How to Start a Cosmetic Business in the Philippines

If there is one singular fact that emanates among people, across cultures, regardless of social status, it’s this: everyone wants to look good. And by that logic, people will always seek cosmetic and beauty products that can bring them to this end. 

That is why despite any economic turmoils, the cosmetic industry in the Philippines remains to thrive dynamically. And getting on board with the trend may be your diamond in the rough to transform your life’s fortunes. So, if you’re looking for tips on how to start a cosmetic business in the Philippines, keep reading!

How to Start a Cosmetic Line Business in the Philippines

1. Find your niche

The United States and European Union have a consensus on the definition of cosmetics which is any product intended to be rubbed, poured, sprayed on, or applied directly in contact with external parts of the human body. That said, there is a wide spectrum of cosmetic products available for sale. 

Finding your cosmetic niche allows you to focus on a specific line of products instead of saturating the entire industry. You also trim down your competition further, in turn, obtain greater liberty on your pricing strategy, and increase your chances of cornering the market for your own.

Here are some common cosmetic niches to delve into in the Philippines:

  • Make-up
  • Lipstick
  • Creams
  • Nail polishes
  • Emulsions
  • Lotions 
  • Bath and shower preparations
  • Hair conditioning products 

You always have the freedom to capitalize on various niches at once, but that will greatly increase your capital needs and other important factors.

2. Decide if you’ll make your own, resell, or rebrand?

Like other businesses, you may choose to make your own line of cosmetic products or search for existing products you may resell, or find white label products that you can rebrand as your own.

All of them have their advantages and drawbacks, and it falls on you to decide which one you’d like to pursue. Here is a quick guide to follow:

  • Making your own cosmetic products

This process can be easy, tricky, or downright difficult depending on your formula. It would be best to start it out as a hobby and build your expertise from there. Making your own cosmetic line in the Philippines is not recommended for beginners. Conversely, it can be liberating if you managed to create a beauty product that revolutionizes the cosmetic scene!

Let’s say you want to create your own “organic” facial cream, you can confidently advertise that it is indeed made up of organic ingredients since you are the one who concocted the product. You also have more leeway on its pricing and packaging look. If you go down the road of a business expansion, you can offer it under a resellers program or a rebranding scheme for your customers.

Keep in mind though that, you’ll be spending more capital on sourcing the ingredients and materials for creating your formula. On top of that, precision in measuring each ingredient is vital for a standard formula.

For the ingredients, you may find most of them on amazon.com and alibaba.com under the beauty/personal care category. Before transacting with a supplier overseas, you might want to double-check if the same ingredients can be found locally so you can save up on shipping costs.

  • Reselling cosmetic products

Reselling is the easier route if you don’t have the time and money to devise your own formula. Many international and local manufacturers are open for reselling and it has been proven a profitable business. Think about how successful Avon and Mary Kay are, although there are some SMEs that also have started their mini line of cosmetics.

Although the capital you need to shell out is smaller, you have limited control over your profit margin. Moreover, finding manufacturers can be vexing and there is no assurance that the product is 100% safe and FDA approved. 

For example, if a reseller offers a lip tint to soothe chapped lips and most of your clients post reviews that their lips get wounded and dry when using your products, then that might be red flag.

So in case you opt for reselling, make sure to research if the company is true to their word with regards to the formula and ingredients labeled on the product. In this way, you can save yourself from customers’ negative reviews and your own business falling apart.

  • Rebranding cosmetic products

Rebranding a white label cosmetic product is the middle ground between reselling and selling your own line. Think about a distributor offering their ready-made products and all you have to do is put your own brand/label/logo and then market it accordingly.

Essentially, you buy the rights of an existing item and sell it under your own company. Unlike reselling, you have more freedom over your profitability since the price of the product provided by the third-party company is fixed. The only challenging part is finding white-label manufacturers, and ensuring the safety of the products.

Like what we mentioned earlier, do your due diligence in making sure the products are 100% safe and FDA approved.

3. Gather your capital

The capital you spend is determined by the first two items in this list, not the other way around. The number of cosmetic products you sell and the manner of sourcing these items may keep your cosmetic business startup costs low or stretch your budget.

For starters, you may find and sell cosmetic products in the Philippines with a startup cost as low as ₱1,000 but this is limited to reselling some products. On the other hand, the cost of rebranding products is also low, but some manufacturers may need a minimum quantity before you can order. while if you plan on making your own line of cosmetics, you will need to shell out some more funds for the ingredients and pieces of equipment needed — this can range from ₱10,000 to ₱100,000.

