Yes, a dermatologist can start a cosmetic line. As a matter of fact, a dermatologist has the upper hand with skin products because they know what works well with each skin type better than the average person, and they can create things like an eczema skin scrub and make lots of money.
However, you do not need to be a dermatologist to start a cosmetic line. If you are one then you can definitely make good use of what you know and maybe even advertise the fact that you are a dermatologist to sell your products, but it is not mandatory to be one.
There is no need to have a bachelor’s, or any kind of formal training, to start a cosmetics line. What people usually do is to hire a chemist to create a custom formula for their products. It is the fastest way to go from a concept to a fully fleshed product.
While selling a popular cosmetics brand in the office can create a revenue stream for dermatology practices, it is more likely that practices that have their names – and not another company’s name on those products – will reap other bottom line benefits, like client loyalty, repeat business and greater name recognition.
Dermatologists can promote their brand by giving out samples at events, creating gift baskets for charities, and more. In each case, it is critical to pay attention to how the product looks, and how your clients respond to it. Dermatologists can also bundle their branded products into the services they offer.
If they sell facial skincare products, they might bundle a month’s worth into facial laser, microdermabrasion, or peel procedures as pre and post-treatment care.
How to Start a Cosmetic Line as a Dermatologist
The cosmetics industry is growing at a rapid rate. With the explosion of indie cosmetic lines, the rise in demand for organic products, and growing interest in sustainability, many entrepreneurs are seeing new opportunities in the beauty space and seeking knowledge on how to start a cosmetic business. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started.
Think like a beauty entrepreneur
Note that the first step to becoming a successful beauty entrepreneur involves working on yourself. Getting your mindset sorted is critical to starting your journey of launching a beauty product business.
Being a dermatologist, this can be quite easy since you already understand the industry, but as you start to work through all of the steps required to create a successful cosmetic line, you will realize that starting your own cosmetic line will be one of the hardest and yet most rewarding steps you’ll ever take, which means that you need to be prepared.
Create a strong brand
Branding is simply the act of creating a story that creates an emotional response with your target market. It is quite easy to think that your brand is ‘just’ your logo, but your cosmetic line is so much bigger than that. Note that your brand means nothing without the context of everything that you stand for, especially as a dermatologist.
Each and every part of your career and cosmetic line, from your approach to clients, formulation, packaging, website, marketing, and visuals has to work together and create an emotional response from your target customers so that they truly engage with your brand.
Decide on your business model and manufacturing strategy
If you have the expertise, time, and equipment, then you can make your own cosmetics. However, you will need to choose the right business model for your needs and then choose a manufacturing model that fits your business, as the two decisions go hand in hand.
Once you decide which business model fits best with your dreams, you can grow your business to get bigger, or you can shrink it down to become smaller. The deciding factor is you because you know what’s best for your own personal circumstances and your business.
Sort out your finances
Note that you can’t create a successful cosmetic line without having a firm grip on finances. Right from the very beginning, you need to make sure you set your business up properly and get your finances under control. It is no good thinking that because you are going to start a cosmetic business as a dermatologist, you can avoid thinking like a business from day one.
Note that the key to success is knowing how to bring in cash, where and when to spend money, and how to make sure everything is balanced. After you have arranged a financial plan in place for your cosmetic line, it is time to look at the products you are going to be selling.
First, look at how you cost those products – in other words, how much does it cost you to make each unit? You must include costs such as your ingredients, packaging, labels, and very importantly, your own time. If you had to outsource the manufacture of your beauty products, it would cost you to hire someone to do it – make sure you include your labor costs.
Establish your retail strategy
Once you start a cosmetic business as a dermatologist, you will have to make a decision as to where you plan to sell your products. Will you primarily sell in your office or through your website? Will you sell from market stalls? Will you pitch to high-end retailers to stock your cosmetic line?
Will you sell through Instagram or in spas or on Amazon? Indeed there are dozens of retail channels you can choose from. If you decide to work with retailers, you will first decide which retail category you fit into, e.g. mass, luxury, etc. It is easy to think that your cosmetic line can be sold anywhere to anyone, but nothing could be further from the truth.
In order to determine which retail category you fit into, it is extremely important that you receive lots of brutally honest feedback about your brand, your formulations, your packaging, and your price points. Once you know where to pitch your beauty products, you will be in a much stronger position to start a cosmetic business at home.
Create a strong PR, marketing, and sales strategy
Note that marketing and selling your beauty products can be one of the most challenging parts of starting a cosmetic business, even for a cosmetic professional like a dermatologist. Ideally, as a dermatologist, you may love formulating more than you love selling.
However, once you infuse your passion into your beauty business, people will sit up and pay attention to what you are saying, especially since they already know how much experience you have in the industry.
Note that so many beauty entrepreneurs now want to sell directly to consumers. Every single cosmetic line needs a digital marketing strategy. It is no longer enough to sell face to face in your office or through retail alone. If you want your cosmetic line to be successful, then you will have to consider infusing digital marketing into the core of your business.
To effectively keep track of all of these different marketing activities and your overall plan, as well as the events and social pages around your new launches or seasonal events, you need to create a marketing calendar. A marketing calendar will help you to remain consistent and map out your plans for the year ahead so that you do not run out of ideas.
The global natural and organic beauty market was worth US$11.5 billion in 2018 and is set to more than double by 2025, reaching an estimated US$23.6 billion by the end of 2025 and growing at a CAGR of 9.4 percent during 2019-2025.
Owing to these growths, it is exciting to see dermatologists taking the leap into the sector by empowering themselves to become organic formulators. They are not only learning how to design unique natural skin care lotions and hair conditioners, these experts are also turning their passion for botanical ingredients into something bigger than themselves.