According to Research and Markets, the Global Organic Skincare market is estimated to grow to a value of $17.57 Billion by 2028, that’s almost double its value at USD 9.75 Billion in 2021. The growing interest is primarily dominated by female shoppers in skincare and organic & natural cosmetic products searching for clean beauty products that are chemical-free, especially in skincare creams, serums, and moisturizers infused with organic components.
With beauty industry advancements and innovations promise to deliver better products with a wellness twist, beauty business owners are tapping into the services of cosmetic chemists such as Cynthia Johnson, Founder & CEO of Cindy J Cosmetic Labs, LLC, a cosmetic formulation laboratory for Cosmetic business owners who want to start their own line of products (like Hair Care, Skin Care, Men’s Care, Baby Care, and Bath & Body Care).
There is an opportunity for indie beauty brands to take advantage of organic formulated products. Cynthia Johnson, Cosmetic Scientist
Due to growing demand, Cynthia launched The Cosmetic Concept: Planner for Product Development, a product development planner to assist beauty owners in streamline the product R&D process for makeup, skincare and organic & natural cosmetic products. In addition to the planner, the The Cosmetic Concept LLC is on a mission is to create an ecosystem of product development resources aimed to help independent emerging beauty founders remain motivated, organized and on task as they strategize to bring their visions from concept to reality.
The Planner For Product Development has several features to keep beauty bosses inspired and on task while executing their vision including:
- 12-month undated planner with tabs so that you can start the journey any time
- Monthly at-a-glance & weekly planning calendars to create routines and schedules
- Goal setting worksheets & prompts to help you gain clarity on your vision
- Workbooks for strategic guidance in 4 areas of product development including:
- Research & Development
- Custom designed planner stickers to help you organize and prioritize with color and flare
- Writing space to let your thoughts, dreams and ideas flow freely
Meet the founder of Cindy J Labs, Cynthia Johnson
Cynthia Johnson is the Founder & CEO of Cindy J Cosmetic Labs, LLC. She is a cosmetic chemist with years of experience in the cosmetic industry. Cynthia Johnson earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from The Lincoln University. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Cosmetic Science from the University of Cincinnati. She started her own formulation laboratory for Cosmetic business owners who want to start their own line of products.
Cynthia’s goal is to help business owners gain knowledge behind their product; moreover, turn their product into their own testimony. Cindy J Cosmetic Labs, LLC focuses on delivering products that will benefit the customer and the target market.
She is a Green Star Award Recipient sponsored by the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. She created a Strawberry Cream Cleanser with blue light protection. The award was determined by the society’s assessment of the product’s novelty as well as its level of innovation in the formulation. One key accomplishment of formulating a green product was the ability to maximize the natural components in the cleanser. The higher the Green Star rating, the “greener’ the product. She also received the Graduate of the Last Decade Award (G.O.L.D.) from the University of Cincinnati in November 2021. The award recognizes a graduate from the College of Pharmacy within the last ten years, who has made significant contributions to the college and/or the profession.
In addition to receiving awards, Cynthia Johnson has made guest appearances as the keynote speaker at the Twin Cities Natural Hair Care Expo in Minneapolis, Startup Retail Summit, and FEM STEM Bahamas Webinar Series. Cynthia was most recently featured in the October 2020 issue of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine. The article highlights Black Scientists, Doctors, and Entrepreneurs innovating the beauty industry. Her mission is to extend access to innovative ideas to the minority business community. Cynthia Johnson is proud to serve as Chair for the 2022 year with the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.
What inspired you to launch The Cosmetic Concept and how has the journey running Cindy J Labs been so far?
My clients inspired me to launch The Cosmetic Concept. I have been a cosmetic chemist for over seven years and I have helped dozens of emerging beauty founders with formulation development. I started my laboratory in my parent’s basement in 2018. I am currently in a 1200 sq. ft laboratory facility where I help brand owners leverage their development needs.
I noticed a common pain point amongst their journey of product development. I always receive the question of “What’s Next?” after formulating their new product. How could I reduce their level of friction and frustration? How could I become even more accessible to their product needs? I started to think about my late grandmother and uncle. I thought about how they loved to educate and give back to their community. So, I came up with the solution, A Planner for Product Development.