4. Search for suppliers

Aside from coming up with startup funds, finding suppliers is the most challenging portion of establishing a cosmetic business in the Philippines. You will either need suppliers for your equipment and ingredients for those that plan to make their own products or finished products for resellers and rebranders.

You can scour your local department stores for basic supplies like gloves, temperature guns, funnels, mixing spoons and bowls, and spray bottles. While lab equipment supplies like hot plates, pyrex measuring cups or beakers, bench scales, pH strips, and pipets, can be found in dedicated laboratory supplies shops or the following stores:

We’ll list popular cosmetic manufacturers later so stay tuned!

5. Register your business

Cosmetics may be a thriving industry in the country, but it’s not without proper regulation. Remember that users will apply your products to their bodies, so their safety should be your utmost priority. Otherwise, you’re looking at potential lawsuits and worse, jail time, if you fail to comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s guidelines.

You may click through the hyperlink to learn the detailed process of registering a cosmetic business in the Philippines, but here are the general steps:

  1. Obtain an FDA License to Operate (this applies to those who wish to manufacture, distribute, legally import, and re/sell wholesale cosmetic products)
  2. Notify the FDA of the requirements indicated in the Electronic Cosmetic Product Notification manual
  3. For manufacturers, adhere to the manufacturing requirements set by the FDA.
    1. The personnel, premises, equipment, sanitation, and hygiene must align with the ASEAN GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines.
    2. Ingredients used must abide by the ASEAN cosmetic regulations.
    3. Proper labeling of the products must be observed. 

6. Employ effective pricing tactics

The price of your cosmetic product is your prerogative. However, if you want a successful cosmetic company in the Philippines, a culmination of affordability and high quality is key.

For the pricing of manufactured cosmetics, you may use the cost-plus pricing strategy where the price of your items must cover the total yield produced per unit ingredient used, total labor cost, and utility bills while ensuring handsome profitability on your part.

Reselling products is a bit more sensitive as there can be other distributors selling the same product at cheaper price points. Find the middle ground where your product costs hover around the same ballpark as others, but sometimes, the manufacturer sets their own reseller’s price.

There is more freedom in the costing strategy of rebranded products because they are essentially yours to sell. Add your profit margin that covers the white label contract and shipment fee, but make the price reasonable for your consumers.

7. Market your products

You may choose to rent out a commercial business space if your market investigation reveals that it’s profitable for your locality, but that will add up to your initial start-up costs. We recommend you check out our list of 20 Effective Ways to Promote & Market Your Business in the Philippines so you can reach out to more potential customers. For a quick rundown, here are some tips:

  • Create a dedicated page where consumers can contact you for orders and inquiries and a space where you can post updates, product lists, and promos
  • Build a private group where you can mingle with your avid customers and religious product users
  • Sell them via the Facebook marketplace
How to Start a Cosmetic Business in the Philippines

Popular Cosmetic Manufacturers in the Philippines

So, are you set on becoming the CEO of your cosmetic business in the Philippines? Here are some cosmetic manufacturers, rebranders, and resellers you may contact for your business needs. However, keep in mind to be vigilant and always check the legitimacy of the seller to steer clear of the prolific scam fest in the Philippines.

Facebook Pages:

  1. Rebrand G.

Number: 0975 642 6953 

Email: rebrandg.biz@gmail.com 

  1. Naturale Cosmetics & Skin Care Supplier

Email: naturale.inquiries@gmail.com 

  1. Supplier & Rebranding Davao

Email: mcbboquecosa@gmail.com 

  1. A.R Skincare and Cosmetics Rebranding Direct Supplier

Number: 0965 372 0976

Email: annerdc06@gmail.com 

  1. Apparels and Cosmetics Supplier PH

Number: 0931 142 8718

Email: abkdahouseofdollies@gmail.com 

Facebook Groups:

  1. Cosmetics Rebranding Supplier And Distributor
  2. Cosmetics Rebranding and Bottle Supplier
  3. MQ Cosmetics PH
  4. Cosmetics Packaging and Rebranding PH
  5. Soap, Skincare & Beauty products Supplier: Rebranding & Wholesale

Is a Cosmetic Line Business Profitable in the Philippines?

Yes. No matter what economic downturn, a cosmetic business in the Philippines will remain profitable because people desire to always look vibrant and appealing. But not all cosmetic businesses that open up in the country become profitable due to two main reasons:

  • Incredibly high competition 
  • Hassle of securing all legal documentation to operate a cosmetic business

But with the right resources, concoctions, and determination, you can start a cosmetic business in the Philippines from scratch and even compete with the country’s cosmetic giants! In need of more business tips? Check out our ultimate guides below:

How to Start a Cosmetic Business in the Philippines

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.