Making Your Cosmetic Labels Safe

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Everyone wants their products to stand out on the shelf and be enticing enough for consumers to reach out and take their product off the shelf and to the cashier. Having such a brand is only half of the picture. You also want your product to be safe and used correctly and that’s why the information on your label is so important.

The rules and regulations regarding cosmetic labelling are for the safety of the consumer as well as the producer. Since most contain some measure of chemicals, it can be dangerous to not label your products correctly. The label must include information that explains what they are for, how to use them safely, and how to obtain the best result. The EU Cosmetics Regulation requires specific information on the label or packaging.

The Name and address of the manufacturer or distributer in the EU is the ‘Responsible Person’ and must be on the label. This is for the consumer in case they have a question or a problem with the product, they are able to contact this person. This is important for customer relations as well as health reasons. A business that will put a contact on their label is looked at by consumers as a responsible company.

The ingredients in a product are especially important to people who have allergies. It is also important to consumers looking for products with fewer chemicals or the absence of certain chemicals. The ingredient list must be displayed on all cosmetic, toiletry and perfumery products.

An ingredients list should always use the same conventions and appear in the same format. It should be headed by the word ‘Ingredients’. They should be listed in order of weight in the product, from the largest number to the smallest. It can get complicated when labelling cosmetics, such as make-up and lipstick, which come in a range of shades.

As for a ‘use within or best before’ date, the regulations say that any product that has a lifespan of less than 30 months must show a ‘Best before the end of..” date. You can use an egg timer symbol followed by the date or use the actual words. For products with a lifespan longer than 30 months, cosmetic products must show a “period after opening” time. Most symbols that are used on cosmetics and personal care labelling are the same across the EU so that they are easy to understand and with the added advantage that they do not require translation for every market. One symbol that you should take note of is the additional information symbol for products that include a leaflet or booklet of information inside the package but separate from the product. If you produce or distribute cosmetics, it will serve you well to be informed on these labelling regulations for your own safety and the safety of your consumers.