Over the years I have found myself nudging my label design customers back within labeling guidelines. This is a quick overview of what, by law, needs to be on your label…
How does the law define a cosmetic?
The Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act(FD&C Act) defines cosmetics by their intended use, as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(i)]. Among the products included in this definition are skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, toothpastes, and deodorants, as well as any material intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product.
How does the law define a drug?
The FD&C Act defines drugs by their intended use, as “(A) articles intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease..and (B) articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals” [FD&C Act, sec. 201(g)(1)].
All cosmetic labels are required by law to have the following:
- You must identify the manufacturer or distributor (by name) of the product and have a way for the customer to reach them. Use company name, address and phone number.
- You must list the ingredients in the order that they appear in your formula. The ingredients must be identified by their botanical (INCI) name. A marketing description and use of the product is nice, as is the fragrance name, but it is not required unless the product use is not obvious or you are exporting to another country.
- The Department of Weights and Measures requires the actual weight of the product both in standard and metric to be disclosed on the label. Metric should be first to comply with EU requirements.
- Include any warning statements needed or required by law as with bubble baths or products containing AHA’s. IE: “Warning: Not for use in or around eyes.”
Note: It is imperative for your label company make sure the right adhesive is used for your packaging.
This is vital!
- It is always a good idea to UV-coat or varnish your labels if they will be shipped or handled with wet hands. Also, paper labels should be coated with a UV or similar coating to avoid “scuffing” of the label in transport. It is preferable for toiletries with paper labels to have coating to guard against smearing when in contact with moisture. We will not be responsible for smeared or damaged labels. An uncoated label will almost certainly be damaged by an Essential Oil.
- Clear labels have a great shelf appeal and look professional, but they do have a few pitfalls, i.e. any surface flaw in the bottle will show, Dust, oils and fingerprints are all likely to cause poor adhesion.
- UPC Codes: Your label company can help you establish your UPC numbers. These are not required by law, but some larger retailers prefer that you have them. For more info, check out their website for details at www.uc-council.org.
Let your label company know.
All private label items must comply with all federal, state, and local cosmetic labeling and packaging regulations. This is your responsibility however, we would be happy to answer any question you may have.