Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation
Design your own range of unique natural or organic skincare products
Online course. Study from anywhere in the world!
This is our most in-depth training program, taking you step-by-step through designing, formulating and creating your own product range.
I feel more confident now working with different kinds of ingredients to create the product I want.
“I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this formulation course. It’s so much more than I had expected and exactly what I needed. I have learned so much from it and feel more confident now working with different kinds of ingredients to create the product I want.”
Jean Liao, Toronto, Canada
Whether natural beauty is your passion and your hobby, or you want to start a business, this is the training for you
You have no experience and want a complete training program in developing and making your own beautiful natural products, to start a business or for yourself
You already have some experience (you may even already be selling products) and you are ready to create more professional products, with a greater range of ingredients
The theory, practice, art and science of natural skincare in a multi-media online course!
We’re Gail and Gareth, Directors of the School of Natural Skincare
The School’s team of expert tutors include a Cosmetic Scientist, Cosmetic Formulator, Aromatherapist, Beauty Business Expert and Safety Assessor and all are passionate about helping you create beautiful products and thriving businesses.
Founded in 2010, the School has trained 2500+ students in 50+ countries to make their own natural and organic skincare products and launch successful businesses.
The School’s fabulous recipes and fun, creative classes have been featured by the BBC and glossy magazines like Green Parent, Spirit & Destiny and Country Homes and Interiors Magazine.
Learn from a professional Cosmetic Scientist
The Diploma in Natural and Organic Skincare Formulation has been created with Chandni Patel, our consultant Cosmetic Scientist. Chandni has a BSc in Cosmetic Science from the London College of Fashion, is a full member of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists and has formulated every type of cosmetic, including skincare, haircare and nail varnish, for brands such as The Body Shop, Tisserand, REN: Clean Skincare and many more.
Here’s what’s included:
Study from anywhere in the world, in your own time!
14 in-depth modules
80+ video classes
28+ fillable and printable worksheets
10+ ingredient workbooks and charts
Instant access to the entire course. No tests to take to access Modules.
Private online student community: get support from Formulation tutors, students and graduates
Resources for further research, including where to find peer-reviewed scientific research
Your assignments personally marked by our Cosmetic Scientist
The course offered me everything I needed
“The Diploma has helped me an immense amount by giving me the confidence to make products, be aware of safety guidelines, learn some really interesting information on the benefits of various oils and be experimental with scents and flavors. The products I have formulated have been really well received.
“The course offered me everything I needed. I enjoyed the way the information was given, the resources, tutorials and support. It was a great step-by-step course I would do again.”Dennis Julien
“I now have the confidence and the knowledge to formulate my own organic range.
“I was hooked and spent hours reading and watching the videos. I loved it all!”
Sharon Sinclair, Blackpool, UK
Module-by-Module Course Content:
Module 1: Your unique products and brand
Create a unique brand by identifying who your customers are and defining your vision, values and uniqueness.
1.1 Values and niches
1.2 Brand examples and inspiration
1.3 Defining ‘natural’ and ‘organic’
1.4 Getting certified
1.5 Elements of a winning brand
1.6 Creating YOUR brand
Module 2: Skincare product design: Design products that customers love
Formulate your products and select your ingredients properly and deliberately in order to achieve the result you or your customers desire.
2.1 Step-by-step design process
2.2 Using a product development brief
2.3 Perfecting your formula
Module 3: Creating professional cosmetic formulations
Write professional formulations (rather than recipes), become an effective formulator and evaluate your formulations to achieve the perfect product.
3.1 What is a cosmetic? Cosmetic categories
3.2 Types of cosmetic formula
3.3 What is a formula?
3.4 What makes a great formulator?
3.5 Elements of a great performing formula
3.6 Product evaluation
Module 4: Skin anatomy and physiology. Formulating for different skin types.
Understand how the skin functions, the physiological changes that occur as the skin ages, and common characteristics of each skin type so you can formulate products suited for oily, sensitive, dry, combination and aging skin.
4.1 The skin: its role, function and how it works
4.2 Skin hydration
4.3 Skin barrier
4.4 The acid mantle
An important role of the acid mantle is to maintain the skin’s pH balance, which helps maintain skin softness, suppleness, smoothness and strength.
Discover factors affecting the acid mantle pH, possible characteristics of disrupted acid mantle pH, and how to protect and restore the acid mantle.
4.5 Skin aging
4.6 Sun damage
4.7 Absorption of ingredients into the skin
4.8 Formulating for different skin types: sensitive, oily, dry and aging
Module 5: Cosmetic ingredients and raw materials
Choose ingredients with confidence! Learn the functions, properties and benefits of a wide range of ingredients and how to select ingredients for your formulations.
