Do your products comply with all the directives and regulations?

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

The Regulations

You can find a copy of the full regulations document (European Cosmetic Regulation, EC 1223/2009) can be accessed here –
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 –

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

9 thoughts on “Do your products comply with all the directives and regulations?

  1. Hi I was wondering if I could sell my bath bombs and body scrubs to friends and family that no they ain’t had a cosmetic safety assessment yet and they are fine with it, I’m trying to make money to pay for the assessments ?

    1. Hi Katie,

      I’ve replied to your other comment, but yes, you would need to get it safety assessed if you wish to sell it, no matter who it is to, sorry!

  2. Hi, I was wondering if I would need to get a safety assessment if I’m buying the bath bombs from a supplier who makes and sells them as wholesale but has her own safety assessments?

    1. Hi Gemma, thanks for your question, if you aren’t changing the bath bombs in any way and you’re supplier already has a safety assessment for them then they are covered and ready for sale.

      1. Hi,

        When you get an cpsr are you given a certificate? Also does a sgs certification allow you to sell cosmetic products?

        Do herbal/floral facial steams count as a cosmetic? they dont come in direct contact with the skin and say if it was a rose steam then it would just have roses in it and nothing else.

        1. Hi Forzana,
          When an CPSR is approved you receive an approved document for your records. We are not a SGS certification body and cannot help you regarding this.
          I will check regarding your query on facial steamers and let you know once i have heard back from the chemist.

        2. Hi Foranza,
          I have been advised that facial and shower steams aren’t cosmetics as they
          only have incidental skin contact, so therefore they do not require CPSR’s. If you are still unsure at all
          please consult with your local trading standards.

          1. Hi Forzana,
            As PIF’s are for cosmetic items and facial and shower steams aren’t cosmetics as they only have incidental skin contact, i do not believe that they need PIF’s.

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