Using an Ingredient Name in a Product Name

Oatmean Soap

Over the years, one small section in my book, Soap and Cosmetic Labeling, has probably generated the most question and online discussion over any other. That section covers “Using an Ingredient in the Name” and discusses the FDA regulations that prohibit the use of the name of one ingredient in the name of the product (if it has two or more ingredients).

What about “Goat Milk Soap” or “Oatmeal Soap” or “Luxe Lotion with Shea Butter?” On the one hand, those product names seem reasonable. But first, let’s take a look at why the regulation might be there in the first place.


A Little History

The Food Drug and Cosmetic Act was signed by President Roosevelt on June 25, 1938. It was the result of a long process to update the earlier law, passed in 1906. There were a lot of factors that went into the creation of the 1938 bill, including broad publication of hundreds of deaths resulting from unsafe products, loopholes in the earlier law, and massive changes in the way food, drugs, and cosmetics were being developed and marketed.

“Fruit Jam” consisting of water, sugar, grass seeds and red dye probably didn’t cause any deaths, but it was just one more example of many false claims and deceptive marketing. That example (and many others like it) may be what ultimately developed into the clause we now have in cosmetic regulation:

The labeling of a cosmetic which contains two or more ingredients may be misleading by reason (among other reasons) of the designation of such cosmetic in such labeling by a name which includes or suggests the name of one or more but not all such ingredients, even though the names of all such ingredients are stated elsewhere in the labeling.

Intentional Deception

Not too long ago a friend of mine showed me a pump bottle of “Shea Butter,” her new favorite cosmetic product. Since you can’t pump shea butter (it’s very solid at room temperature), I was intrigued. Reading the label, I saw that it was actually “Shea Butter LOTION” and the ingredient declaration showed that there was probably only 1 – 2% shea butter in the product.

Clearly the product was misbranded and in violation of the regulations. Whoever packaged and sold that product was probably trying to deceive—and it worked! My friend knew about the benefits of shea butter and willingly shelled out $25 for a bottle of “Shea Butter” lotion because she expected to get shea butter. Did she get any shea butter? Well, a tiny bit, but probably not the quantity she was expecting for the price she paid.

What’s Included in the “Product Name?”

Obviously, the main statement of the brand or name of the product is the product name. “Luxe Lotion” or “Sally’s Super Soap” or “MyBrand Cream” are all product names.

But what about “MyBrand Gardener’s Helper Cream with Shea Butter“? Well, I checked with the FDA to determine what they consider is part of the product name. Their response: “It depends on what the consumer considers is part of the product name.” In other words, in the example, if “with Shea Butter” is placed in such a way that if looks or feels like part of the name, it probably IS part of the name. On the other hand, if “with Shea Butter” is placed away from the main product name and in a size, color and/or font that clearly distinguishes it as separate from the name, then the consumer would likely consider it “additional information”—not part of the name itself.

Look at the two possibilities below. The one on the left clearly promotes “with Shea Butter” and it is in the same font and color as the name. I read the name of the product to be “Gardener’s Helper with Shea Butter”.

Compared to the label on the right, where I read the product name to be “Gardener’s Helper” and then there is additional information (not part of the name) is that it is a “deep moisturizing cream” “with Shea Butter!”

Book cover

The Final Take-Away

  1. Don’t include the name of an ingredient in the product name.
  2. If you promote one ingredient in the product, do it in a way that makes it a statement separate from the product name.

There is nothing wrong with including marketing information on your product label! There is nothing wrong with promoting that your product includes cool and trendy ingredients! Just use common sense and make sure that your consumer—like my friend with the “Shea Butter Lotion”—doesn’t misinterpret what you are saying about your product.

Soap and Cosmetic Labeling cover

To really be able to create your own labels that comply with the regulations, get my book from Amazon and use it.


56 responses to “Using an Ingredient Name in a Product Name”

  1. Hello Marie, We have a question. On measuring the PDP, how does it work on measuring a biodegradable bag? Our soaps are in bags.

