Organizing Your Cosmetics Ingredients Samples

This is me opening a package of ingredients samples:
Vegan waxes!
Plant-based alternatives to silicone!
Super cool new emulsifiers!

And Then 

Pictured above: me after I've finished dancing around in happy abandon over receiving ingredients samples.

The tedious part starts.

Excuse me. Not tedious.

Getting to know new ingredients is never tedious.


This was a rather generous-sized collection of ingredients, so I will admit it was a teensy weensy bit laborious.

If you want to peek over my shoulder as I get busy cataloging ingredients, then gather the following when you receive your next shipment of samples:

  • Ingredient info 
  • Pens and other favorite writing implements
  • Ingredients and formulating notebooks
  • Labels

The Cataloguing Process

I find it super helpful to study not only the necessary lab-related info from the manufacturer but also the sales-y stuff with claims and promises, then make note of vital bits of information about each ingredient on a sticky label and attach said info directly to product sample. 

I also note stuff into a notebook – usually most of the sales-y info and my own impressions/thoughts/ideas for products.

Does one need several notebooks and lots of space when doing this?


Does one need discipline and patience when doing this?


Does one feel not only informed but proud as a peacock when one is finished?


I'm glad I made me do it.

Do Tell

How do you organize your ingredients samples?


Gwen said…
Ugh. Constant struggle.

Physically, I group the types together, have found that the boxes from my former subscription to Birch Box are great for this. (bigger items/collections go in the shipping boxes and small collections go in the actual small monthly boxes and the boxes all get labeled)

Instead of notebooks, I use Evernote, so that it's always portable and I can just copy and paste the info from the manufacturer right in each entry.

Lastly, I check the individual packages to make sure that they have all of the info I need on them to just grab and go. There are a few manufacturers that I've noticed leave out things like the percentages or the INCI names, so if I need to, I add a sticker to them that has that information along with any other added ratio type stuff that I've learned in the past with them and if I'm not feeling lazy or worn at at this point, what my original plan for use was for them.

LisaLise said…
HI Gwen - Thanks for your input! You are quite right about there usually being some missing info from suppliers. I find recommended dosage missing a lot.
Carrie Anne said…
I have a nice shelf, open top with 2x2 shelves, closed bottom with cabinet doors and 2x2 shelves; I keep everything in one quadrant; dry ingredients in boxes in little bags (a little messy but it works), everything labelled, glassware in another, infused oils in another and so on. I am getting better at labeling and giving batch # to my oils. I appreciate you saying notebooks are needed - I resisted at first but it works well and sometimes you need one for each "record" - it's worth it.

LisaLise said…
HI Carrie Anne - Oh yes indeed those notebooks are gold. I used to think I would be able to remember everything (insert very loud guffaw) but experience has taught me otherwise. :)