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How to Start a Skin Care Line – A Step-by-Step Guide

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If you’re here, it’s likely you have an interest in skin care, and you’re considering whether to start a business that shares that passion with others. This may be your first attempt to start a business, or maybe you’ve started one before, and you want to make sure this one is done right. In this article, I’ll be sharing with you step-by-step how to start a skin care line.

The Traditional Way to Start a Skin Care Line vs. The Modern Way

Just a few years back, the most prominent advice you’d hear would be:

  • Create your product
  • Get a patent
  • Incorporate
  • Buy inventory
  • and, Try to get wholesale deals or sell direct to consumer

The traditional way to start a business would’ve started you with thousands (possibly tens of thousands) in startup capital needed. Now, times have changed, and it’s no longer necessary to spend do much money upfront. Instead, in this article, you’ll be learning how to start a skin care line with much less overhead than what you’d traditionally hear.

How to Start a Skin Care Line – Step-by-Step

These are the steps that modern startup skin care lines are using that’s leading them to build multimillion dollar companies yet starting with very low overhead costs.

1. Choose a Niche

First, it’s important to decide what audience you want to serve with your skin care line. There are so many different needs that skin care can solve: from beauty and self-esteem to anti-aging and anti-fungal. You want to be clear who you want to serve because your marketing will need to target that specific target customer and build a relevant audience for your products.

2. Build a Website

Once you’ve chosen who your products will serve, you’ll want to build your digital storefront or “website”. Modern skincare startups are building their online audience first using a blog or vlog before launching products and services–this drastically cuts down the startup costs, and helps you to test the demand for different product offers before investing heavily in development, legal, or inventory.

It’s clear there’s a demand for skin care online, so if you learn how to use the internet to tap into that demand.

Skin care is an evergreen topic that people look for online all year around. Building your website can be fairly simple. You choose a name you want, and see if the domain name is available for use. In fact, you can test out my #1 recommended website builder below for free…

Successful Skin Care Lines Built Starting as Online Blogs/Vlogs

Here are two examples of very successful skin care brands that have been built after building an audience using a blog.

3. Monetize your business

Even if you start your blog and postpone the product development until after you’ve built the audience, it’s still a good idea to think like a small business owner, and monetize in different ways as you’re building your audience.

What can you sell in a cosmetic shop?

Although, most people will automatically think about physical skin care products, there are many other things you can sell in a cosmetic shop like affiliate products, sponsorships, and digital products and services.

Affiliate products (#1 Recommendation)

It can be really helpful to partner with affiliates early on. If you partner with companies that are highly relevant to your target audience, you can build a following, create revenue with very low overhead costs, and learn about what your audience likes and dislikes thru affiliate sales. You’ll find that many startup and established brands in the skin care industry have affiliate partnerships that help them build cashflow without large upfront investments–this can be good for companies with and without products and services.


Unlike affiliate sales that are commission-based, you can also earn income from sponsorships that are traditionally project-based. The nice thing about sponsorship deals is you know up front how much you’ll make from the project, but the downside is you won’t have a “passive income” feel because it’s upfront and not typically any back-end ongoing revenue (unless there’s affiliate marketing in the mix).

Advertisement space on your blog – Companies like Google Adsense, MediaVine, and Adthrive will pay you to post ads on your blog or vlog. There’s usually a criteria that has to be met before you can be accepted for ads, but it’s still a good option to consider.

Digital products and services

After your audience is more developed, you can invest in software that helps you distribute digital products. You can create eBooks, printables, online courses, and other things that helps your audience satisfy their skin care needs. Digital products can be a way to increase cashflow that will translate well even when you’re building and selling your physical products.

Physical Products or Your Skin Care Line

Once your audience is built, and your business has the revenue, you can invest that into product development and even more marketing. A product line doesn’t make money until it’s selling, so product development may take awhile to get your money back. Typically, you start with identifying good products to white label or good recipes for your own skin care–this part of the process can take months. Once you’ve pin pointed the products, then you have to decide whether you’ll be hand-making them, or whether you’ll get manufacturing.

