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Starting an Indie Beauty Brand? Helpful Tips and Key Considerations

In 1972, Arizona Natural Resources (ANR) began operations with a single product—mineral mud masks. Over our nearly 50 years in business, we added numerous other skin, hair, and other personal care products to our repertoire and, in the mid-1990s, shifted our focus to providing contract manufacturing solutions to those seeking to launch their own products or an indie beauty brand.

Contract manufacturing allows companies to hire a third-party company to produce custom goods for them. In the personal care product industry, these partnerships allow the contracting company to focus on other core business operations—such as marketing and distributing their cosmetic and other beauty products—without having to worry about development and production operations. As a result, they can significantly streamline internal operations and reduce overall operational costs. Both of these qualities are essential to the successful launch of an indie beauty brand.

How to Start an Indie Beauty Brand

If you’re planning to start an indie beauty brand, there are many factors that need to be considered to ensure the success of the business. Below we provide some helpful tips to guide you through the pre-launch process.

  1. Familiarize yourself with FDA regulations.In the United States, cosmetics and other personal care products are subject to regulations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These guidelines apply to both the manufacturing and marketing (i.e., the labeling and packaging) of the products. It is essential to obtain an understanding of the FDA and industry rules and regulations to ensure you conduct business legally.
  2. Create a niche product. The beauty industry is highly saturated. Standing out among the broad selection of products available necessitates choosing a product or narrow line of products that fill a void in the market.
  3. Test the product.Create samples and distribute them among a small group of your target audience to determine whether it meets you and your target market’s expectations.
  4. Figure out how to scale the business.When planning operations, it is important to leave room to grow. For example, hand-painted packaging offers a nice touch early on. However, it can severely limit your ability to accommodate a greater number of orders. Similarly, manufacturing and packaging products at home saves money initially, but forming a partnership with a contract manufacturer allows you to scale your supply to meet changing demand.
  5. Register the business.Before you begin operations, you need to register your business and secure business insurance. Employing the help of an accountant and lawyer earlier on can streamline both of these processes, but it is possible to fulfill these requirements by yourself at a lower cost.
  6. Develop branding and packaging.The aesthetic of your brand and product packaging should match your vision. Professional designers can help you create the vibe you want.
  7. Build a marketing strategy.Once the approved product is manufactured and packaged, you need to get the word out about its release. Your marketing strategy can include attending beauty industry events, posting on social media, forming partnerships with beauty influencers, and other marketing tactics.

Key Factors to Consider

If you’re looking to start a new beauty brand, you must make a critical decision: will you manufacture your products yourself, or will you partner with a contract manufacturer? While both options are viable, there are many reasons to choose the latter, including the following factors:

  • Cost-effectiveness:By outsourcing your manufacturing operations, you avoid the costs associated with purchasing manufacturing equipment and training employees to use it.
  • Production speed:The contract manufacturer you choose likely has experience producing similar products to the one(s) you require, they will typically have the knowledge and tools needed to optimize production operations.
  • Quality control:Contract manufacturers should already have the QC processes in place to guarantee the finished products meet industry standards and your standards.
  • Business focus:Contract manufacturing partnerships free up your time and resources to focus on other aspects of your business—e.g., customer service, quality assurance, and marketing—to ensure they get the attention necessary for your business’s success.

Once you’ve decided to go with contract manufacturing for your indie beauty products, the next step is finding the right manufacturer. Here are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind:

  • Do they have the resources (i.e., the experience, employees, and equipment) to produce your products?
  • Do they do business the way you want to do business? How will you assess performance or make changes?
  • Do they have the ability to grow with you? Can they handle the volume you require and give you the attention you deserve?

ANR: The Ideal Contract Manufacturing Partner

A contract manufacturer can help you get your indie beauty brand off the ground and into the hands (and hearts) of consumers. If you’re looking for an experienced partner, turn to the experts at ANR. To learn more about our contract manufacturing capabilities and how we can facilitate the success of your new business, contact us today.

indie beauty brand

By |July 22nd, 2020|Production|Comments Off on Starting an Indie Beauty Brand? Helpful Tips and Key Considerations

The Basics of Custom Formulating Your Skin Care Products

Arizona Natural Resources provides industry-leading contract manufacturing services to some of the world’s most well-known brands and Fortune 500 companies. Our expert custom formulating chemists, state-of-the-art equipment, along with our trained and experienced staff provide complete formulation development. We take your product ideas from concept through delivery in the highest quality standards while providing the most cost-effective solutions available.

