How to source cosmetic ingredients 

Learning how to source cosmetic ingredients is important because you can’t make chocolate cake without cocoa, and you can’t make great cosmetic formulas without a good range of cosmetic ingredients.

Cosmetic formulas contain multiple ingredients, and even when you are formulating cosmetics professionally, you cannot get all your cosmetic ingredients from one source. In fact, when you are a Cosmetic Chemist, it is quite normal for a formula containing 12 ingredients to need to be sourced from around 8 different suppliers; and some formulas you need even more ingredients and an even greater range of suppliers!

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So even when you are starting out, you will need to go to more than 1 cosmetic raw material supplier for all of the ingredients you need.

When you are purchasing small amounts of different cosmetic ingredients, where can you go to get them?

The FIRST and BEST place to start your sourcing is our Ingredient Suppliers tab on our Create Cosmetic Formulas site.


On this suppliers page, you’ll see a global list of cosmetic ingredient suppliers in 28 different countries, all with different types of ingredients – some just a few, others a few thousand!

The next best thing you can do to start building your ingredient knowledge, is to get to know the types of ingredients that you can source readily from the suppliers in your country, as well as near your country.

Please watch this video where Belinda shows you how to search for cosmetic ingredient suppliers

- you need to search the cosmetic ingredient suppliers near you in the same way

As you’ll see in this video, different suppliers will sometimes call their cosmetic ingredients by different names. Check the INCI names your suppliers use to make sure they match with any INCI names we provide, and/or that they match the trade names they provide.

The better you know what each of your nearby suppliers can provide, the more creative you can get when creating your formulas!

Are you using a supplier not on this list? Please tell us about it, and we’ll add it for you:

When you are ready to explore more options and make more professional products, you will need to start sourcing some materials from larger cosmetic raw material suppliers.

  • When you are ready to take the next steps and order more specialised ingredients that come in slightly larger quantities, please watch our video on top suppliers for small brands


  • Please also join our facebook group: Cosmetic Raw Materials for Small Brands to access materials from larger suppliers as you start getting more experienced and more professional with your sourcing and formulas. In this group, you can split packs with others near you.

Happy formulating!



New to cosmetic formulating, and want to get your cosmetic formulas and ingredient selections right from the start?



  • Create almost limitless cosmetic formulas!
  • Pick and choose what cosmetic ingredients your products contain
  • Be guided on how much to use of each ingredient type
  • Take the guess work out of the cosmetic formulas you create
  • Follow our step-by-step instructions to make perfect samples, every single time
  • Know the safe and suitable inputs of preservatives, actives and all other ingredients
  • Make your own skin care and hair care formulas, and products, CONFIDENTLY.