Shortly after Christmas I started studying the Diploma in Organic skincare formulation from the accredited online cosmetic science school Formula Botanica. I have written about Formula Botanica several times on the blog before and my interview with Director Lorraine Dellmeier is a great place to start if you want more information about what they do. Lorraine is someone who I have known in the online space for years and I have a lot of respect for her measured and sensible approach as well as her incredible achievements in her business.
I had been searching for courses on a variety of subjects for some time, but none of them would fit with having a toddler at home and I don’t feel quite ready for her to go to nursery. When Gemma, the business and relationship manager with Formula Botanica offered me a space on their Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation, I jumped at the chance. Formula Botanica offer a total of nine courses, ranging from formulation for beginners to haircare, advanced subjects like stability testing or more specialised subjects like anti-ageing skincare. They also offer their International Organic Skincare Entrepreneur programme, which includes eight of the courses at a significant discount and a generous three year period to complete. Perfect for those people wanting to build their own brand as it gives you all the information and resources you need. The courses are all entirely online, making them perfect for anyone wanted to study alongside other commitments such as family or work. The courses can also be completed at your own pace, making it a lovely relaxed learning experience.
The Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation is ideal for beginners and is a great place to learn the basics of formulation. They can be completed online on any tablet, smart phone or computer and is split in to progressive modules, meaning that as you work through the course you unlock new content. The course starts with the anatomy and physiology of the skin and covers cosmetic toxicology and basic preservation. The course teaches you how to formulate a variety of skincare and body care products, but rather than just teaching recipes, it teaches you the information you need to understand how to formulate and give life to your own ideas.
The course platform and materials are well structured and easy to use. Each module has a variety of learning resources, including videos, course notes and resources which can be downloaded for future reference. The course content, in my experience so far flows well and progresses logically. At no point in the course have I wondered why something was included or what the point was (I wish the same could be said for my degree!). As you work through the content of the course the platform records your progress and it is very satisfying to see the percentage number of completed material go up. To unlock new content there are quizzes that you need to complete. These are fun, but also important to get an idea of how well you are doing on a certain subject. The quizzes are graded and you are given three chances to complete them, the highest mark is the one that is recorded.
I have just got to the point in the course where I will start to formulate basic recipes for myself and practice the techniques. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on equipment or ingredients, but I have invested in a few glass beakers and rods, a good set of scales and some basic ingredients like Shea butter, cocoa butter, some different oils and vitamin E. I also bought some basic glass jars and bottles so I can make some products for friends and family to try.
As well as the course materials, Formula Botanica offers a wonderful community of like minded people. As part of the course you gain access to their Online classroom, where people are encouraged to ask questions and post photos of their formulations. Although I haven’t up to this point contributed much to the group, I do love seeing the kinds of products people are making, it is really interesting and inspirational. Formula Botanica also offers students a chance to network and get together in person as part of their Annual conference – You can read about my experience at last years conference here.
Although the Diploma in Organic Skincare formulation is ideal for those wanting to start their own skincare business, I don’t have any plans to this any time soon. I do however think that the content is also perfect as further development for a host of other people in the industry that have an interest in beauty and want to develop basic formulation skills and knowledge; such as beauty and holistic therapists, bloggers or beauty journalists, people working for an existing beauty brand or simply someone with a keen interest in DIY beauty who wants to perfect their techniques. The flexibility of the course has been a real plus for me, as I have been able to put it to one side when the demands on my time have been too great in terms of looking after the children, working and this blog and pick it back up when time allows. There is no sense of dread when you know a deadline is approaching and you don’t have time to complete it, which makes the course very enjoyable. Formula Botanica has students all over the world enrolled, so it is a wonderful and vibrant community of people as well as supportive and knowledgeable tutors.
I plan on doing at least one other update whilst I am completing the course and an overview at the end. I am currently forty per cent of the way through and am hoping to finish within the next 3-4 months, although this may be flexible. So far my experience has been really positive and I feel the course offers great value for money as a well as an interesting learning experience. It has confirmed my love of the natural and organic beauty industry as well as making me appreciate some brands and formulations much more, knowing the effort that goes in to creating them! You can find more information about the Diploma in Organic skincare formulation as well as the other courses at FormulaBotanica.com.
Have you ever been tempted to study with Formula Botanica?
I have been kindly invited to study with Formula Botanica, in exchange for sharing my honest experiences with you. All content and opinions my own. Edit: On the 1st of March 2019 I joined the Formula Botanica team to work on an exciting new project! All content written in this post was written and published prior to this happening.