Learning to Formulate Green Cosmetics - Options and Choices

I'm guessing I am not alone in barely remembering any of my teachers from school days past.

Except, there was this one...

He was only at our school for a semester before moving on. He taught Egyptian history (of all things).

I wasn't a fan of history as a teenager, but this fellow was so passionate about the subject, he literally 'infected' the whole class with his enthusiasm. Everyone looked forward to his lessons. We were 100% engaged, enthusiastic, and hung on every word as if he was some kind of rock star.

A history teacher.

I think of this fellow every time people ask me about mentoring them.


Some want to learn to formulate 'green', some are interested in my take on marketing and branding, and some are looking for 'an overall guide' to help advance their product development.

If there were more hours in the day and I could duplicate myself a few times, I would be inclined to say yes to everyone, but even a compulsive formulator such as myself has to manage energy levels.

Because so many of you have asked me about mentoring / how to move forward / how to learn more, I'm going to give you my recommended sources for these things today.

Shall we get started?

Learn with LisaLise: Options

Books - an Inspirational Kickstart

My own e-books are intended as inspirational kickstarting-guides for self education with hands-on, tried and tested formulas to get you started on solid ground.

I hope you are able to find something inspirational among them! I'm forever working on new publications (as I keep getting requests), so if you want first peek at what's in the works at any given time, do sign up for my newsletter.

For an overview of my e-books, please visit this page
Note: the price of my ebooks includes updates (even if it's years old).


If you are interested in my input on anything cosmetics-related, it is possible to book consultations with me 'as needed' via a consultation bundle.

Some use this as a kind of 'mentor-to-go' feature and it is the preferred option for some of the folks I do regular consultations with.

LisaLise Courses at Tisserand Institute: Learn Natural Cosmetic Formulation

If you're interested in learning formulation skills from me, I teach several courses at Tisserand Institute – the leading source of essential oil research, safety and use. Courses focus on teaching formulation skills with special attention given to safely and effectively incorporating essential oils into cosmetics products of all kinds. 

My goal in every course is to equip students with the tools, knowledge, and confidence to start creating their own formulas. 

We learn to understand raw materials and how to combine them into functional effective products. 

Courses are designed to be as all-inclusive as possible when it comes to skill level. 

Students include aromatherapists, essential oil enthusiasts, natural cosmetics enthusiasts, folks with some experience making products, and even beginners. Common to everyone who enrols is an interest in empowering themselves with a skill set that helps them move forward on their own. 

Tutorials: No Enrollment Required 

Try a tutorial to get a feel for how the courses at Tisserand Institute work - they include unlimited access and there is no need to enroll, so you can hop right in and get started. 

The Fresh Lavender Hand Bar is a one hour tutorial where you learn to make a beautiful solid lotion bar with a bespoke essential oil blend by Robert Tisserand. 

Good Formulation Practice is a one hour tutorial that helps you get your artisan lab set up and started - whether you are working at home or have your own dedicated workspace. 

Essential Calculation is a one hour tutorial for those who want to get a handle on converting drops (essential oils, preservatives, and actives) into percentages and weight. Hana Tisserand is the tutor and does a great job of helping you get comfortable with formulation math and numbers. 

Courses: Enrollment Open Annually

Essential Formulation is an 8 week certificate course that equips you with the skills to formulate everything from serums, balms, butters, and bath products to aqueous sprays. 

Emulsion Essentials takes you through the process of natural, hand-stirred lotions and creams. 

Aromatic Formulation is a certificate program that encompasses both of the above and spans a full 12 weeks. 

Essential Gels & Serums is a 4 week certificate course that brings you into the world of working with gelling agents in all different kinds of bases.

Sign up for my newsletter or the newsletter at Tisserand Institute to stay updated on enrollment times and course schedules.

Additional Courses: Natural Cosmetics

Learn About Herbs and Plants

If you are excited about going roots and want to learn how to recognize plants, forage, process and use them for everything from food to skincare, Medical Herbalist Vivienne Campbell at the Herbal Hub is a top notch teacher.

Her Learn With the Seasons Courses are educational, inspirational, and fun!
She also has a wonderful Natural Cosmetics Class that is focused on botanicals and herbs.

Tip: sign up for Vivienne's newsletter – it's free and every one is chock full of fabulous information. I save every single one.

Learn About Lipids 

Susan M Parker is the leading authority on understanding and working with fixed / carrier / fatty oils and her book The Power of the Seed is an absolute must-have.

She also offers online courses at her Lipid Oils Academy.

Susans Facebook group (mentioned below is absolutely also worth a visit)

Tip: get a free online mini course from Susan right here.

Learn About Essential Oils - Nature's Active Ingredients

Robert Tisserand has spent his life studying and researching essential oils. His iconic book: Essential Oil Safety is a comprehensive and indispensable resource and quite simply a must-have if you want to work with essential oils.

There are numerous essential oil course options at Tisserand Institute:

Essential oil Kinetics with Petra Ratacj, PhD

Beyond the Bottle with Petra Ratacj, PhD

Aromatic Chemistry with Dr. E. Joy Bowles, PhD, BSc

Essential Oils for Healthy Skin, with Robert Tisserand

Visit Tisserand Institute to get an overview of all the courses offered. 

Free Stuff For Self Education

There are numerous freebie possibilities in the form of blogs and online journals written by professionals willing to share their knowledge and expertise.

I did a blog post on how to get started educating yourself right here

Blogs and Online Journals

On a blog, you do have to do your own digging for information, but there is quality information to be had from these sources – all written by knowledgable and talented colleagues:
  • Colins Beauty Pages by Colin Sanders - the science of cosmetics explained
  • Swettis Beauty Blog  Cosmetic Science and formulations - this links to the public blog (there is also a pay-for members area)
  • The Herbal Hub's Blog by Vivienne Campbell 
  • Humblebee & me by Marie Rayma who works with both green and petrochemical ingredients. If you are looking for strictly green, she has over 900 formulas labeled as 'simpler' well as a super useful ingredient encyclopedia. Also, if you prefer video, visit her YouTube channel for detailed easy-to-follow instruction on loads of different types of cosmetics. Finally, Marie has a FREE MINI COURSE that is perfect if you want to get started right away. 
  • Lipid Oils Blog by Susan M Parker of the Lipid Oils Academy
  • Realize Beauty (thoughts, observations and enlightening in-depth explanations by Cosmetic Scientist Amanda Foxon-Hill)

Forums and Online Groups

Many professional formulators are also participants, moderators, and/or administrators of online forums and groups.

Join a forum where you can exchange information and learn from (and with) others.

I would like to emphasise the exchange information part.

Even if you are a newbie - there is no reason to be shy or embarrassed. Everyone has something to offer! Be a good participant - be ready to contribute and bring a positive, friendly attitude.

Natural cosmetics-related online groups 

None of the links in this post are affiliate links.



Unknown said…
That was really helpful!Thank you so much for all the knowledge that you share!
LisaLise said…
Konstantina - You are most welcome! :)