How to Start a Skincare Line with No Money – The Limited Budget Plan

Starting a skincare line with no money doesn’t mean you completely run the business with zero money rather, you can start with a limited budget, cut unnecessary spending, optimize your sales strategy, and then slowly scale up.

Here are 11 simple steps on how to start a skincare line with no money and these tips are best suited if you are starting a skincare line from home.

Before you get into the topic please keep in mind, to run a skincare line with a limited budget means, you have to accept the fact that it takes so much hard work and dedication to grow your business.

How to start a skincare line with no money Business plan

1. Figure out Which Skincare product is Feasible to Make within your budget

There are different types of skincare products ranging from face packs, moisturizers, lip balms, and anti-aging creams, etc., and they are available in different types like organic, vegan, natural, and other types. You have to choose which one is more feasible according to your budget.

Organic or natural skincare products are more feasible if you were starting by yourself or as a beginner. There are several DIY’s available online to make this kind of product.

If you are the one who knows how to formulate your product, then you can make use of stock formulations, these formulations are available in a searchable database and make minor changes such that they are different from others.

However there are some drawbacks in this way, Luisa Fanzani, the founder of LFCLab mentions in her blog about starting a cosmetic line with no money, states the downside of using stock formulations is that anyone can have access to them so there is no uniqueness to the product. So it is better to make your products unique in ingredients rather than tweaking stock formulations

Also, when you are using stock formulations there are certain limitations you must check like trademark, copyrights, and patent rights over the formulation, etc.,

2. Spend More Time In Researching

A key tip on how to start a skincare line with no money is to spend more time doing research. Before you decide on a product you need to thoroughly analyze what kind of skincare products are doing well in the market, who is your target audience, Who are your competitors and what did you find unique in their product, etc.,

Once you gather all the information draft a plan and then determine what kind of products you want to make, how much you are going to price them, how they are different from other brands.

Keep in mind this step is crucial in starting your skincare business. This is a planning phase so, you need to put maximum effort to gather all the required information.

3. Keep your Business Plan simple

Whether you are starting a skincare line with no money or with millions, you must have a business plan. It is a document that reminds your objective. You don’t need to be a brainer here. Just write down basic things like

  • Your plan of action
  • estimated revenue
  • what type of skincare line you are starting?
  • who are your competitors?
  • How you are going to manufacture your product
  • What is your Sales and Marketing strategy

Try to keep your business plan simple in the initial stages, once you see your business starts growing add necessary points accordingly.

4. Avoid Buying Unnecessary Things At all Costs

At the initial stages of starting a brand, everyone gets excited and wants to buy all they can find even though those things don’t really matter for your business…like getting a brand new mac or office setup, etc., Try to avoid unnecessary things and make sure you buy only those that matter to your business and try to avoid unnecessary things at all costs.

5. Set a Side at least $2000 initially

Though it sounds like a big number. You need to save some money before you start a skincare business.

Setting aside at least $2000 initially helps you to cover necessary things like equipment, labeling and storage material, insurance, and business registration costs. These all can cost you around $1000 – $1500. And miscellaneous costs can be $200  – 300 depending upon the circumstances.

Keep in mind, this amount is ideal for those who are starting from home. However, it doesn’t cover if you were dealing with private label manufacturers. If you hire a private skincare label manufacturer, you may need to set aside at least $5000 or more.

Also, the budget differs on how big you want to scale your business. For example, if you want to sell locally or support your community, or just doing it as a hobby then you can run with a limited budget. However, if your aim is higher, then you may have to raise capital, get loans, hire more workers and deal with a lot of financial matters.

6. Be Mindful when Buying Resources

This is the most important step you need to remember if you are starting a skincare line with no money. Always try to find ways where you can cut costs or get the required material at an economical price.

for example, buying raw materials at wholesale mart than normal shopping malls. When you buy at wholesale you will get maximum discounts. This way you can save some money.

Try using recycled materials for packing and storage purposes. They are cheap and eco-friendly.

