My interest in taking care of my skin blossomed, when I was working in skincare product manufacturing industry. There I had the opportunity to purchase products with a huge discount and try them out.
Not only was I able to treat myself with great amounts of cosmetic products from different cosmetic brands, but I also learnt about the process of creating the product.
As a business and management graduate, I found the business part of it fascinating and I would like to share some surprising facts I learnt while working in manufacturing.
Disclaimer: I will not disclose the company name for privacy reasons.
Fact 1. Beauty industry supply chain creates awful amounts of waste.
This fact is fairly obvious. Everyone knows that beauty industry is one of the biggest polluters in the world.
But, when working in beauty product manufacturing, I realised that the waste creation occurs on a much larger scale than I ever thought.
Within the supply chain, every component (packaging, cap, bottle etc.) is produced that creates waste and pollution. These components have to be transported to a factory for product assembly. The transportation creates extra pollution.
In the next supply chain stage – product assembly- it is taken even further. Because the job requires speed, many components are often dropped on the floor, so they have to be thrown out.
Furthermore, if there is a quality issue with the product itself, thousands of products have to be thrown out per day.
Fact 2. More than 90% of your money is not spent on the product itself.
If you think that you are spending large sums of money on that luxury face cream, because of its ingredients, you are wrong.
I am not saying that luxury skincare is not effective, but there is another reason, why the prices are so high.
The cost to make each product is, actually, very low.
The main reason, why luxury brands charge so much for their products is to pay the wages for workers in rich countries e.g. UK or US.
In these countries, the labour cost is very very high compared to developing countries.
Many luxury brands prefer to manufacture their products in rich countries. It helps their brand image and justifies the high product prices.
Thus, if you are buying a product that was made in the UK, essentially, you are paying their worker’s high wages.
Fact 3. The product quality standards are highly enforced, but not many workers comply with all of them.
Do not panic! The creation of the product itself, is done to the highest quality standards and samples are checked regularly.
I am talking about product assembly here. The workers are trained to recognise how products should look like or how to check their quality (a bottle is not dirty or scratched, the product labels are straight, check the code etc.).
Unfortunately, not many people do everything to the highest of standards. Many products with, for example, bad labels have been spotted on the market.
Of course, the businesses are attempting to prevent bad product going to the market, but not every single product or employee can be checked or controlled.
Fact 4. The produced volumes are, absolutely, massive.
Of course you can imagine that large multinational companies produce lots of products every year to supply the global market.
But, when working in the manufacturing, I saw the surprising reality. For instance, if around 10,000 products are produced on only one production line in 12hrs and the manufacturing is working 24/7. That means that only one production line produces, approximately, 7million products each year.
The products just keep and keep going down the line almost constantly.
You can only try to imagine the volumes produced and how many people in this world buy these products. It is, absolutely, mad!