5.1 Classifying ingredients
5.2 Emollients, occlusives and humectants including carrier oils and butters
5.3 Essential oils
5.4 High-performance ingredients
5.5 Aesthetic ingredients
5.6 Buying and researching ingredients
Module 6: Lab skills, equipment and packaging
Develop the essential skills and knowledge to make your products safely and effectively, ensuring consistency and quality. Understand percentages and weight conversions to make batches of different sizes.
6.1 Equipment needed
6.2 Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
6.3 Lab techniques and skills
6.4 Testing and adjusting pH
6.5 Calculating batch sizes
6.6 How to choose packaging
Module 7: Preserving products naturally
Put into place strategies to extend the shelf life of your products and preserve your products effectively to ensure they stay in optimum condition.
7.1 Introduction to microbiology
7.2 Strategies for prolonging shelf life
7.3 New technologies in natural preservation of products: hurdle technology
Module 8: Formulating oils and serums
Formulate and make a range of gorgeous anhydrous, preservative-free oils and serums for the face, bath and body.
8.1 Formulating body and massage oils, including Dry Oil Body Spritz
Learn about these product types: what they are, the differences, typical ingredients and how to formulate them; and watch a practical video demonstration.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including Dry Oil Body Spritz and Aromatherapy Massage Oil.
8.2 Formulating bath and shower oils including Blooming Bath Oils
Learn about these product types: what they are, the differences, typical ingredients and how to formulate them; and watch a practical video demonstration.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including Citrus Blooming Bath Oil with Kukui Nut Oil and Aromatherapy Bath Soak.
8.3 Formulating facial oils and serums
Learn about these product types: what they are, the differences, and typical ingredients and how to formulate them.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including a Borage Facial Oil and Antioxidant Facial Serum with CoEnzyme Q10.
8.4 Formulating cleansing oils and Oil to Milk Cleansers
Learn about these product types: what they are, the differences, typical ingredients and how to formulate them.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including a Gentle Oil to Milk Cleanser.
Module 9: Formulating butters and balms
Formulate and make a range of gorgeous anhydrous, preservative-free balms and butters, including lip balms, treatment balms and cleansing balms.
9.1 Formulating whipped body butters
Learn about this product type, their characteristics, typical ingredients, how to create smooth butters and avoid graininess. Learn how to make lighter-feeling body butters as well as rich nourishing body butters and design one perfect for your skin type and preferences. Watch us make one in a practical video demonstration.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including a Skin Softening Lemon Whipped Body Butter with Kokum Butter.
9.2 Formulating balms and salves
Learn about these product types: what they are, the differences, typical ingredients and how to formulate them. Learn how to create a range of balms – lip balms in both twist-up sticks and cute tins, cleansing balms and treatment balms. Balms have become a real trend in the natural skincare market: as they are made without water they are preservative-free and packed full of nourishing butters, oils and waxes. Watch us make one in a practical video demonstration and develop your own from scratch – we’ll take you step-by-step through the process!
Formulation templates and examples are provided including a Mixed Berry Lip Balm and Wild Rose Beauty Balm.
Module 10: Formulating spa-style soaks, scrubs and polishes
Formulate and make a range of indulgent soaks, scrubs and polishes just like you’d find in a high-end spa!
10.1 Formulating soaks and scrubs
Learn about this product type, their functions, characteristics, typical ingredients and how to formulate them.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including a Relaxing Rose and Milk Bath Soak and an Invigorating Green Clay Body Scrub.
10.2 Formulating facial and body polishes
Module 11: Formulating toners, spritzers and mists
Formulate and make a range of refreshing toners, spritzers and mists using delicate hydrosols and botanicals.
11.1 Formulating toners and spritzers
Learn about these product types: what they are, the differences, typical ingredients and how to formulate them. We’ll look at toner types, functions and ingredients; the function and benefits of alcohol-free spritzers; and how to use solubilizers.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including a beautiful Rose Flower Mist.
Module 12: The emulsification process
Understand the science of emulsification: become confident in making emulsions and solving stability issues
12.1 What is an emulsion?
12.2 The science of emulsification
12.3 How to make an emulsion: phases and stages in emulsion manufacture
12.4 How to choose your emulsifier, plus 8 natural and organic emulsifiers
12.5 Solving emulsion instability
12.6 Rheology and viscosity modification
Module 13: Formulating creams and lotions
Formulate and make a wide range of creams and lotions for the face and body, from lighter body milks and lotions to richer creams and body butters.
13.1 Introduction to formulating creams and lotions
13.2 Formulating body creams and lotions
Learn about these product types including body butters, creams, lotions and milks. Discover what they are, the differences, typical ingredients and how to formulate them. Learn to perfect your oil in water emulsions and make a range of products from light body lotions and ‘milks’ that can be applied with a spray to thicker, creamer body butters with a high content of your butter of choice (such as mango, avocado, olive, shea or cocoa). Watch us make one in a video demonstration so you know how to make your own, step-by-step.
