Along with setting yourself up as a business legally it is also important for your products to comply with all the relevant directives and regulations.
We take a look at Cosmetic Legislation, Food Imitation Regulations and Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSR) and why they are so important.
If you are want to sell and market cosmetic products it is important that you read these documents yourself and take full responsibility for understanding and implementing them.
What is Cosmetic Legislation?
Cosmetic legislation ensures that all cosmetic products on the market are safe and fit for purpose.
EU Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products makes it an offence to supply a cosmetic product that may cause damage to human health or that contains specific restricted or prohibited substances. You have a legal obligation to ensure the cosmetic products you make and sell comply with the relevant legislation.
It is also an offence not to undertake certain safety assessments and to compile technical documentation. This means you must have your products safety assessed and certified, as well as keeping the appropriate paperwork.
The EU Regulation is enforced by trading standards in the UK by the Cosmetic Product Enforcement Regulations 2013.
What are Cosmetic Products?
The Regulation defines a Cosmetic Product as: ‘any substance or mixture intended to be placed in contact with the external parts of the human body (epidermis, hair system, nails, lips, etc.) or with the teeth and the mucous membranes of the oral cavity with a view exclusively or mainly to cleaning them, perfuming them, changing their appearance, protecting them, keeping them in good condition or correcting body odours‘. (Source http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/consumers/product_labelling_and_packaging/co0013_en.htm)
You can find a copy of the full regulations document (European Cosmetic Regulation, EC 1223/2009) can be accessed here – http://eur-lex.europe.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:342:0059:0209:en:PDF
or a summary can be found here –
Other Useful information
Prior to 2013 the safety of cosmetics was covered by the EC Cosmetics Directive (76/758/EEC) as amended. In July 2013 new regulations came into force Regulation (EC), EC 1223/2009. The government produced these useful guides:
Cosmetic Product (Safety) Regulations 2008 available at:
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have produced a useful guide to the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2008 available at:
Food Imitation Regulations
The Food Imitation Regulations are in place preventing the sale of non-food items which have the appearance of food. This means that bath bombs or soap or other products should not take on the appearance of cup cakes or slices of cake or anything else that is edible and may therefore be mistaken as food.
The Food Imitation (Safety) Regulations 1989 states that:
4. No person shall supply, oﬀer to supply, agree to supply, expose for supply or possess for supply any manufactured goods which are ordinarily intended for private use and are not food but which:-
(a) have a form, odour, colour, appearance, packaging, labelling, volume or size which is likely to cause persons, in particular, children to confuse them with food and in consequence to place them in their mouths or suck them or swallow them; and
(b) where such action as is mentioned in (a) above is taken in relation to them, may cause death or personal injury.
The EU Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products states:
There are many notable manufacturers that flaunt these guidelines for their products with Bomb Cosmetics being an obvious one, so many people think that because they do it, it’s OK, but these larger companies take full control of their own CPSR’s and as such can make their own decision as to whether a cake-shaped bath bomb or soap is really a danger to health and as the law is actually unclear they get away with it because eating a soap or bath bomb is likely not to be fatal, only to taste vile. The problem for smaller manufacturers is finding any laboratory which will put their name to a CPSR when it is for a product that looks like or is packaged like food and generally they will not, so this is why Bomb Cosmetics make cake-shaped products but our small customers find themselves unable to.
You can find a copy of the Food Imitation Regulations – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1989/1291/contents/made
Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSR)
In July 2013 new legislation changed Safety Assessments to now refer to as Cosmetic Product Safety Reports (CPSR) which are much more detailed.
Each cosmetic product in the market must have a CPSR that was carried out by a suitably qualified person such as a Cosmetic Chemist. The CPSR certifies that the product you sell provide no significant risk to health under normal use.
The Soap Kitchen has a range of CPSR packages and more information visit https://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/acatalog/Safety-Assessment-Advice.html