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 1500+ students in 40+ 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! Enrolling now.
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
Yes, I’m ready to become a skincare formulator!
“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
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?
Yes! The course is a fully online training program that consists of online training videos, downloadable workbooks and worksheets and an online student mastermind group. It is designed to be taken from home from anywhere in the world and the products we make meet global quality and safety standards. We’ll provide information on ingredient suppliers in many different countries and will guide you to the relevant regulations wherever you are based, too. We have students in over 25 countries so you’ll be joining a thriving community of global students when you join!
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?
Yes, when you have finished the course there will be several assignments to submit. These are straightforward to complete and based on the material covered in the class. On successful completion, your course certificate will be issued.
How long will I have access to the course?
You will have access to the online classroom for three years. Plenty of time to study all the materials and have your product line designed! You can also download many of the materials to save on your own computer and keep for longer than that and if you wish to renew your access for another year this is possible too, for a small fee.
Are there set lessons to do on specific days or can you do it in your own time?
The course is a self-study, self-paced course so you can study at a time that suits you and complete the course as quickly or slowly as you wish. All the lessons are prerecorded so they are available for you at any time.
I don’t have any experience, is the course still suitable for me?
Yes you can certainly take the Diploma class as a beginner. In fact it will ensure that you learn the correct way to design and create products right from the start so it is a great way to begin your journey with making products!
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,
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
2) You can order from overseas. In the case of specialist ingredients like emulsifiers and
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.