While all the details about how to label soap and cosmetics can be found in my book, Soap & Cosmetic Labeling, there are some very basic questions that many people have when starting out. This FAQ provides answers to those basic labeling questions.
Soap & Cosmetic Labeling
Correctly labeling your handcrafted soap and cosmetic products isn't too hard, once you understand the basics. Except for the ingredient declaration, soap and cosmetics have the same basic requirements as all consumer products:
- name of product
- what it is
- net contents
- name and address of the responsible party
There are, of course, some pretty specific details on how and where that information is to be placed - you know our regulators, never leaving anything up to chance or common sense! The most important thing, though, is to get those four items on the product label.
For cosmetics, including soap if it has any cosmetic claims, the ingredient declaration is also required. Using the common names of all the ingredients, listed in descending order of predominance (so the ingredient that is the highest percentage of the product is first, second-highest percentage listed second, etc), is always acceptable. There are some variations allowed to take care of special situations like possible replacement ingredients, ingredients used at less that 1% of the product and listings for combined products in one package.
Soap and Cosmetic Labeling by Marie Gale is an excellent reference source for figuring out how to follow the labeling rules and regulations for soaps, cosmetics and other consumer products. It has become the handcrafted industry standard guide for designing labels for handcrafted cosmetic and soap products. It covers all the basics including where the regulations come, what's required on every label, how to determine the correct text size for the net contents and ingredient declaration, options for ingredients lists for soap, combined packages, and much more.
The book is $24.95 with FREE SHIPPING in the US. See Soap & Cosmetic Labeling Book for complete details and to purchase.
Have Questions about Labeling?
The articles below should answer most of your questions. However, if you a question about soap or cosmetic labeling that you can't find the answer to, you can ask your labeling question on line. Answers will be posted as soon as possible on the Labeling Q & A page.
There are several federal agencies that play a part in the regulations that cover soap and cosmetic labeling. Checking their websites will provide details. Also checking the actual regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations is good.
Many people have asked me over the years if I would take a look at their labels and let them know if anything needed to be changed in order to comply with the regulations. So many people, in fact, that I'm now offering an actual service to do so.
There are a few updates to the Soap and Cosmetic Labeling book. A couple of corrections and some additional relevant information.
Every state has regulations that apply to soap and cosmetics. Most of them follow the FDA regulations pretty closely, but some have more extensive requirements; Florida, Kentucky and California, in particular.