Skin CareConsiderations for Skin Care Formulations

There are a variety of factors to be considered before choosing a contract manufacturer for custom formulating. Properly vetting your potential skin care product manufacturer could make the difference between a successful or unsuccessful product launch. We will work with you to create a formulation that meets your product idea and desired performance, while providing you transparency and honesty through the development; scale-up and product launch process.

Claims

The claims made about the purpose or effect of the product may determine the laws or regulations that impact them. For example, if a brand claims that the product can prevent or treat disease, it is considered a drug and will fall under the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an over-the-counter (OTC) product. As long as the claims made by the brand are purely cosmetic claims, they do not require FDA approval before releasing them to the public.  We will do our best to educate you on this aspect of product claims; however, we advise that our customers consult their legal counsel and/or regulatory consultant for review and approval before launching the product.

Custom Formulation Tips

The following tips will guide you toward a successful custom formulation for your product.

  • Ask the important questions: Who is the target market for this formulation? What are the benefits and attributes of this product? What is the expectation of appearance, color, texture and fragrance for this product? These are just a few questions to consider.
  • What is my cost: It is recommended that you have a cost in mind for the final product.  This will help us to guide you in development of the product.
  • Ingredient restrictions and key ingredients to include: Along with the target market, key ingredients and ingredient restrictions are vital to development of your formulation.  Providing a list of “must have” or key ingredients, a list of non-acceptable ingredients along with marketing claims, certifications and/or standards will help us in developing a product that matches your final product expectations.
  • What is the final packaging: It is important to have an idea of what size and shape container you desire for your product.  This information can be critical to formulation development and is also essential, along with initial order quantities, in providing you accurate costs for your finished product.
  • Time-line: Develop a time-line for your product.  Your time-line should include items such as:  product development time; formulation stability, PET and compatibility testing, packaging and decorating time; scale-up manufacturing and filling, shipping and most important anticipated launch date.  These are some of the critical items to consider when developing your time-line.
  • Test your formulas: Test your products, ensure it is done correctly, and document the results. This includes but is not limited to: stability testing, preservative effectiveness testing (PET) and compatibility testing.

When Quality and Consistency are Paramount

Many factors must be considered carefully before choosing your skin care contract manufacturer. It is essential to know the legal ramifications and the ins and outs of the custom formulating process. When safety, quality, consistency, and cost-effectiveness are critical, you need Arizona Natural Resources. Contact us today for help developing your skin care products.

 

By |June 22nd, 2020|Production|Comments Off on The Basics of Custom Formulating Your Skin Care Products

The 6 Crucial Steps to Skin Care Manufacturing

At Arizona Natural Resources, we have been a leading developer and contract manufacturer of skin care and haircare products since we were founded in 1972. We work alongside many prestigious companies ranging from up and coming startups to prestigious, highly visible brands (including Fortune 500 companies) to provide the best in personal care, hair care, and skin care manufacturing.

Our 132,000 sq. ft. TTB and FDA registered facility includes 23 production lines with fully integrated computer tracking for production and scheduling efficiency.  Currently we develop and manufacture a wide variety of products for our clients.  We have the capability to fill tubes, bottles, jars, pump products, powder and hot fills.

At Arizona Natural Resources, we offer contract manufacturing services for Hair Care, Skin and Body Care products. In this post, we will further discuss the steps we take to complete the skin care production process.

The Skin Care Manufacturing Process from Start to FinishSkin Care

While individual products may involve unique or additional processes, the majority of our production follows these steps:

1. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs)

If a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is requested by our customers, we are more than happy to oblige. Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance to us from conception through product launch. You can rely on Arizona Natural Resources to fulfill our obligation as a partner to your company and safeguard your proprietary information.

2. Conceptualizing the Product

Using our existing knowledge on formulas as a starting point we can modify formulas from our sample library adding your required ingredients, color and fragrance.  We can match a formula you like from the marketplace with the modifications you require or if provided with a concept we can develop a new formula for you.

3. Research & Development

In this phase, we will begin the process of turning your concept into reality. Our research and development (R&D) team will:

  • Start development on your product concept or modifications to an existing concept.
  • Consider the latest relevant trends and technologies
  • Identify potential ingredients for use in your formula and begin formula development
  • Provide samples for approval.

