The Complete Formulation Program

We believe that formulation skills are essential. Knowing how to make a safe and stable product that fits your own formulation brief gives you peace of mind as well as opening up exciting new avenues to pursue.

The three modules that are included give you exactly the kind of solid knowledge base you need to start formulating your own face and body care products. Join Robert Tisserand and Lise Andersen, who will guide you through a range of expert creations for you to add to your aromatherapy toolkit. Sixteen lessons filled with of step-by-step instruction,  customizable formulas for balms, salves, masks… and now also emulsions and gels.

This is the ultimate formulation program for anyone who wants to make the best out of their essential oils with a full range of products!

 Enrollment for 2023 opening May 31st, with classes beginning June 13th.


Oil-based Products and Aqueous Sprays (Module 1)

This is an eight week course. During seven fascinating lessons, expert cosmetic formulator Lise Andersen will share her passion, know-how and professional techniques for creating silken whips, balms, serums, mists and more. You’ll explore the pros and pitfalls of plant oils, waxes and butters, and discover how and where to procure the right equipment and fresh, raw ingredients.

There is also one lesson on Essential Oil Blending with Robert Tisserand. Offered in week two, Robert will personally guide you in creating safe and beautifully scented therapeutic and cosmeceutical blends for adding to your formulations. 

Hand-stirred Lotions and Emulsion (Module 2)

In this four week course Lise Andersen expertly walks you through the process and equips you with the knowledge to make your own safe, stable, hand-stirred emulsions without having to invest in pricey lab equipment.

The need for preservatives, emulsifiers, and pH testing makes some artisan formulators hesitate about taking the big leap. Yes you do need them, and yet there are creative solutions! Lise Andersen will guide you through each process – with her signature enthusiasm and her wealth of knowledge to help, you can do this!

Essential Gels and Serums (Module 3)

In this four week facilitated course, Lise Andersen expertly shows you how to make gels for all kinds of therapeutic and cosmetic applications – from cooling after-sun care to a soothing chest rub.

Gels are great for therapeutic application as they increase essential oil absorption into the skin. But how can you be sure a gel base you purchase is the right one for what you want to do? We want you to not only be sure, but also be able to customize your gel medium to be exactly what you need it to be, with confidence. Make great therapeutic gels with the latest addition to the Tisserand Institute Formulation series.

What You Get in the Program

Module 1: Eight 60-minute pre-recorded lessons.
Module 2: Four 60-minute pre-recorded lessons.
Module 3: Four 60-minute pre-recorded lessons.

Module 1: Four live Q&A sessions (one with Robert Tisserand)
Module 2: Two live Q&A sessions
Module 2: Two live Q&A sessions

Extensive downloadable handouts and course notes with links to additional research and resources.

Access to our private online forum to ask questions and interact with your teachers and classmates.

Easy reference for the materials needed and where to get them, wherever you are in the world. Lise Andersen has carefully selected ingredients that are globally available, easy to work with, and that can be combined using regular kitchen tools and equipment.

Ongoing access to the learning platform for eight weeks after the last lesson.

Tisserand Institute Instructor Lise Anderson

Lise Andersen

Formulator | Founder of LisaLise Pure Natural Skincare & Formulators’ Kitchen

A self-professed ‘green’ formulator, Lise works with luxurious natural plant-based ingredients – preferably as raw and unprocessed as possible. Entirely self-taught, she has years of experience in researching, testing, and developing cosmetics.

Lise is the author of several DIY e-books on making skincare and haircare products, herbal extracts, and more. She also offers consultation and bespoke formulation for beauty brands. Visit her blog where she journals her experiments and shares know-how on everything from making no-soap cleansers to pressed eye shadow.

Robert Tisserand

Author | Speaker | Founder of Tisserand Institute

Robert is one of the world’s leading experts in aromatherapy with over 40 years of experience. He is a speaker, educator, author, and consultant on the science and benefits of essential oils and their safe and effective application. Robert has inspired audiences in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan on topics ranging from the therapeutic foundations of essential oils to examinations on essential oils and the skin.

Robert wrote one of the first books to bring awareness to aromatherapy in 1977, The Art of Aromatherapy, and is a co-author of Essential Oil Safety (2nd Edition, 2014), a book that sets industry standards for the safe use of essential oils.