    1. Marie Gale

      The front of the bag is the PDP, even if it doesn’t have any text on it. I’m assuming the label information is going on a hang tag or header strip? If so, then all the info has to go on that, but the size requirements are based on the size of the bag.

  2. Michelle Gregg

    This information is super helpful. I am at the labeling phase of my products and I am slightly confused by the Name and Identity regulations. My product is a toner and I wanted to name it Lavender & Aloe Hydrating Toner. Is this appropriate per the FDA?

    1. Marie Gale

      There is somewhat of an overlap in the name and identity of the product for some cosmetics.

      In your case, the IDENTITY is a (hydrating) toner.

      If you have no other name, then the NAME is Lavender & Aloe. The FDA does not allow the name of an ingredient in the NAME of the product (if there are two or more ingredients in the product).

      If you have a different NAME (such as “Lovely Spritz” or “Facial Decadence” or “Beauty in a bottle”, or whatever), that would be the name.

      Then “hydrating toner” is the IDENTITY.

      Finally, you could include the “lavender and aloe” part as MARKETING TEXT on the front of the label. Just be sure that it is clearly separate from the name and identity by virtue of placement, color, font, etc. Sometimes you see that information in a more informal statement “made with _____” or “boosted with the inclusion of _____” or some other phrase that is clearly more marketing than a concise statement of the name or the ingredient.

  3. Nancy evans

    I am struggling with labeling my body butter. Body butter cream is the identity.
    What is the proper way to label with aloe, Shea butter and green tea. ( other than the ingredients list)

    1. Marie Gale

      The name of an ingredient can’t be part of the NAME of a cosmetic product. You can still put MARKETING TEXT on your front panel, which could include information about what’s in it. Just make sure that it is clearly different than the name of the product (by placement, color, font, the way it’s stated, etc.).

  4. Cathie Conway

    Question on name and identity: The label must have identity on label and may have name. So if I I want to have a name my label has to have both “Handmade Soap” (Identity) and “Cathie’s Handmade Soap” (Name)? The name can’t be used as the identity if it includes the identity?

    1. Honestly, it’s a little unclear in the regulations. My opinion is that “Cathie’s Handmade Soap” would be sufficient to satisfy the “identity” requirement.

  5. I know this is an old post, but I am trying to find where it is stated on the FDA’s site that you can’t use the name of an ingredient in the products Identity. I remember reading it somewhere before, but now I can’t find it. Would you mind providing a link to the exact post you found this information. I am wondering if they updated their regulations and did away with this rule since I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

    1. They don’t really cover it anywhere on the website. It’s in the regulations—21 CFR 700.1(b):

      (b) The labeling of a cosmetic which contains two or more ingredients may be misleading by reason (among other reasons) of the designation of such cosmetic in such labeling by a name which includes or suggests the name of one or more but not all such ingredients, even though the names of all such ingredients are stated elsewhere in the labeling.

      You can read the actual code here. Start by browsing Title 21, and then expand the sections until you get to the specific paragraph.

  6. Hi! Fantastic article. Another trick question when it comes to product name. I have a lotion bar that I want to name Arose lotion bar. A play on words. The product itself is a rose-shaped lotion bar with rose fragrance. Am I misbranding/going against regulations given the fact that the word Arose can very much be considered A rose? Would love your input.

    1. You’re probably fine.

  7. I am starting a skincare line in which I will sell natural shampoos/conditioners which have many ingredients… 2 aromas, coconut & rose. On the labels (which I’ve already made & placed on products) I have “Coconut” in cursive writing to distinguish it is the aroma then an element design–then “SHAMPOO” in larger font and in smaller font beneath it”with coconut milk & bamboo extract”. Does this violate the labeling requirements? And also another example, I have “Hand & Body Butter”s in multiple aromas… “Hand & Body Butter” is written in a certain font and then again the aromas/essential oils they’re mixed with are written in a cursive font “Rose” “Green Tea” “Frankincense”—is this ok? thanks so much for your advise & feedback… I am just now realizing this regulation (and I spent hours looking over them before submitting the info to the designer & getting them printed).

