial area.

c) It shall be separate from other cosmetic-manufacturing areas by metal/brick  partition up to ceiling.

d)Floors, walls, ceiling and doors shall be fireproof.

e) Smoking, cooking and dwelling shall not be permitted and no naked flame  shall be brought in the premises.

f) All electrical wiring and connections shall be concealed and main electric  switch shall be outside the manufacturing area.

g)  All equipment, furniture and light fittings in the section shall be flameproof.

h) Fire extinguisher like foam and dry powder and sufficient number of buckets   containing sand shall be provided.

i)  All doors of the section shall open outwards.

All explosive solvents and ingredients shall be stored in metal cupboards or in a separate enclosed area.

Manufacture of lacquer shall not be undertaken unless the above conditions are complied with.
Workers shall be asked to wear shoes with rubber soles in the section.

Other requirements:
No objection certificate from the local Fire Brigade Authorities shall be furnished.

4)  Lipsticks and Lip-gloss etc.

Equipment and Machinery-

i.  Vertical mixer

ii. Jacketted kettle – steam, gas or electrically heated

iii. Mixing vessel (stainless steel)

iv. Triple roller mill/Ball mill

v. Moulds with refrigeration facility

vi. Weighing and measuring devices

5) Depilatories:

Equipment and Machinery-

  • Mixing tanks
  • Mixer
  •  Triple roller mill or homogeniser (where necessary)
  •  Filling and sealing equipment
  • Weighing and measuring devices
  • Moulds (where necessary)

7)  Preparations used for Eyes:

  • Such preparations shall be manufactured under strict hygienic conditions to ensure that these are safe for use.
  1. Eyebrows, Eyelashes, Eyeliners etc.

          Equipment and Machinery-

i. Mixing tanks.

ii. A suitable mixer.

iii. Homogeniser (where necessary)

iv. Filling and sealing equipment.

v.  Weighing and measuring devices

2. Kajal and Surma:

            Equipment and Machinery-

i. Base sterilizer.

ii. Powder sterilizer (dry heat oven).

iii. Stainless steel tanks.

iv. A suitable Mixer.

v. Stainless steel sieves.

vi. Filling and sealing arrangements.

vii. Weighing and measuring devices.

viii. Homogeniser (where necessary).

ix. Pestle and Mortar (for Surma).

Special Requirements for Eye Preparations:

a) False ceiling shall be provided wherever required.

b) Manufacturing area shall be made fly proof. An airlock or an air curtain shall  be provided.

c) Base used for Kajal shall be sterilized by heating the base at 150 degree C for required time in a separate enclosed area.

d)The vegetable carbon black powder shall be sterilized in a drying oven at 120 degree C for required time.

e) All utensils used for manufacture shall be of stainless steel and shall be washed with detergent water, antiseptic liquid and again with distilled water.

f) Containers employed for ‘Kajal’ shall be cleaned properly with bactericidal solution and dried.

g) Workers shall put on clean overalls and use hand gloves wherever necessary

8) Aerosol:

Equipment and Machinery-

i. Air-compressor (wherever necessary).

ii. Mixing tanks.

iii. Suitable propellant filling and crimping equipments.

iv. Liquid filling unit.

v. Leak testing equipment.

vi. Fire extinguisher (wherever necessary)

vii. Suitable filtration equipment.

viii. Weighing and measuring devices.

Special Requirements

No objection certificate from the Local Fire Brigade Authorities shall be furnished.

9) Alcoholic Fragrance Solutions:

Equipment and Machinery-

i. Mixing tanks with stirrer

ii. Filtering equipment.

iii. Filling and sealing equipment.

iv. Weighing and measuring devices.

10) Hair Dyes:

Equipment and Machinery-

i. Stainless steel tanks.

ii. Filling Unit.

iii. Weighing and measuring devices.

iv. Masks, gloves and goggles.

11) Tooth Powders and Toothpastes etc.

Equipment and Machinery (Tooth-powder in General) –

i. Weighing and measuring devices.

ii. Dry mixer (powder blender).

iii. Stainless steel sieves.

iv. Powder filling and sealing equipment.

Equipment and Machinery (Toothpastes) –

i. Weighing and measuring devices.

ii. Kettle – steam, gas or electrically heated (where necessary).

iii. Planetary mixer with de-aerator system.

iv. Stainless steel tanks.

v. Tube filling equipment.

vi. Crimping machine.

Equipment and Machinery {Tooth-powder (Black)} –

i. Weighing and measuring devices.

ii. Dry mixer powder blender.

iii. Stainless steel sieves.

iv. Powder filling arrangements.

v. Areas for manufacturing “Black” and “White” tooth powders should be  separate.

12) Toilet Soaps:

Equipment and Machinery-

i. Kettles/pans for saponification.

ii. Boiler or any other suitable heating arrangement.

iii. Suitable stirring arrangement.

iv. Storage tanks or trays.

v. Amalgamator/chipping machine.

vi. Triple roller mill.

vii. Pressing, stamping and embossing machine.

viii. Weighing and measuring devices.

Understand Labeling Compliance Issues

The FDA can be very specific about what you can include on your product labels. Issues to consider include:

  • Medical claims, such as the idea that your product treats or cures certain skin conditions.
  • The accuracy of ingredient lists.
  • Organic claims: The USDA regulates the use of the term “organic” on ingredient labels.
  • Potential risks of using the product, such as the inclusion of ingredients that may increase sun sensitivity.

6. Investment of setting up Cosmetic Processing Unit

A cosmetic manufacturing unit investment varies according to type of cosmetic preparation you want to manufacture as well as according to area, location and country. Exact investment estimation is difficult to find out. Here we will try to find out way to calculate investment required to set-up cosmetic manufacturing unit.

There are three type of investment required for setting-up unit.

  • Fixed Capital Investment
  • Working Capital Investment
  • Inventory Investment

Approximate cosmetic manufacturing plant cost in India is as below:
Land + Building (If owned) – 80 lakh rupees. If rented then this cost could be prevented. We can add rent charges. For cosmetic manufacturing license, drug authority ask for premises at industry approved area.

HVAC – 8 lakh, machinery – 20 to 40 lakh, compressed air supply – 5 lakh, licenses and formalities – 2 to 5 lakh plus other expenses 5 lakh.

So, overall the approximate cost for cosmetic manufacturing unit set-up would be around 40 lakh rupees other than land and building.

7)  Promote your Products

Promotion and marketing are the musts to get overall success in this business.

Work with graphic designers, copywriters and public relations professionals to develop a coherent brand for your products. This process can take some time, but we have to act soon. You would want to have things like company logos, mission statements, and marketing strategies in place when it is time to launch your business.

Another consideration for cosmetic-company owners is where and how you plan to sell your products. As a small company, you may decide to sell your products from your own retail store, or online, or via local salons, spas and boutiques. Many businesses choose to have a mix of distribution channels as a way of reaching more customers and of controlling costs. Once you have a distribution plan in place, you can begin to investigate the ways to start selling, whether through developing vendor relationships with retailers or by opening a website.

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