When you’ve got your plan for how the product will be produced, then you have to test the process, and ensure a quality product is being delivered time and time again–this may take time to stabilize. You may also want to do focus groups to get feedback from potential consumers.

After the product and the development is mastered, then you want to make sure the distribution is smooth: customers can get the product in reasonable time frames and profit margins are maintained.

How much does it cost to start a skin care line?

Costs vary for skin care startups, however, starting by building the audience first can save you thousands in upfront costs, and instead can ensure the costs come from the business revenue rather than coming from your personal finances. Starting a skin care line by starting a blog and building the audience first can cost you less than $1000!

How do you price makeup?

There are several pricing strategies. The most common makeup pricing strategies are penetration pricing and markup pricing. With penetration pricing you would keep the costs low, so you can reach the most people. As an alternative, you can do markup pricing where you calculate your production and distribution costs and mark up the price from there.

Is cosmetic business profitable?

When you have multiple streams of income (like what’s been instructed here), you have greater chances of running a profitable business. When your product sales is low, maybe affiliate sales, or another stream of revenue can be high. Diversifying your business income helps to lower the overall risk associated with running a business.

4. Create Content

Traditionally, a lot of the marketing would be done thru trade shows, flyers, business cards, live demos, and product samples, the modern way of starting a skin care relies heavily on building content online. In order to demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and inform your target audience of the products and services you sell, you’d create content: articles, videos, audio, graphics, social posts, live streams, and webinars.

It can also be helpful to sustain traditional marketing as well, but you want to make sure whatever you commit to in your marketing plan is something you can stick to because marketing works with consistency.

5. Build an Audience

As a result of creating engaging content, you’ll build an audience. People will come to see what’s new, hear your perspective on niche-specific issues, and connect with others in your network.

6. Incorporate

When you’re starting to get sales, you have liability you want to protect, and you want to save on taxes, it’s important to incorporate your business. Incorporation can be done very easily with the help of a service like Incfile. They can help you decide on the appropriate business structure, the paperwork you need, and they’ll even do it for you.

7. Add E-Commerce

The blog works amazingly well to build the audience, but when it’s time that you want to sell your own products or services (physical or digital), then you’ll need an e-commerce solution. I recommend adding e-commerce functionality once you’ve build out an email list and you’re hearing feedback from your audience stating they’re interested in products and services you’d offer, and they want to buy.

Recommended E-commerce Solutions

  • Convertkit – #1 Recommended service for building your email list
  • Shopify – #1 Recommended e-commerce solution for selling physical products
  • Podia – #1 Recommended e-commerce solution for selling online courses, webinars, and digital products
  • Woocommerce – If you feel comfortable with WordPress, then Woocommerce could be a good e-commerce solution for you. You can install it on your website for free and see if it suits your needs.

8. Make Money

Once you’ve built a website, monetized your business, and you’re offering helpful solutions to an audience that’s demanding it, then you’ll be making money.


Starting a skin care line can be very fulfilling, and helpful. If you feel like this is something you should be doing, don’t hesitate. Follow the steps enclosed here and get started. If you have questions about this, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

To learn more about how to start a blog that helps to build your audience and online sales, check out my free e-course here.

Ready to Start Your Skin Care Line?

If you’re ready to get started with your skin care line, follow these three steps in order.

Step One: Build an Audience online

If you want to start a skin care line, but you're unsure how to build an audience of super fans, get started with training that'll help.

Step Two: Build an Email List

If you have people coming to you, but you don't have a concise way of tracking who's interested and contacting them easily, then you should focus on building your email list.

Step Three: Present Offers

If you have an audience and an email list, and you're ready to launch your skin care products, set up your e-commerce store, and begin creating offers, then Shopify could be a great solution for you.

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