Finally My Labeling eClass is Available!

For all the people who have asked me to put together an actual eClass, I am so excited announce that my eClass is now – finally – available to one and all at The Nova Studio!!!  It’s been months in the making and I’m extremely proud of the finished product. Rather than do one long lecture-type video, we decided to … Read More

New Book! Navigating the Rules & Regs

I am so pleased and excited to announce the upcoming release of my new book, Navigating the Rules & Regs: A Practical Guide for Soap and Cosmetic Handcrafters! If you’ve wondered where I’ve been the last few months – well, I’ve been researching and writing like crazy. This new book covers labeling, but also the myriad of other rules and … Read More

Natural Ingredients and Products

So far, the FDA has declined to provide a formal (in regulations) definition of the term “natural” as applied to cosmetics (or food). That said, there are some standards that can guide when the claim of “natural” is appropriate (that is, not false or deceptive) for a cosmetic product. FDA – Food While there is no FDA regulatory definition for … Read More

Rubbing Alcohol

The term “rubbing alcohol” originally referred to alcohols that were applied to the body rather than drunk as a beverage. Especially during Prohibition, when consumable alcohol was illegal, the distinction was important. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the United States Pharmocapeia (USP) define two different formulas for rubbing alcohol that start with ethyl alcohol. For … Read More


As an ingredient in cosmetics, talc has been under some scrutiny for years now. I’ve recently done a survey of the current information about talc, and here’s what I found out. Talc was originally used as “talcum powder” – the original body or baby powder. Now it has many uses in cosmetics and other personal care products – to absorb … Read More

Made in the USA

[Updated Feb 14, 2022]  to include additional information about non-USA sourced packaging materials.] If you want to make the claim that a product is “Made in the USA” you must comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s “Made in the USA” policy. The FTC enforcement is based on its general authority to act against deceptive acts and practices and applies to … Read More

Ohio Regulations – 2021

In Ohio, cosmetic manufacturers must be inspected prior to start of operation. NOTE: This post supercedes our Cosmetic Regulations – Ohio post from 2015. The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently published (June 2021) a Cosmetics webpage containing the requirements for a cosmetic manufacturer to get their facility inspected. There is also downloadable pdf1The pdf linked to in this blog post … Read More

The Importance of Good Manufacturing Practices

Sometimes it’s easy to think that keeping in Good Manufacturing Practices when making cosmetics is just a good idea — a “suggestion” rather than a “rule”. I suppose that idea is reinforced by the fact that cosmetic GMP isn’t actually in the regulations, it’s a “guidance”. Events of the past several months have shown that GMP failures can have a … Read More

What is INCI?

Important Terms Nomenclature: The words and terminology specific to a particular subject or area of study. Botanical: Related to plants; a part of a plant. “INCI” stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. It is a list of the standardized and internationally accepted names (called “INCI Names”) that should be used in the declaration of ingredients on cosmetic and … Read More