    1. Marie Gale

      When I spoke to an FDA rep about it several years ago, trying to get some definitive guidelines on what would (or would not) be considered part of the name, I got back the standard response, “It gets evaluated on an individual basis.” Meaning there are no hard and fast rules on exactly what combination of spacing, font, and color would clearly ensure that and ingredient name is not included in the product name.

      That being said, it sounds like what you are doing is on the right track and—should your product come under investigation&mdashwould be okay. There are no guarantees, though.

      The only thing I can think of that might improve it would be to add “scent” or “scented with” to the scent name.

      1. thanks so much Marie!! I appreciate you taking the time to inform us all and share your knowledge with us!

  8. I have read and reread, completely confused! I have a soap called “Lavender Love”,” Black Raspberry Dream” ,”Oatmeal Almond & Honey” so the 1st 2 are okay because there is no herb,fruit in the soap but the last isn’t because those are in the soap ? ?

    1. Marie Gale

      for COSMETICS: The regulation says that there can’t be the name of an ingredient in the name of the product IF there are two or more ingredients in the product. So if it’s straight shea butter, you could call it “shea butter” (only one ingredient), but if it’s made with shea butter, cocoa butter, and beeswax, you can’t call it “shea butter.” That would be false and misleading.

      For SOAP (exempt from the definition of a cosmetic): The name of the product MAY contain the name of an ingredient, if it is present in “functional and significan amounts.”

      In general, my suggestion (and this is my suggestion, to be on the safe side of any intrepretations of the law) is to identify the FRAGRANCE as what it smells like, not what it IS. So you have a SOAP, that is SCENTED with black raspberry (it isn’t black raspberry and doesn’t contain any black raspberries). Say it is “black raspberry scent” (in some manner or another) and then name it something that doesn’t state or imply that any black raspberries were harmed in the making. (Kidding! Use a name that doesn’t include something that isn’t in it at all).

  9. This is really helpful information.

    Many companies in a cosmetic industry, still use ingredients name in their products’ name.

    I don’t know how this happen now.

    How can this happen? Is there any other things should be considered for this issue?

    1. Yes, they do. It’s one of those things that the FDA seems to consider not worth enforcing unless they are coming after the manufacturer for some other reason.

  10. This is really helpful. Before I started making soap, I used to wonder what “goats milk soap” was and what “salt soap” or “Salt bars” were. If a soap said it was made with a specific oil, I assumed that oil was present in the soap in it’s normal form (as in, 100% superfat, but I didn’t know what superfat was back then). So if I saw a soap that said “100% coconut oil” I would assume the coconut oil was not saponified (I didn’t know there was such a thing as saponified back then) and would have assumed all the coconut oil was still in its oil form in the soap.

    I definitely would have felt mislead if I bought “goats milk soap” and it turned out to have oils and other ingredients. I understood it took other ingredients to make something turn into soap, but I didn’t know what those ingredients were, and I would have thought oil had nothing to do with it. If someone had told me it was possible to mix goats milk and lye together to make soap, I would have believed them. Because of this, if I saw on the label that there was also coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, etc in the soap, I would have felt like the name of the soap was misleading. I obviously know better now, but we can’t expect any of our customers to spend the time to research every single thing they buy, especially something as basic as soap. I think a much better way to label goats milk soap would be something like “MyBrand Soap with Goat’s Milk” because the “with” indicates there are other ingredients and is a lot less misleading.

    We have to remember that customers are usually ignorant about the process of soap making, we can’t assume they know what we mean by “goats milk soap” just like we’re ignorant about how airplanes are made or what goes into our bottled water. If we read “natural spring water” then we might assume it’s water bottled at a spring without any modifications, but it has been modified. Most of us have flown on a plane without doing any research about how the plane was made, what to do after boarding, and how it works or what it’s made of. We expect to get on the plane and have anything important explained to us. I guess what I’m trying to say is we often live our day to day lives in blissful ignorance and can’t expect our customers to do anything different. That’s why proper labeling is so important.