Lesson 1 - Formulation Basics
  • Evaluation of raw materials, including sourcing, storage and safety
  • Tips for procuring the right tools and equipment
  • The ins and outs of containers and packaging
  • The importance of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)
  • Working with weight vs. volume and calculating percentages
Lesson 2 - Essential Oil Blending taught by Robert Tisserand
  • Essential oil scent profiles and affinities – or ‘what blends with what’
  • Considerations: nice scent or therapeutic efficacy? Can you blend for both?
  • Natural perfumery basics: top, middle and base notes in relation to volatility of essential oils, C02 extracts, absolutes and resinoids
  • The process: brainstorming, testing, reviewing and testing again
  • Blending know-how: measuring, melting, diluting, recording

Products: Essential oil formulations for scent and skin application

Lesson 3 - Formulating with Fatty Oils

Understanding skin lipids, and fatty acids as components of skincare

  • The differences between plant, animal and petrochemical oils
  • Pros and cons of using fatty oils for skincare and health (yes, there are cons!)
  • Combining the most effective fatty oils for different skin types
  • Making and ‘testing’ the final product


Basic Massage Oil (unscented nutrient-rich base oil)

Moisture-Rich Facial Serum for Dry Skin (EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Balancing Facial Serum for Oily Skin

Age-Defy Facial Serum for Mature Skin

Lesson 4 - Formulating with Waxes
  • Understanding the nature of waxes and their uses
  • Pros and cons of wax and oil-based products (balms and ointments)
  • Overview of main principles involved in making a smooth balm
  • Creation of balms for lips, face and body massage
  • Troubleshooting tips for wax and oil formulations


Basic Ointment

Luxurious Lemon and Rose Lip Balm (EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Cappuccino Lip Balm (EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Lesson 5 - Formulating with Butters
  • How to recognize natural plant butters
  • Pros and cons of using butters
  • Overview of main principles for formulating with butters
  • Creation of buttery balms and whipped butters for massage, hands and feet
  • Troubleshooting tips for using butters – including how to combat graininess


Calming Shea Butter Balm (Skin Repair EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Soothing Body Serum (Skin Repair EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Whipped Body Butter

Lesson 6 - Formulating Safe Bath Products
  • Introduction to surfactants: mixing oil and water safely
  • The challenges of creating and using bath products
  • Overview of main principles for composing and customizing bath oils
  • How to make bath bombs and salts with essential oils that safely disperse in water


Basic Bath Oil

Bath Bombs (EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Bath Salt Soak

Lesson 7 - Formulating Safe Aqueous Sprays
  • The complexities of making water-based sprays with essential oils
  • Understanding solubilizers, emulsifiers and dispersants
  • Introduction to preservatives: what does ‘broad spectrum’ mean and why do we need it?
  • Creation and customization of an aqueous spray using essential oils


Basic Body Spritzer (customizable spray)

Bug Off Spray (EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Refreshing Room Spray

Lesson 8 - Formulating Facial Masks
  • Understanding natural clays and their properties
  • How to ensure you’re working with the best raw materials
  • Creating clay masks with essential oils and hydrosols
  • How to incorporate fresh foods (avocado) for optimal results
  • Shelf-life and storage of fresh-made cosmetic products


Fresh Honey and Avocado Mask for Sensitive Skin

Deep Cleansing Mask (EO blend by Robert Tisserand)

Ultra Moisture Boosting Mask

Lesson 1 - Elements of Emulsion
  • Understanding the nature and benefits of an emulsion
  • Requirements for a safe and stable emulsion
  • Discussion of emulsifiers and co-emulsifiers
  • Selecting a preservative or preservative system
  • Guidelines on using active ingredients in your emulsion
  • Packaging options
Lesson 2 - Light Lotions and Creams
  • What constitutes a light emulsion

  • About the emulsifiers we’ll be using in this lesson

  • Step by step heating and cooling methods for optimal results

  • Tips on the hand stirring techniques shown in this lesson

  • How to measure the pH of your product

  • Creating an emulsion for the eye area – ingredient highlights

Products: Eye serum, Body lotion

Lesson 3 - Viscous Emulsions - Creams and Salves
  • The elements of rich emulsions and where they are optimally applied
  • Creating emulsions for the face – ingredient highlights and tips
  • Identifying and working with quality multifunctional emulsifiers
  • Demonstration of the heating and cooling methods for these formulas
  • Transferring to containers – tips and tricks
  • Customizing your cream and salve


Rich Face cream  

Soothing Salve for Dry Skin

Lesson 4 - Cold Mix and Anhydrous Emulsions
  • What constitutes a cold mix and an anhydrous emulsion 

  • About the emulsifiers we’ll be using in this lesson

  • Fail-safe stirring techniques for cold mix emulsifiers

  • Emulsions as cleansers and scrubs

  • Tailoring your formula to your needs

    Products made:

    Cleansing Milk 

    Body Scrub

Lesson 1: Understanding Gels

What makes a gel?
Gel components – biopolymers and texturing agents
Texture, feel and function – how to choose ingredients
Preservation options