4. Stability and Preservative Effectiveness Testing

Once a formula has been approved and meets your expectations, we highly recommend 90 day accelerated stability testing and preservative effectiveness testing.  ANR, out sources this testing at a qualified Laboratory.

5. Filling & Pack-Out Services

ANR can provide filling and/or pack-out services. We are fully equipped to fill your formulas to meet the exceptional standards set forth by our Quality Department. During this step, we will compile the Bill of Materials for your product. Your Account Executive will help you determine any production sampling, pilot and line trial requirements along with any other special requests tailored to your needs.

6. Packaging Support

Packaging is an incredibly vital aspect in the marketability of your product, as it helps with brand identification and visual appeal. Packaging must be reviewed to ensure it is viable for the formula and to ensure that it can be filled with our equipment efficiently.

Everything at ANR is manufactured to each customer’s specifications, and we do not stock any packaging.  You have the option to provide us with your packaging or we can help guide you with your needs and acquire your packaging for you.  Currently, we can fill:

  • Bottles
  • Tubes
  • Airless pumps
  • Jars
  • Pouches

Label Manufacturing from Arizona Natural Resources

No matter what type of skin care product you are creating, working with a seasoned skin care manufacturer will make the process smoother and simpler. Ever since we were founded, it has been our goal to provide our customers with quality, service, value, honesty, and innovation. To work with our experts on your next project, contact us today.

By |January 28th, 2020|Production|Comments Off on The 6 Crucial Steps to Skin Care Manufacturing

Cosmetics and Preservatives

We are living in an era where consumers are seeking out products that are free from certain ingredients usually coined as “harmful”. The terms natural and organic are music to the ears of today’s consumer. Selecting products with these labels makes a lot of sense especially in food products, but is it really the wise choice when it comes to cosmetics? Especially when it comes to preservatives?

If you ever hear “that has a lot of preservatives” it usually is about something in a box or can with an expiration date many months or years away. The preservatives help keep it edible that long.

A preservative by definition is any substance or chemical that prevents decomposition in things such as medical drugs, food, drinks, and cosmetics.

For preservative suppliers, the rising demand for natural products has put them in a uncomfortable position. Unlike food products, preservation is essential for cosmetics. In response, companies are trying to deter the negative perception by offering products with greener or lower levels of preservatives. Also, other type of preservative formulations.

For example, Jeen International has recently showcased two liquid blends that can meet preservation needs of cosmetics, Jeecide AA and Jeecide AA Plus. “Even if the industry recognizes that there is no scientific basis of some for the stigma, our industry is responding to consumer perception,” said Albert Babik, general manager of Jeen.

Other companies alternative solutions are:

  • Preservatives free of phenoxyethanol
  • SharoSense preservatives composed of naturally-derived thymol and laboratory proven technology
  • Amplify which is a proven preservative technology combined with ethyl lauroyl arginate and free of paraben, formaldehyde, and CIT/MIT.

“The preservatives market is very dynamic with sudden changes driven by the latest regulatory restriction or even news and social media,” said David Koehl, global business manager of Troy, a home and personal care formulator company. For example Koehl said that phenoxyethanol which is and has been a safe and effective preservative is being scrutinized today because of bad information being put out on the Internet and social media. But that does not stop Troy from using it.

Just like many years ago it was suddenly popular for formulation companies to seek paraben-free preservatives and today parabens are accepted as safe and effective for formulations. Trends like these have made Phil Hindley, head of global marketing preservation say “If people want a sustainable preservation industry within home and personal care, then it needs to be done at collaborative level—suppliers, NGOs, etc.”

Rather than use negative advertising by throwing out labels such as “preservative-free,” the whole industry including NGOs need to work together to drive innovation and give consumers what they want. Because at the end of the day, there is no way moisturizers or shampoos lasts more than a month without any preservatives.

Source: http://www.happi.com/issues/2017-07-01/view_features/safety-dance/

By |October 26th, 2017|Production, Research & Development|Comments Off on Cosmetics and Preservatives

Formulation Tips For Men’s Grooming Products

The demand for men’s grooming products continues to grow. More men have begun to care about their personal appearance, such as their hair and skin. The men’s grooming product industry has doubled in size in the last 10 years. With that comes a rising demand for good formulations, as men’s hair and skin requirements are different and unique. If you are in or are looking to join the men’s grooming product industry, Arizona Natural Resources can help.

SpecialChem has a great set of formulation tips for men’s grooming products (registration required).