Formulation templates and examples are provided including a Passionfruit Body Lotion, Sea Buckthorn Body Milk and Almond Body Butter.
13.3 Formulating facial creams and lotions
13.4 Formulating cleansing lotions
Module 14: Business essentials
Comply with cosmetic, labeling and claims regulations.
14.1 How to sell your products legally: cosmetic regulations
14.2 Cosmetic claims
I love the accessibility and the fact I could fit it into my time schedule.
“Since taking the Diploma I understand more about finding my market in order to sell and more about the legal implications of selling cosmetics. I understand better how the skin works, the properties and benefits of a lot more ingredients and I can now make a wider selection of products.
“I love the accessibility and the fact I could fit it into my time schedule. I enjoyed it all!”
Sally Rose, Bristol, UK
Join the Diploma!
Yes, I’m ready to become a skincare formulator
We accept all major debit and credit cards and Paypal
Please note: when you purchase the course you gain access to the classroom instantly and therefore no refunds are available. By joining the course you accept our payment terms found here
Our charity partnership with the Soil Association
School of Natural Skincare will be donating £5 (plus VAT) for every new enrollment between 01/03/2017 to 31/12/2017 to the Soil Association, registered charity number 123456
“Completing the Diploma has enabled me to formulate my products properly and deliberately and launch my brand Gallipot.
“I can make informed decisions regarding ingredient selection and define my product. I now understand percentages and weight conversions too, so I am confident I am formulating properly.
“I have learned new vocabulary and I can now make hydrous products as well as anhydrous products.
“I really enjoyed the course and appreciated the availability and support of Gail and Gareth. The Diploma was perfect for me!”
Lindri Henegar Riveras, Seattle, USA, www.gallipotskincare.com
What our students say
It helped me make more challenging products such as creams and lotions
“I have greatly enjoyed and appreciated the content of the Diploma course. It has helped me delve into making more challenging products, such as creams, lotions and cleansers and has also allowed me to improve my already-established recipes… to refine and perfect them! “I have gained confidence and a fundamental platform of knowledge to build and grow my own skincare business. Thank you so much!”Heather Urquhart, Winnipeg, Canada
Since taking the course I can formulate with ease!
“Before taking the course I didn’t know how to modify recipes or scale-up correctly. I also didn’t understand how to select the right ingredients based on skin type. Since taking the course I can formulate with ease!
The course was perfect for me. The videos, written materials, worksheets and assignments were great. I have gained so much: knowledge, inspiration, and a wonderful community – we all learn together and support one another.”Heather Weinbauer-Literski, USA
I am helping people by creating spa-quality, science-based, therapeutic, organic skincare products
“I wanted to learn more than just Internet recipes. I wanted to formulate. Since taking the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation I know more of the science of formulating as opposed to just using or buying ingredients randomly. I enjoyed the assignments because they allowed me to be a scientist and an artist.
The biggest thing I have gained? I am helping people by creating spa-quality, science-based, therapeutic, organic skincare products.”Shannan Fonseca, USA
I now have the knowledge and confidence to turn my hobby into a business
“I wanted to learn how to make my products better, so I can sell them rather than just creating gifts for friends and relatives. I didn’t know how to measure ingredients correctly or know enough about preservatives. I also didn’t know anything about turning my hobby into a business.
I loved the course. It has helped me become more professional in every way. I really valued the self-paced learning and the different types of support. I now have the knowledge and confidence to turn my hobby into a business.”Joanne Maschmedt, Australia
The course provided me with everything I needed to know!
“The formulation guides, examples and templates included in the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation are extremely useful and valuable. My biggest challenge before taking the course was finding professional information about formulation techniques. The course provided me with everything I needed to know!
Since taking the Diploma I have a better understanding of the composition of skin and I feel more confident about the products I make. The content was really enjoyable. I love watching Gail and Gareth and the other tutors online; they have a wealth of knowledge to share.”
Rebekah Welch, USA
The modules are crafted in such a way that someone can really kickstart their business.
“I used to do a lot of research online, but more often than not I felt lost and I really struggled with confidence. I was keen on learning more, in a structured way, from experts. The course used an organized approach to help me to put all my research into practice.
The way the course is divided into modules really helped me as I could quickly pick up the most relevant one, rather than sifting through lots of information. I loved the course! It provided me with a great foundation.
I loved that the lectures were short and to the point. The modules are crafted in such a way that someone can really kickstart their business.
I am now much more confident when I make my formulations.”Prasanthy, India
I can now create a well-balanced, effective product
“I didn’t have a full understanding of the benefits of different oils, or how to balance the right ingredients in the various stages so they work together for optimal results.
I can now create a well-balanced, effective product. I know which ingredients to include, in the right quantity and in the correct phase, depending on the kind of product I am making.