Keep your labeling as simple as possible such that it makes sense to the customers. The more customized and colorful you label your product the more you may have to spend. As you are just in the initial stages, sticking to a minimalistic style saves money plus it creates a nice look to your product.

When it comes to purchasing equipment don’t compromise on money. Things like, mini whisks, glass rods, PH meters, strips, and disinfectants will be used in the day-to-day operations. So, make sure you buy quality products.

7. Choose an Economical Sales strategy to Market Your Products

Once you are done with getting your product ready and everything is in place. It’s time to sell your skincare products. So, there are two ways of doing this, you go with a retailer or selling by yourself.

Choosing a retailer in the initial stages is more economical because retail business has more customer interaction and there are high chances of customers noticing your product.

Especially, if you are focusing on local markets or stores you have a greater opportunity to interact with customers and retailers and then you will get to know what the customer is thinking about your product.

The second option is selling yourself, you can either create a shopping website or spread word of mouth with your social media profile like Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube, etc. By using both options you can slowly increase your brand’s visibility over a period of time.

8. Choosing an Ideal Manufacturing Process

Your Manufacturing process depends upon two important things, the money you have and the aim of your business. Generally, there are two ways of doing it, you can make your own products or hire a chemist.

With a limited budget, you can start the manufacturing process within the home itself. You need to buy some equipment which costs around a few hundred dollars.

Here is the list of basic equipment to make skincare products at home

EquipmentAverage Price of unit
Glass beaker set$25 – 30
Microbial test kit$ 30 – 35
Mortar and pastel$ 10 – 13
Pipette$ 0.25 – 0.30
Spatula$ 0.30 – 0. 35
Dispensing spoon set$ 1 – 2
Lab Thermometer$ 14 – 15

Keep in mind, when you are making skincare products at home you need to ensure your workspace is clean and sterile.  Although it is not against the law to manufacture cosmetics from home. FDA provides a ‘Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines/Inspection checklist’ these guidelines will help you to keep your manufacturing process safe.

In addition, you can also hire a cosmetic manufacturer. But, they can cost you more and you need to thoroughly research various things before you choose one.

There is also another economical option, you can approach other artisans who can make products as per your requirement at an economical price point. This way you can build connections and manufacture your product economically.

9. Creating a Buzz

Promotion plays a key role in the skincare industry the more you were able to promote your product the better you can attract an audience. However, marketing doesn’t come at cheap. You have to invest thousands of dollars to create a buzz. However, with a limited budget, you can market your products in the following ways.

Approach Micro-influencers in Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Tiktok. Especially social media sites like Instagram plays a potential role in promoting your skincare brand. Even top skincare brands like Olay, Neutrogena, and several others use Instagram to build their audience.

Staying socially active on social media sites and sharing about your products or upcoming products in a timely manner is another great way to promote your brand economically.

You can also set up stalls during events or exhibitions, provide freebies to build an audience at initial levels.

If you have enough money and were able to manage your time you can also set up your own website or purchase a ready-to-use online store in Shopify or WIX.

10. Prefer Stock Packaging

In the initial stages of business, It’s always better to prefer stock packaging than custom packaging. Although packaging and labeling have significant importance in marketing skincare products, when it comes to budget, stock packaging is relatively cheap and affordable. All you need is just affix your label and go ahead.

11. Grow your Connections

In the Skincare business, connections play an important role to grow your brand. Networks like Indie Business is one such place where you can connect with cosmetic company entrepreneurs and artisans. You can get coaching, mentoring, share ideas and information about getting insurance to your business. There is both paid and free plan to join the community.

If you are the one who makes organic formulations, then formula Botanica is one such place where you can find lots of information on how to develop and grow organic skincare lines.

Try joining Facebook groups where artisans or skincare enthusiasts interact and share ideas. This way you can grow your knowledge and improve your business.


Hope you have enjoyed the information and got an overview of how to start your own skincare line. But keep in mind, these tips are just a minute portion in the process of starting a skincare line with no money, you will learn several things once you start your first brand. Drop a comment if you like to share an idea.

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