The male customer is looking for products that are quick, simple to use and deliver multiple benefits. These formulation tips can help you understand the different needs and product requirements men need based on their skin physiology. Consider Arizona Natural Resources as your partner when you are ready to formulate your male grooming line.

We can help you produce shaving creams, products for beard care, after shaves and facial care products, such as cleansing products and moisturizers.

By |August 8th, 2017|Production, Research & Development|Comments Off on Formulation Tips For Men’s Grooming Products

How To Choose The Right Beauty Care Manufacturer

Do you have a new beauty care product idea that you want to introduce to the market? If you wish to sell this beauty care product on a large scale, it should come as no surprise to learn that it will take an experienced manufacturer that knows what they are doing to fill a big order. Unlike the unregulated manufacturing of many products, the beauty care industry has rigorous standards. After all, you are dealing with products that contain ingredients that people will be applying directly to themselves with the potential to cause harm if something goes awry.

A manufacturer can promise you the world in a brochure or on their website, but you should get these questions answered outside of marketing materials to better understand if the manufacturer is right for you:

  • What kind of certifications do they have?
  • Will they be committed to your product formulation?
  • What will be the cost of your product formulation?
  • What is their minimum order size?
  • Where do they get their raw material from?
  • What expertise and experience do they have in your product type’s formulation and regulation?
  • What are their packaging restraints?
  • What is their storage availability for bulk product of multiple fills?
  • What is their R&D expertise?
  • Where are they located?
  • Where can their products be found?
  • Do they follow current good manufacturing practices regulations?
  • Do they have strong quality control?
  • Do they have a large R&D support?
  • Do they have technical transfer capabilities?
  • Are they committed to growing with you, for example being able to account for growing capacity needed?
  • What kind of historical knowledge and experience do they have with your kind of products?
  • Do they operate under a nondisclosure and confidentiality agreement?

Getting these questions answered is essential in having a strong partnership with a manufacturer. No manufacturing relationship is perfect. There will always be issues, but getting a good manufacturer that can stay committed despite obstacles is key because the cost of switching manufacturers is high and difficult.

By |June 22nd, 2017|Production|Comments Off on How To Choose The Right Beauty Care Manufacturer

ANR Going Green

ANR Going GreenWe at ANR take “green” initiatives and social responsibility seriously. Reducing a manufacturer’s carbon footprint is no longer a “nice but not necessary” practice. Why do ANR and other best-in-class companies “go green”? Buyers and consumers are taking environmental impact into consideration when they choose suppliers. That is why organizations such as Dun & Bradstreet now produce reports that evaluate “green” companies. We’re also seeing more and more requests for quotation (RFQs) from our customer base that ask us to provide information about our green initiatives.

Buyers and consumers are also considering social responsibility when making purchases. Social responsibility consists of established measurable corporate policies and procedures that result in behavior designed to benefit the workplace, the individual, the organization, and the community. Social responsibility is playing an increasingly significant role in decisions when it comes to purchasing by all consumers. A company that does not have a meaningful social responsibility program risks criticism from workers and/or consumers.

We at ANR have established the following initiates to reduce our Carbon Footprint and impact on local landfills:

  • Increased recycling / repurposing all incoming materials where possible and directly working with local landfill and recycling providers to reduce waste.

* Corrugate initiative through first 6 month of 2016 alone reduced GHG Emission by 5.03 tons which represent 6 passenger cars removed from the road and generated indirect water savings of 92804 gallons

  • Compressed work week to reduce power and water consumption during peak hours, reduce commuting impact of employees and lowering energy use during the week.
  • Replaced lighting in plant areas to higher efficiency / lower heat generating bulbs, lower use areas are activated by movement sensors so light are only illuminated as needed.
  • Increased review of new / additional materials for end of cycle handling to create awareness of handling with potential disposal and avoid environmentally dangerous products.
  • New high efficiency insulation roof.
  • Xeriscape landscaping emphasizing native and low water use plantings.
  • Ongoing employee empowerment and trainging to finding new opportunities in “Green” initiatives.
  • CRM (customer relationship management) including digital solutions and online website automated forms reducing paper trails and storing documents in shared digital customer portals.

