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When I first thought of selling my soap, I thought it was as simple as making it, popping it in some nice packaging and selling it to someone who thinks it’s great. I have to admit I was quite naïve about it all. It turns out selling cosmetics in the UK/EU is highly regulated. Why am I boring you with more soapy education? Well, because informed customers are empowered to buy products that are safe for them and their loved ones. I will, however, keep this brief. After reading through the regulation, (which, on a side note, I strongly suggest you read should sleep elude you one night – riveting stuff!) my first step was to conduct safety assessments of the Pretty Savage recipes. The safety assessments are done by a certified chemist who will check that each ingredient is safe to use, for the purpose intended. These reports are not cheap but, besides being mandatory, is it important to protect those using our products. Once the chemist is satisfied, he/she will provide the maker with a Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR) outlining a number of things, one of which is allergens. Now, even the very best essential oils may contain allergens and it is the responsibility of the person selling the product to make the customer aware of these allergens. At Pretty Savage we have allergens listed on all our product pages, see Schweet Savage, for an example of this.

Who needs a CPSR? Well, everyone selling a cosmetic (definition here) for money. Whether you sell one bar or soap or five hundred bath bombs, you need to have a CPSR in place for that product. So, here’s a tip, if you are in doubt about a cosmetic, whether it be from one of the many lovely places that sell handmade soap, or a big company, you are well within your right to ask if they have a CPSR which should confirm that all ingredients are included at safe limits. This report does contain the full recipe (which is, of course, a closely guarded secret) so it is fairly normal to show a customer the part of the report that states the product is safe for use and not the entire report.

You’d think we would stop there but in addition to this major step, there are a few other things soapy magicians need to have in place before we get down to manufacturing these little bars of bliss. This is quite a lengthy list which, rest assured, I won’t be going through in today’s post.

Of course, it should be stressed I am not an expert in cosmetic regulation but simply imparting the information I have gained along the way. If you are concerned about a product or company please contact your local Trading Standards office who will be able to advise you.

And that ends today’s soap education. If you have any questions, please contact us at keepitclean@pretty-savage.co.uk.

If you have a secret passion for regulation and guidelines, below are the links to the cosmetic regulations manufacturers in the UK have to follow:

Cosmetics Regulation

Food Imitations (Safety) Regulation

Weights and Measures Act

Other Laws