I also love that I can be regular and accurate with my measurements for different batches. This means my products are consistent and ensures users always experience the same feel and effectiveness.
I loved the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation. The in-depth knowledge has been great! You are raising great men and women who will break boundaries in the cosmetics and beauty industry.”Oguchi Amaka, Nigeria
I now have a much better understanding about skin care formulation
“I like the fact that the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation is an online course which gives me the time to understand at my own pace. As I am currently based in China due to work commitments, this course allows me to continue to study from other parts of the world.
The course gives a very good summary of all the information needed to be a formulator, which is easy for anyone to understand. It has helped me to understand the importance of mixing various ingredients to make up a good and effective product. I now have a much better understanding about skin care formulation.”M Y Toh, China
The course gave me the confidence to experiment.
“Before taking the Diploma in Natural Skincare Formulation I had a great knowledge of ingredients but didn’t really know how to use them to develop a range of products.
The course gave me the confidence to experiment. The formulation examples and templates provided have given me a strong base so that I can develop and formulate my own products.”C Sammon, UK
“What I have found most useful is knowing the science behind cosmetic formulas so I can tweak them or use alternate ingredients myself. A lot of recipes I found online were not “safe” to use so I needed to know how I could adjust them to become safer.
I found the worksheets and charts provided so useful. They have made it so easy for me to do my own formulas.
If you told me two years ago that I would have my own brand today I wouldn’t have believed you. Just go and do it… there is nothing else like it.”Muzon Ashgar, Saudi Arabia
Have a question? Here are our answers to your most FAQ
I live in Australia/ USA/ India/ _______(insert country here). Can I still take the course?
Why are your prices in US$?
We are an international school with students worldwide. US dollars are the most widely recognized and accepted currency.
You can check the exchange rate for your local currency using xe.com
Are there any assignments? Will I get a certificate at the end?
How long will I have access to the course?
Are there set lessons to do on specific days or can you do it in your own time?
I don’t have any experience, is the course still suitable for me?
What’s the difference between the Certificate in Making Natural Skincare Products and the Diploma?
The key difference is that the Certificate in Making Natural Skincare Products teaches you how to make products using lovely natural ingredients following our recipes and the Diploma course teaches you how to design your own recipes and unique products.
The Certificate in Making Natural Skincare Products is almost like an introduction, ie here’s what you can do with natural ingredients and here’s how. We provide 120+ recipes for you to follow.
The Diploma takes it *much* further. It teaches you how to get from a blank sheet of paper or an idea to a product and to create your own unique line of natural and/or organic skincare products.
It is designed specifically for those of you who wish to design a range of professional products using your own recipes plus gain a solid foundation in the business skills you need – creating a brand, meeting the needs of your ideal customers, the legalities of selling, and more.
You’ll learn about a much wider range of ingredients and in greater detail: more carrier oils, butters, waxes and essential oils and an introduction to cosmeceuticals and active botanicals (high-performance skincare ingredients). Instead of following our recipes/formulations, you’ll discover the art of creating your own professional formulations designed to suit your skin type or that of your customers.
The end result is a range of beautiful, unique high-performance products designed specifically for your customers or yourself.
What help is available if I need it?
The course is primarily designed as a self-study course. It takes a very thorough step-by-step approach and each module builds on the next. Therefore as you progress through the course you’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed to become an expert formulator.
When you sign up to the course you also get to join our private online student community (hosted via Facebook) to meet and discuss with other students, who have lots of knowledge, expertise and ideas to share. Our Formulation Tutor, Tina Svetek, is part of the group and is on hand to answer any questions you have as you work through the course.
What do I do if I can't buy ingredients/ raw materials locally?
1) In many cases you can use a substitute ingredient. It’s very easy to substitute ingredients such as carrier oils, essential oils, butters and waxes. We have written an article that gives you some tips on substituting ingredients which you can read here: How to substitute ingredients.
2) You can order from overseas. In the case of specialist ingredients like emulsifiers and preservatives you may have to order from overseas. Many suppliers based in the USA, UK and Australia will ship overseas. You’ll find a comprehensive supplier list included with the course.
Is the course certified? Will I get a certificate at the end?
At present there isn’t a global or UK-based accreditation body for Natural Skincare courses, therefore the Diploma course is independently certified by us to demonstrate that you have gained the skills and knowledge needed to formulate and make your own professional products that meet global regulatory standards.
It’s our most in-depth training that teaches you the skills and knowledge you need to design, formulate and create your own professional product range that meets global standards. Former students have gone on to launch their own product ranges in many countries around the world. You can see some of the brands they have started here.
On completion of the course, you are required to submit your assignments including formulation worksheets for a number of products in order for us to assess your understanding. These are very straightforward to complete once you have studied the materials. On successful completion of the assignments, we will issue your Certificate.
See our Accreditations and Memberships page for more information on our professional memberships and accreditations.