Paul Bohm Arizona Natural Resources Director of Purchasing

JIM GURR Arizona Natural Resources Dir. of Filling Operations, Dir. Safety, Health & Environment

By |November 14th, 2016|Packaging, Production|Comments Off on ANR Going Green

Removing Ionic Impurities

Manufacturing High Quality Purified Water. Part 1 Removing Ionic Impurities.

anrwater

High quality purified water is a must in aqueous toiletry formulations. You can use the finest of raw materials and have the best processes in place, but if you are using poor quality water, it will most likely be detrimental to your formula. These detrimental effects can be apparent from the completion of your batch or may take place over time. If these detrimental effects take place over time, your product may already be in the field.

This may lead to customer complaints, a product recall or even a loss of business and reputation. Manufacturing high quality purified water for toiletries does not need to be overly complicated or extremely expensive. The best place to start is to find and set a water quality specification you are trying to achieve for your product formulations. There is much information on the internet and in books to determine what specifications you want to achieve. You may even want to contact your local water filtration company for advice. Once you have a specification set, you can determine the type of water system you want to use. Two of the main goals for achieving high quality purified water should be removing ionic and organic impurities. Ionic impurities can wreck havoc on any product formulation. Ionic impurities can cause unstable emulsions, out of spec viscosities, color drifts, color bleaching or even a yellowing of product over time. The list goes on and on. Ionic impurities need to be removed to produce a high quality stable product. Removing ionic impurities is achieved by using water deionization filtration tanks. There are Cationic resin, Anionic resin and mixed bed resin tanks. Cationic resin tanks have a positive charge and remove ionic impurities such as calcium, iron, potassium, sodium, magnesium and manganese. Anionic resin tanks have a negative charge and remove ionic impurities such as nitrates, chlorides, sulfates, carbonate, silica and bicarbonates. These two types of tanks can be placed in tandem inline on your water filtration system. A mixed bed resin deionization tank is a combination and contains both Cationic and Anionic resins. This achieves both negative and positive charge deionization. There are other pieces of equipment that should always be attached to the deionization tank/tanks. A pre-filter should be placed before the tank/tanks. This will help eliminate any sediment that may be in the city water from entering the tank/tanks. A pressure regulator and or a flow meter should be placed before the deionization tank/tanks also. Most deionization tanks have both a pressure rating and a water flow rating. Rising above these ratings will make your water not meet specification and deemed unusable. A resistivity sensor should be placed after the tank/tanks. The light will indicate when your tank/tanks have lost their charge and are spent. This means it is time to change to a new tank/tanks. The sensitivity of your resistivity sensor should be based on the water specifications that were decided to achieve. These suggestions are enough to get you going on removing ionic impurities. These suggestions are by far not the only way to do this process but are tried and proven processes for removing the ionic impurities. In the next blog I will write about removing organic impurities.

TRAVIS MCCHESNEY Arizona Natural Resources Senior Manufacturing Manager

By |October 7th, 2016|Production|Comments Off on Removing Ionic Impurities

Individually Wrapped Bottles Increase Labor Costs

Sometimes you are not made aware of everything you should ask your customer supplied packaging provider when quoting for your packaging.

Case in point: Picture #1 is a box of bottles that every bottle had been individually bagged. This brings additional costs to a project if not accounted for in the initial quoting process, these additional costs  are reflected in:
· Added time of the run, bottles aren’t available to run until they are de-bagged so you need to have some of this done prior to starting the line just to stay ahead
· To do the job of de-bagging requires additional people on the line and the faster the run the more people it requires
If you look more closely at the picture you will notice that the bottles are not uniformly packed – some are facing up, some are facing down and some not in this picture were laying on their side. In a best case scenario we would open a box from the end where the bottom of the bags were packed which allows us to more quickly grab the ends and pull them off.

 

Now look at the second picture…the bags and bottles work together to a heightened static charge.
When an operator tries to throw the bags away the bags can’t be just be dropped, even shaking the hands only works sporadically and it taking too long to get the bags off the hands results in a slowdown in the labeling. The bags can stick to an operator, the machine and parts between.
When the run is finished there there is additional time spent to clean up all the bags.
Of course if the customer determines this is what is best for their packaging it can be handled…but can effect your labor cost beyond a package that can be simply opened and placed on the filler.
Make sure to ask about all the details when you are working with your customer supplied packaging provider to effectively control your labor costs.

 Jim Gurr – ANR Dir. of Filling Operations, Dir. Safety, Health & Environment

By |September 29th, 2016|Packaging, Production|Comments Off on Individually Wrapped Bottles Increase Labor Costs