Hi folks. Today I will give you a brief idea about the Diploma in Organic Skincare Course by the online formulation institute, Formula Botanica. Many of you who follow natural skincare bloggers might already have come across this institute, but for those who doesn’t know, let me tell you about it.
This is an accredited online organic skincare school based in UK. The courses they offer are self paced and they have students from all over the world. The courses include Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma in streams like skincare, haircare, cosmetic preservation etc, to name a few.
Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation
This course is for beginners in formulation and is divided into 8 modules. Each module has two or three submodules. Apart from the course material, the website also provides a student librabry which has study resources and, an online classroom hosted in Facebook. This online classroom is where the students interact with other students and feature their products for suggestions. The course duration is 2 years and the final project has to be submitted within this time frame.
What does this course offer
Formula botanica provides a framework for us to get started, in the Diploma course. So don’t expect to be spoon fed on formulations. The course in itself is quite basic and simple. Each module needs to be unlocked by passing an online test of previous module. You get three attempts to pass this quiz. You can finish all these course material in no time. Each submodule has a basic formulation video, course notes, video notes and any additional info documents.
The real work starts when you start researching on ingredients and for mulations. Formula botanica facilitates the students to start exploring more on the topics. Google is the real guru here and the amount of information you research will be directly proportaional to the progress in the course.
The final test will be the only time you submit a formulation to the tutors and it will decide whether you pass the course and get the diploma certificate. The best students and their work will find a place in the Student Hall of Fame.
This course doesn’t give you the license to sell in shops and it doesn’t equip you to test the products yourself. It is all about how to approach natural skincare formulation, in a systematic manner.
Who should take this course:
If you are someone who is looking for DIY skincare recipes or want to take formulation as a hobby, I would suggest you check Youtube videos and blogs. There are so many recipes and information online that you can try successfully. You can also sign up for the Certificate courses offered by Formula Botanica or take up the course by School of Natural skincare.
But if you want to take it up as a profession you should definitely go for the course. Incase you are already a formualtor and would like to learn in depth, go for the Advanced diploma. But incase you like specifically to learn about product preservation, face mask formulation etc, they offer certificate courses.
Time, space and investment : These three factors are essential to successfully complete the course. Researching about ingredients and formulating, will require alot of time. Then you need to buy the raw materials and equipments, and as you know organic ingredients are expensive. Then you need to set up a small lab in your home and start your formulation experiments.
My experience with the course:
I went through many months of procastination before signing up for this course. I reached out to many students of Formula Botanica to get a better idea of the course. I have been into natural skincare for about 5 years now and I have been blogging for more than 3 years. So for me, this feels like a natural progression. Having used natural skincare products of many many brands over the years, I know the existing gaps and I hope to fill them with high quality skincare products one day.
Since the course is self paced, I take it up over weekends mostly. Each student approaches the course differently, so there is no hard and fast way of learning. I have a full time job and family responsibilities. So I take it up mostly when I have enough time to spare.
Formulating a product is a tedious process. You end up wasting most of these expensive ingredients initially. A slight temperature change, measurement variation, pH variation can all affect the quality of the end product. Documenting all these observations is another task.
You can find my formulations on our Insta . I also share easy formulations with the blog subscribers.
So far the tutors have conducted two video live sessions. In these sessions we interact with other students, all over the world and share our views on certain ingredients, formulations or products.
Coming to starting a business, from what I understand getting a license is a costly affair. Some people go for it and some of these licensed formulators even demotivate other home based formulators from selling their products. So this path obviosuly comes with hurdles, but there is also a strong community that supports you when in need.
Some things I learned:
- If a product is hydrous(containing water), preservation is essential for the safety of the consumer.
- An unpreserved natural skincare product containing water content, pose safety issues to the user. Preservation is essential for product stability and shelf life.
- The formulation process can alter the characteristics of ingredients. The benefits of ingredients might not be transferred to the end product. Hence the claims by skincare brands may not hold true for the end product, if the right formulation method, temperature requirements are not followed.
- No skincare brand in the market is supposed to make claims of their products having healing effects.
- These days most products, lists the ingredients not present in the product, to attract customers. ‘No parabens’, ‘No fragrance’ etc are common in Indian market. This is banned in EU, which has one of the most stringent laws on cosmetics. Brands should rather be transparant about the ingredients present in the product and as customers, we should read the label and avoid the ones that doesn’t display all ingredients.
- A transparent brand claiming to be natural will disclose full ingredient list including the list of allergens in the Essential oils (if present in the stated proportions) and not just the active ingredients.
- Essential oils are not to be messed with. They can do more harm than good, if used directly on skin and not within the dermal limits. This varies for each essential oil.
Now let me answer some questions you folks sent me in Insta about the course:
- I did their sample class, didn’t find it intriguing. So is the course worth it.
The community feeling and the exposure to all the wonderful formulators around the world, is the best part of the course. As I said, the course material is pretty simple and straight forward. The video classes are going to be similar to the sample class. So it is upto you to decide, what you are looking for and choose accordingly.
- Are ingredients and equipments easily available in India?
Again, it is upto you to decide what ingredients and equipments to work with. Basic ingredients used in the course material like oil, hydrosol, waxes etc are available in Amazon and with many other suppliers. Incase the ingredients you are looking for are not available, you can get it imported from some other place.
- How is the level of diffculty in teaching method? Can someone with no experience in formulation actually formulate with this course?
As I mentioned, the course is very simple and apt for a beginner. Yes, this course is especially designed keeping beginners in mind.
Formulation is not an easy task. Many successful products in the market are a result of years of experiments and lab tests. The consumer safety should be given utmost priority. Your interest, patience and effort is what matters to successfully complete the course.
Incase you have any further doubts, please comment below and I shall reply soon.