  11. I’ve read through the comments and wanted to clarify something. If a soap that is NAMED “Facial Bar” and underneath in smaller font says “with goatsmilk and tea tree”, does the name “facial bar” change it from being just soap to a cosmic?
    The rest I totally understand. I purchased a bottle of oil the had large print “Argon Oil”, with no smaller print below on the front saying it was anything but argon oil. When I got home I looked on the back and found that it was a blend of other oils, with argon being at the bottom of the list. This was printed in a super small font that I overlooked at the store. On top of being small the label was yellow and the print was in a light orange, that alone would have made it hard to read in the lighting of the store, even if it was larger. I was very upset because I thought I was paying $15 for a 2oz bottle of straight argon, not a mix of cheap coconut, avocado and olive oil, with a touch of argon! I do not want to do that to anyone! Ever! I don’t see how that one got through, especially since this was a major brand that sells EO’s, oils to dilute EO’s and supplements. It just amazes me what people will do to dupe others into paying top dollar for something that’s not worth close to what is charged!

    1. Marie Gale

      I totally understand about the “Argon Oil.” It can be so deceptive when an ingredient name is used in the name of the product!

      To qualify to be exempt from the definition of a cosmetic, the bulk of the soap product must be the alkali salt of fatty acids (oil/water/lye) AND it can only be marketed and sold as “soap.” Calling the product a “facial bar” is something different than “soap.” I’d think it would put it over into the category of a cosmetic.

      That said, it’s not really a problem. All you need to do is include the ingredients on the label. All of the rest of the labeling is the same.

  12. Hi MG! I’ve read over all of your helpful information but am still slightly confused (sigh…). I’m going to try and give a specific, detailed example in hopes that you can give me the best answer:

    Let’s say I have a brand called ‘The Want, LLC’ and I am going to make a strawberry lip balm. I name that lip balm “Allison”. On the front of the tube it says the name of my brand “The Want”, and then the name of the product, which is “Allison”…and under that in a slightly smaller font I write “Strawberry Lip Balm”. IS THIS OK??? (*i do realize the fonts have to be different sizes, etc and some in bold)

    Also, let’s say that there is strawberry flavor in the ingredients list on the back (but it is just written as ‘flavor’, but there would be a significant amount in the overall product).
    And let’s say the product would be sold at a prestige/fancy retailer, so I can’t write ‘strawberry scented’ on the packaging (it’s rare to go into Neiman Marcus and see a high-end brand that says ‘scented’ in the description.

    I clearly have a my brand listed (The Want), a NAME of the product (Allison), and an IDENTITY of what the product is (strawberry lip balm)…but CAN I ADD THE WORD ‘STRAWBERRY’ ON THE FRONT OF THE TUBE ALONG WITH ‘LIP BALM’??? Without writing it you won’t know what KIND of lip balm this is…and let’s say I decided to make 20 different fruit flavors of lip gloss, which are all named after different girls— then I would need a way to distinguish them from one another.

    ok, praying you can help answer this and clear some things up for me.

    1. To keep it very clear, I’d suggest keeping “Lip Balm” and “Strawberry” (or whatever flavor name) separate. They could both be on the label, but I would make them two statements. Or you could use a picture of the flavor.

  13. Hello, I am making soap with glycerin mp base. When I list my ingredients on the label, how do I list the mp base. Ex. On the front I have decided to label all of my soaps “Handmade Soap” then under that scented with lavender and baby powder. I am assuming this would be ok. Also I have 1 named Sweet Dreams Lullaby which has lavender and baby powder fo scent. So I am assuming this would be ok. Now for the ingredients I would list the following: vitamin E oil, Oatmeal Powder, Lavender Fragrance , how do I list the mp? Thank you for your help.

