SoapSell Marketplace

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Labeling Soaps and Cosmetic in the United States

Labeling Soaps and Cosmetic in the United States 


If you are in the US and selling your products please be aware that there are laws regarding how you label your products.  Bath and Body products are classified in 3 different categories:


  • Soap 
  • Cosmetics 
  • Drugs 


Soap is regulated under 3 different government agencies. The FDA for those that are classified as Cosmetics or Drugs or both, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in regards to safety of all your products and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under which the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.

Please be aware, even though what you might be making is soap, liquid soap, etc. how you market it and what you call your soap can change it from being classified as soap to being a cosmetic or even a drug.  Soap cleans – it only cleans.  If you call your soap “Body Wash”, “Shampoo” – anything other than soap, you are no longer selling “Soap”. Once you say your soap moisturizes, ex-foliates, give it any cosmetic adjective, etc., you are also no longer selling soap but a cosmetic (or a drug if you make any medical claims whatsoever, even implied claims based in ingredients that are expanded on i.e. lavender EO is known to treat, cure, etc.).  This applies to not only the label you put on your product, but how you market and describe it.  Body wash is not soap, shower gel is not soap, shampoo is not soap in regards to these laws and guidelines.

DO NOT MAKE MEDICAL CLAIMS ON YOUR PRODUCT, IMPLY YOUR PRODUCT CAN TREAT, CURE, IMPROVE ANY MEDICAL CONDITION OR STATE OR IMPLY ANY INGREDIENT CAN TREAT, CURE OR IMPROVE ANY MEDICAL CONDITION.  IF YOU DO, YOU ARE SELLING A DRUG AND THE FDA DOES NOT TAKE KINDLY TO THAT AND NOT ONLY MUST YOU ADHERE TO THE LABELING LAWS FOR DRUGS, YOU MUST PROVE YOUR CLAIMS. 


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Here are a few links with excellent information to help you label and market your soap/cosmetic products legally in the United States:

http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/GuidanceRegulation/LawsRegulations/ucm074201.html

http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Products/ucm115449.html

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/fair-packaging-labeling-act

http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/ucm148722.html

http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ResourcesForYou/Industry/ucm388736.html 


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