Operating Cindy J Cosmetic Labs and launching The Cosmetic Concept has exhibited the inspiring dedication to helping Black women feel empowered as they break into the beauty industry. When I won the Green Star Award from the Society of Cosmetic Chemists in 2019 and the Graduate of the Last Decade Alumni Award from the University of Cincinnati in 2021, I saw the endless possibilities I could achieve as a cosmetic chemist. I began to network and expand my knowledge in the cosmetic science industry. I am proud to say that I will be the new Area IV Director of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists where I will continue to affect change in an industry that lacks inclusivity. I will do this by using my businesses as accessible resources and by creating an ecosystem of product development resources.
What are some of the most important qualities that a cosmetic chemist should have?
A cosmetic chemist should have both formulating and non-formulating qualities. Besides the ability to use chemistry to research and develop cosmetic products, a cosmetic chemist should be innovative and accessible. Innovation requires thinking outside of the box and networking with other types of industry experts. Cosmetic chemists should have the ability to collaborate with others. Albert Einstein says, “We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used to create them.”
How well do you understand the regulations and requirements that apply to the cosmetic industry?
Because of my work experience in the beauty industry, I was able to take on projects that required thorough research in regulations, not just in the U.S., but in major federal agencies like the Europe and China market. I carried this foundation to my business so that I could help the smaller businesses who do not have adequate access to regulations.
Do you have experience working with natural ingredients? If so, what are some examples?
My very first project as a cosmetic chemist in 2015 required me to reformulate a line of products that included natural ingredients. It is safe to say that because of this project, I gained an understanding of what the trend will look like in 5 years. In 2019, I created a product that was formulated with green chemistry and maximized its functionality using natural components. This product became an award winning formulation! Because of this prestigious award presented by the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, I started to captivate beauty founders who wanted natural components in their formulation.
What are some key factors an aspiring beautypreneur should consider before creating their first product?
A key pain point that I see during the Product Development process is building a branding strategy.
Beautypreneurs can have a great product idea; however, what is the story behind the product? Why are you in business? I have also observed that marketing strategies have not been designed before heading to a manufacturer. Because of these pain points, we created The Planner for Product Development that not only teaches founders about the product development process, but also provides strategic guidance from idea to concept to launch. We focus on the four (4) areas of product development- Branding, Marketing, Research & Development, and Manufacturing.
When performing lab tests, what is the most important test you perform on each batch of product?
Before we transfer the ownership of a formula to a brand, we stress the importance of stability testing to a client. Stability testing determines the shelf-life of a cosmetic product. Moreover, I am starting to see more products being recalled from shelves and stores because of issues with microbes. This shows me that brands are not taking advantage of preservative testing. Preservative efficacy testing determines how functional and constructive the preservation system of a product is when killing microbes such as bacteria, yeast, and mold. This type of testing is not common for small, indie beauty brands and it is our job as chemists to educate our community.
Who owns the intellectual property (not sure if this is the technical word for it) for the product formulation?
Every cosmetic chemist is different. For Cindy J, we transfer the ownership of intellectual property to the brand owner. This includes the raw materials, procedure, concentration, specifications, testing reports, and material safety data sheets.
If a client wants to expand their product line to include new items. How would you go about recommending products that they should add?
Recommendations of new products are usually considered when focusing on the target market. I always encourage clients to launch a hero product based on their consumer research. Once they have launched, they can then collect data from their target market and their needs. The question should never be who can use my product, but how can my product solve my market’s problem.
Where can aspiring beautypreneurs go to learn more about your services and schedule a consultation?
Beautypreneurs can visit my website www.cindyjlabs.com or follow my Instagram page @cindyjlabs for formulation services. They can also visit The Cosmetic Concept to purchase a Planner for Product Development before reaching out to an industry expert. Our website is www.thecosmeticconceptllc.com and our Instagram page is @thecosmeticconcept.
I have over 10 years of experience in the retail industry including expertise in marketing, operations, merchandising, buying, shopping and technology. I am a former senior managing director of The School of Retailing, University of Alberta. My education includes a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from The University of Alberta in Marketing, Certificate in Real Estate and a Diploma in Fashion Merchandising and Buying from LasSalle College, a Canadian private school founded in 1959 by fashion designer Jean-Paul Morin.