    1. Marie Gale

      You need to get the list of ingredients in your MP soap base from your supplier. All of the ingredients must be listed and any additives that you put into the soap must go into the list. Depending on how much you add of each item, you may need to get information from the supplier as to where to put the ingredient in the ingredient declaration so everything is listed in descending order of predominance. Keep in mind that items present at 1% or less may be listed in any order after the ingredients present at more than 1%. Color additives must be on the list of approved color additives and may be listed at the end of the ingredient declaration, regardless of amount. Your fragrance should be listed as just “fragrance,” not “lavender fragrance.”

  14. Do you have any mainstream brands to suggest emulating? I find it helpful to look at packaging to get this to sink in, however some big brands appear to contradict some of this advice: for example, red flower’s packaging for the “lemon coffee olive stone scrub” prints that phrase in all the same size font and text, which seems like a no no according to all the above info. Pacifica brand separates the scent (which are often ingredients too) but placing in bold, alternate fonts above the identity “body butter” which seems ok to me. What are your thoughts? Can a bigger brand like red flower really be getting it wrong on the regulations? Many thanks for this informative blog!

    1. Marie Gale

      Yes, quite a few of the bigger brands are not exactly following the FDA regulations. It comes under what the FDA seems to call “discretionary enforcement.” My suggestion is to do the very best you can to ensure that you follow all of the regulations as exactly as humanly possible. Not only will it give you more peace of mind, it will serve as a good example for others in our industry and to the regulators in Washington.

  15. mistral88

    I’m super confused! So if I sell a shaving soap, it’s lemon scented, and I want to name it “LEMON Shave Soap”. Would this violate FDA regulations?

    1. Marie Gale

      It could. Since it’s a cosmetic, and the FDA says that the name of an ingredient can’t be included in the name of the products. If “Lemon Shave Soap” is the name of the product, it would violate the regulations.

      The easiest way to be sure is to clearly state the product IDENTITY (what it is) as “shave soap”, and the SCENT as “lemon”. That is, “lemon scent” or “with a lemony scent” or “smells like fresh lemons.” Or whatever works for you.

      You could also add a name/brand to more uniquely identify it as YOUR product.

  16. So could I say wowzer lemon…. ?? Or finally rose…? I use those two eo or fo for the scent.or this considered an ingredient and therefore can’t use the scent in it?

    1. Marie Gale

      The KEY is whether putting some form of “ingredient” in the name or identity of the product would be false or misleading.

      Best thing to do is look at it from the consumer’s point of view. If someone was looking for rose as an actual ingredient for some reason (whatever reason) and they thought that your “Finally Rose” actually contained rose, would the label be false or misleading when she found out it was a synthetic fragrance oil?

  17. Marie Gale
    Thank you so much for all of this wonderful information,
    I will be making some corrections to my labels…..
    You made this very user friendly….I will be grabbing a copy of your book.
    again thank you.

    1. Marie Gale

      Glad the site has been of help! The more people who correctly label their products, the better chance we have to convince the powers-that-be that we are, in fact, complying with the existing regulations and don’t need any more.

  18. Veronica Reddick

    Thank you for responding back to so many questions! I found what I need just by reading it all. Have a blessed 2017!!

  19. So if I am not planning to go the cosmetic route for my soap, does it have to be titled with just SOAP or can it be like “simply soap” or something to that effect? Its so disappointing that our government makes it so complicated to be self sufficient. 🙁 I have bought your books, and read them but I am just having some issues trying to grasp what is acceptable and what isn’t.

    1. There are two things: The IDENTITY; and the NAME. The identity is what the product is. For soap it would be “soap” (could be “handmade soap” or “handcrafted soap” or “simply soap,” but it couldn’t be “shampoo” even if it was actually true soap). The name is the brand or unique identifier of the product.

      The rules for soap and cosmetics are slightly different when it comes to having the name of an ingredient in the name or identity of the product. Safe bet (and best practice) is to not put an ingredient name in either the name or identity.

  20. So, if I call my soap a Complexion Bar. And include a list of all ingredients typed on an enclosure. This may still be wrong?
    Or Oatmeal Honey Almond Milk
    And include a list of All ingredients.

