If you make and sell soap, it's essential to label it appropriately. Consumers read labels to know what's in the product they are buying. But labels are not only about making your soap more appealing to potential customers and convincing them to buy it. It's also important to stay in compliance with the soap labeling requirements.
The good news is that the US soap labeling regulations are not as strict as in making food or cosmetics. But how do you know if your labels include enough information as required by soap labeling laws?
In this article, we'll talk about the general regulations of soap labeling and the essential information you need to put on your soap labels. You'll also find some tips on how to make labels for soap.
Which of the Soap Labeling Laws Apply to Your Product?
Depending on the product, there are many regulations with which a product's label must comply before it is sold in the United States. The relevant laws governing soap labeling include the following:
- The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- The Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA), enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
- The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
How do you know what laws you need to follow? It depends on the kind of soap you are selling. Today, many commercially manufactured body cleansers marketed as "soap" are synthetic detergent products. They are not true soaps according to the regulatory definition of the word.
FDA defines "soap" as a product made mainly of the "alkali salts of fatty acids," its cleansing properties must come from these ingredients. It must be labeled and marketed only for use as soap. True soaps that meet the regulatory definition are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSU), and their labels follow FPLA and FHSA rules.
True all-natural soaps like those that we make at Botanie Soap and offer for private-label use are a good option if you want to start selling soap. Order our soap sample set to see what we offer and choose products you could sell under your brand. The sample set includes all our bar soap varieties that we make using time-tested recipes and samples of our different liquid soap bases and scents.
If the product contains synthetic detergents to improve its cleansing power, it is considered a cosmetic, although you can use the word "soap" on the label. The soap is also considered cosmetic from a legal standpoint if manufacturers make such cosmetic claims as "moisturizing," "exfoliating," or "deodorizing." Products intended to treat skin conditions, such as acne or eczema, or prevent diseases by killing germs are considered drugs. The FDA regulates cosmetics and drugs.
Under The Federal Drug and Cosmetic Act, cosmetic products and ingredients do not require FDA approval before they go on the market. However, drugs must receive premarket approval by the FDA. Both cosmetics and drugs must be labeled according to their respective regulations, although in both instances, you can still market your product as "soap" and include this word on the label.
Soap Labeling Requirements
CPSC does not have specific labeling requirements for soaps, so the applicable law is The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), which governs the labeling of all consumer products. The FPLA's requirements for labeling consumer products are simple—a label for your soap must include the following details:
- A statement identifying the product as "soap;"
- Information about the manufacturer, packer, or distributor (name and address);
- The net quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count.
You do not have to list the ingredients—the CPSC does not require ingredient declaration for true soaps. You just have to label it as "soap" and inform consumers how much it weighs and where to find your company.
However, ingredient declaration is required for cosmetic and drug-containing soaps. Such products must comply with FDA standards because they contain additives that may harm consumers even with ordinary use.
If you sell simple soaps, you can skip the ingredients list. But today's consumers are extremely conscious of what they use on their bodies. So, if you include the ingredient list, your customers will surely appreciate this gesture because it shows transparency and makes customers feel safe and cared for.
You can list the ingredients according to the guidelines of the FDA—in descending order of predominance (the percentage of the total formula) and use the most commonly accepted names for ingredients to ensure that you don't deceive or mislead the consumers.
If you order soap at Botanie Soap, you can buy pre-printed ingredient labels. Each label lists the specific blend's ingredients and includes an asterisk next to each organic ingredient. We also offer blank sheet labels in different shapes and work with laser and inkjet printers.
How to Make Labels for Soap
When you start creating the design for your soap labels, have the following tips in mind to make them appealing to customers:
- Choose an appropriate shape and size for the label, depending on the dimensions and packaging of your soap
- Include your name and your logo, and share a few words about your business's mission statement
- Use big fonts to make the soap name visible
- Include some words about the power of the natural scent
- Play with colors—match the color of your label with the color or scent of the soap
- Use stunning images to attract the attention of consumers
Labeling traditional soap is regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. You need to include just a few details on the soap label: the statement of identity, net quantity of contents, and seller's business information. The law doesn't require you to list your ingredients, but telling your customers what you use to make your soap will help you demonstrate transparency and build trust.