Lesson 2: Oleogels

Oil-based gels definitions and examples
Advantages and disadvantages
Choice of ingredients and formula considerations
Working with: thickeners, hydrogenated oils and amulsifiers

Formulas: Gel-to-milk cleanser, Chest rub

Lesson 3: Gels with Alcohol

Working with alcohol
Compatible and balancing ingredients
High vs. low alcohol content gels and uses
Working with: isopropyl alchol, ethanol, methyl-cellulose, xanthan gum, glycerin

Formulas: Hand gel, Cooling serum gel

Lesson 4: Water-based Gels

Ingredient consideration
pH considerations
Working with guar gum
Options for combining oil and water

Formulas: Guar gel – 5 different versions from a single template

What previous students say about our courses:

Lise is a great presenter, love her voice, calmness and knowledge. Robert presentation was absolutely great. We need more like it. Loved the organization of the course and of the platform.Overall, a well thought out course. ~Marilyn Fernandez

Really relevant to me. Great information and resources. Lise is a great presenter and even had me laughing. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in this subject. ~Sally Margan

I found it to be inspiring! Whilst being very informative and in depth, I was constantly engaged and wanted to do more. I am a level 3 Aromatherapist in the UK and doing this course made me appreciate how much more there is to learn and know and makes me want to learn more and more! It is such a huge subject and there is a lot of misinformation around. The teaching level here makes me confident that I am being given the correct information and learning at the highest level. Thank you. I am looking forward to the next course. ~Sally Childs

Everything – I loved that you covered so many different types of product, there was so much information packed into each lesson and I loved that Lisa shared all her tips from her years of experience. Thoroughly enjoyed it and learned so much – thank you!

I loved the way the information was organized and the depth of information. I can do some real formulating now- like a pro! I also just love the “freshness” of Lise and Hana, and the calmness of Robert. What a great team! I also SO appreciate the ongoing feeling that I am dealing with experts when dealing with Tisserand Institute. Thank you! ~Tina Hammer

When You Complete the Program

A signed Certificate of Completion issued by the Tisserand Institute for each course.

The program will empower you with thorough, evidence and experience based information.


Your certificates will be signed by Lise Andersen and Robert Tisserand. These demonstrate your knowledge of formulating products with oils, butters and waxes  (Module 1: Essential Formulation), hand-stirred emulsions (Module 2: Emulsion Essentials), and gels and serums (Module 3: Essential Gels and Serums).

Don’t miss your chance to learn formulation from one of the most experienced natural skincare formulators! 

Add a whole new palette of products to your aromatherapy toolkit!


Will there be notes for me to review?
Yes. Each lesson comes with printable handouts of the slides used in the lesson, and additional lesson notes. These are sent to you before each lesson and are for you to keep and refer to at any time.
I am a certified aromatherapist. Will I learn anything new?
Many of our students have commented that our courses helped them grasp what they learned elsewhere in more detail, or complemented their previous education. Some of our students are lifelong learners, and some are teachers.
I am new to essential oils. Is this course for me?
We will let one of our previous students answer this one:

“The information presented is appropriate for all levels, and although I am just beginning my aromatherapy journey it all makes sense.”

Will there be assessments or exams? What kind?

Each weekly lesson is followed by a multiple choice quiz, and there is a summary test at the end of each course. Passing both the weekly quizzes and the final tests is a requirement for certification.

You will be given enough time to prepare for the test as well as three attempts to pass. 

Will I be able to ask questions?

Absolutely! In addition to the live Q&A sessions, you can post your questions in the dedicated student forums where the tutor and the TI team will address them. 

What if I cannot participate on a live session?

All of our live sessions are recorded and are posted on the learning platform within 24 hours so you can watch them, or rewatch as needed during the course. 

How long will I have access to the recordings?

You will have access to all the videos for at least four weeks after the last lesson (see course description for clarification as this changes for individual courses). All the printable materials (notes, handouts, charts, etc.) are of course yours to keep for reference forever.

Do you offer continuing education credits?

Because we have students from all over the world and of many professions we are not able to offer credits for specific organizations – there are simply too many. However, we issue a confirmation of CE hours gained on the course that you can apply with your professional organization and will be happy to assist with any additional documentation.

At the moment, we are an Approved Continuing Education Provider with NAHA. 

What if I fall behind or cannot attend classes?
We have found that running classes on specific dates works best to help you finish a program. You join a class of students, and learn along with them. Many students help each other with queries, and of course our tutors are there too. That said, if you miss a few classes you should be still able to comfortably jump right back in and if you do fall behind you can request extra time. Of course this cannot be indefinite, but we do our best to help you get your certificate.