    1. Marie Gale

      A “complexion bar” is a cosmetic, and the ingredients must be on the outside of the package where the consumer can see what they are before purchasing.

      “Oatmeal Honey Almond Milk Soap” needs to have the “oatmeal honey and almond milk” taken out of the name/identity because ingredient(s) in the name or identity is tricky (as per the post). Depending on whether it is a scent or actual ingredients, you could put some clarification on the front (marketing text) that says “scented with ___,” or “___ scent,” or “with ____.” Just so long as the statement is clearly NOT part of the name or identity, but is obviously (by text, color, font, placement, etc.) additional marketing text.

  21. So, I am trying to redo my names, and wondering: I’m assuming Oatmeal & Honey Soap or Cucumber Aloe Soap are not allowed. Would it be okay to just label everything “Handmade Soap” in larger print, and then in smaller print underneath specify the type (Oatmeal & Honey, Cucumber Aloe, Lavender Dream, etc.) ?

    1. Marie Gale

      A NAME is not required. The identity is always required (for cosmetics AND soap that is exempt from the definition of a cosmetic). The identity of “Handmade Soap” says what it is and meets the requirements for the identity statement for both soap and cosmetics.

      Putting a “type” or “scent” under the identity does not violate any regulatins that I know of. You should, however, make it very clear on the label that the type or scent is presented in a way that it is VERY CLEARLY not part of the identity (or name) of the product. You can do that by making it a completely separate bit of “marketing text” by separating it by font, placement, and/or color.

  22. Does every product need a name? My soaps say company name and logo, Handmade soap, underneath that it says “made with natural ingredients” or ” with goats milk” etc. Then on the top it says Scent: lavender essential oil or cucumelon fragrance etc.
    My lotion says Body Lotion, sugar scrubs say sugar scrub and so on. I understand this is the identity, but do they need a name?

    1. Marie Gale

      No, a name is not required. Normally products have a name for branding and/or product placement.

  23. This is a constant argument in the soaper’s groups. If I make all soaps using goat’s milk, and it’s 100% goat’s milk for the liquid portion, I feel I should be able to call it goat’s milk soap. It is a substantial and significant portion of my soap ingredients, and in most cases, the largest percentage over the individual oils, as I generally use a combination of several different oils. It is not an additive or small amount. I generally don’t make soaps using water or other liquids. They are goat’s milk soaps. There is nothing misleading about it.

    1. Marie Gale

      It depends on which regulations you are applying.

      If the product is a COSMETIC, then the NAME of the product cannot contain the name of an ingredient. Period. (There are no provisions for a significant, substantial or functional amount.)

      If the product is a SOAP, exempt from cosmetic regulation (it is the alkali salt of fatty acids, and is identified and marketed only as “soap”), then the IDENTITY of the product (what it is) can only contain the name of an ingredient if the ingredient is present “in a substantial or significantly effective amount.” Exactly how much that would be is not defined. The exact code is:

      (d) The specification of identity shall not be false, misleading, or deceptive in any respect. Ingredients or components which are not present in the commodity in a substantial or significantly effective amount may not be mentioned in the specification of identity; [16 CFR 500.4(d)]

  24. So if I am understanding this correctly, all sugar scrubs and salt scrubs that are labeled as such are labeled incorrectly? You cannot legally label a product a “sugar scrub” if in fact, that is what it is? Might a better option be “body scrub” then?

    1. Marie Gale

      For COSMETICS, the name of an ingredient may not be in the NAME of the product. There are no regulations that say that an ingredient can’t be in the IDENTITY of the product. So if the IDENTITY of the product is “sugar scrub” I don’t know of any regs that disallow that. However, if the NAME of the product is “Sandy’s Super Sugar Scrub,” “or “Cleansing with Sugar,” (for example), then the name includes an ingredient, which makes the product misbranded.

      The IDENTITY of the product is required on the label. A NAME of the product is not required.

      And, honestly, the lines seem somewhat blurry on how this is applied and enforced.

  25. How about something like “Tangemelon”? It’s not a word, it’s one I made up….. but it is reflective of the ingredients/scent.

    1. Marie Gale

      That kind of creative thinking is why the attorneys get paid big bucks! Tangemelon isn’t an ingredient name (although it sounds like it), so it should be fine. Of course, I’m NOT an attorney, so if you go with really wide distribution or export, you might want to get an attorney’s opinion.

  26. Hi

    I guess I’m confused on the labeling of soap. Are you saying I can not do this Handmade Goat Milk Soap
    Orange Clove
    5 wt.
    Cocoa Butter, Mango Butter, Shea Butter

  27. Donna Kusterer

    Thanks for sharing!

  28. This is great information – thanks for putting it into writing and clarifying the difference!

  29. Charlotte

    I have about four or so different recipes that I use. What differentiates them are their butters and oils, not a special use like “gardener’s soap”. I’m not sure how to rename them. What about 100% coconut oil soap? Do the other ingredients offset that too? Can I call a salt bar a salt bar or is that misbranding as well?

    1. Marie Gale

      The issue of using an ingredient name in a product name or identity can get a little bit tricky. I probably need to update the post to clarify.

      In general, you shouldn’t use an ingredient name in a product name or identity. It is against the regulations because it can easily confuse the consumer and make them think the product is something other than what it really is. If you say your soap is “100% coconut oil” it implies that coconut oil is the only ingredient, which isn’t actually true. Someone who doesn’t understand that there is chemistry invovled, and that other ingredients are used in making soap could (possibly!) think it’s the SAME as “100% coconut oil” that you use to cook with. That would be a big mistake!

      You CAN put information material on the front (or back or sides) of the product that gives more information to the consumer. I’m a soapmaker and I would like to know what oils are used in making the soap I’m buying. So saying on the front of the package that the only oil coconut is used in the soap would be important to me. BUT, it should be done in a way that doesn’t imply that it is the name or identity of the product.

      A “salt bar” is similar. We know what a “salt bar” is, but a general consumer might think that it’s all or mostly SALT (as opposed to being nearly all SOAP). Some other way to describe the soap bar without using the term “salt” in the identity might be more approrpiate. “Contains salt for scrubbing,” or “with organic sea salt for exfoliation” might work. Or whatever communicates to the consumer the actual reason/use for salt in the bar without making it part of the name or identity of the product.

  30. I make lip balms with essential oils. I am taking this to mean I cannot call my product “Rosemary/Mint Lip Balm” to delineate a “flavor” or scent. Would you agree?

    1. Marie Gale

      As noted in the article, it’s using an ingredient name in the name of the product that causes the product to be misbranded. So the question is whether a “flavor” (or a “fragrance”, for that matter) is an “ingredient.” Honestly, it can get a little confusing and I don’t know what the final opinion of the FDA is. I think it would depend on all of the factors of a specific case, although using some common sense helps. Let’s take a look at the possibilities:

      In the case that a flavor or fragrance is made up of multiple (and undisclosed) ingredients that have nothing to do with the final flavor or scent, like, say, “Banana.” That’s an FO and doesn’t contain a single banana (at least, I don’t think it does). I have no idea WHAT makes the flavor. So to say it’s “Banana Lip Balm” wouldn’t actually be using the name of an ingredient in the name of the product (since there are no bananas in the ingredients). But it does give the implication that there are (so that’s somewhat false and misleading, so not a good idea). In that case, maybe the best way would be to call it “Banana flavored lip balm”, or “MyBrand Lip Balm” with “banana flavor” somewhere nearby (so the consumer knows the flavor).

      In the case of an essential oil, where the flavor is, in fact, the ingredient, maybe the best way is to handle it the same as with an FO as in “MyBrand LipBalm” with “Rosemary Mint flavor.” That makes it very clear to the consumer what you’re talking about, which is really the bottom line.

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