Let me start by saying that no labeling will substitute for good insurance, nor will creating a corporation or an LLC. Product Liability Insurance is a must for people that are selling their product to protect themselves against the high cost of a potential lawsuit. While insurance is not normally needed and very few people are ever sued, why take chances, right? There are many professional organizations like The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild who offer insurance for their members. Many homeowner’s policies will also cover it. Remember when looking you don’t just need General Liability but also Product Liability. With that out of the way, let’s get talking labels!
- a statement identifying the commodity, e.g., detergent, sponges, etc.;
- the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor;
- and the net quantity of contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count (measurement must be in both metric and inch/pound units).
Cat treats: NET WT. 3 OZ (85g)
Screen Cleaner: NET WT. 4 Fl. Oz. (118ml)
Cleaning Wipes: 80 Wipes 6 x 6.5 in. (15.24 x 16.51 cm)
The cat treats are listed by the weight of the product. The screen cleaner spray is listed by liquid (fluid) volume, which is specified by listing the ounces as "fluid" ounces. The wipes are listed as the total number of how many units are in the package, also including the size of each unit.
For a candle, everything is done by weight, so you would want to list the contents of your candle by weight in ounces and then include the weight in grams in parentheses after it, just like on the cat treats example. Don't forget to deduct the weight of the jar or container itself, you only want to list the contents of the actual consumable product inside the container! If you have a digital scale with a tare feature, it is really easy.
You must also list your company name and contact info on the label. Here is exactly what the regulation says:
The best way to get examples of how to do your labels is to look at some from some of the large candle companies, like Yankee. I dug thru my candle box and found a few name brands to give you examples.
McCall's Country Canning lists theirs on the bottom, on their caution label. It says 16 oz. Classic Jar Candle. Burn Time 110 - 130 hrs.
Pilgrims Primitives lists theirs on the caution label also. It says "Approximate Net Wt. 3.75 oz."
L'Occitane lists theirs right on the label on the top of the tin. It says "100 g- Net Wt 3.5 OZ". Then on the bottom caution label it states "Around 20 hours of soft fragrancing for the home."
I also found a pillar candle made by Claire's Garden and it lists the size of the pillar instead of the weight. It says 4" x 4" Burns up to 90 hours.
If you have any questions please read over that FTC link thoroughly, and you can also try contacting them with any questions you're unsure of: https://www.ftc.gov/contact
Cosmetic labeling requires quite a bit of information. I strongly suggest that anyone making cosmetics of any kind familiarize themselves with the FDA website. There is a vast amount of information which is all current and lists all of the information necessary to be sure you are making a product that fits into the scope of the law. Their website is http://www.fda.gov
- An identity statement, indicating the nature and use of the product, by means of either the common or usual name, a descriptive name, a fanciful name understood by the public, or an illustration [21 CFR 701.11].
- An accurate statement of the net quantity of contents, in terms of weight, measure, numerical count or a combination of numerical count and weight or measure [21 CFR 701.13].
- Name and place of business. This may be the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. This includes the street address, city, state, and ZIP Code. You may omit the street address if it is listed in a current phone directory or city directory [21 CFR 701.12(a)].
- Distributor statement. If the name and address are not those of the manufacturer, the label must say "Manufactured for..." or "Distributed by...," or similar wording expressing the facts [21 CFR 701.12(c)].
- Material facts. Failure to reveal material facts is one form of misleading labeling and therefore makes a product misbranded [21 CFR 1.21]. An example is directions for safe use, if a product could be unsafe if used incorrectly.
- Warning and caution statements. These must be prominent and conspicuous. The FD&C Act and related regulations specify warning and caution statements related to specific products [21 CFR part 700]. In addition, cosmetics that may be hazardous to consumers must bear appropriate label warnings [21 CFR 740.1]. An example of such hazardous products is flammable cosmetics.
- Ingredients. If the product is sold on a retail basis to consumers, even it it is labeled "For professional use only" or words to that effect, the ingredients must appear on an information panel, in descending order of predominance. [21 CFR 701.3]. Remember, if the product is also a drug, its labeling must comply with the regulations for both OTC drug and cosmetic ingredient labeling, as stated above. To learn more, see "Ingredient Names," "Color Additives and Cosmetics," "Fragrances in Cosmetics," and "'Trade Secret' Ingredients."
Declaration of Ingredients http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/Labeling/Regulations/ucm126438.htm#CosmeticsCosmetics produced or distributed for retail sale to consumers for their personal care are required to bear an ingredient declaration (21 CFR 701.3). Cosmetics not customarily distributed for retail sale, e.g., hair preparations or make-up products used by professionals on customers at their establishments and skin cleansing or emollient creams used by persons at their places of work, are exempt from this requirement provided these products are not also sold to consumers at professional establishments or workplaces for their consumption at home.
The ingredient declaration must be conspicuous so that it is likely to be read at the time of purchase. It may appear on any information panel of the package, i.e., the folding carton, box wrapping if the immediate container is so packaged, and may also appear on a firmly affixed tag, tape or card. The letters must not be less than 1/16 of an inch in height (21 CFR 701.3 (b)). If the total package surface available to bear labeling is less than 12 square inches, the letters must not be less than 1/32 of an inch in height (21 CFR 701.3(p)). Off-package ingredient labeling is permitted if the cosmetic is held in tightly compartmented trays or racks, it is not enclosed in a folding carton, and the package surface area is less than 12 square inches (21 CFR 701.3(i)).
The ingredients must be declared in descending order of predominance. Color additives (21 CFR 701.3(f)(3)) and ingredients present at one percent or less (21 CFR 701.3(f)(2)) may be declared without regard for predominance. The ingredients must be identified by the names established or adopted by regulation (21 CFR 701.3(c)); those accepted by the FDA as exempt from public disclosure may be stated as "and other ingredients" (21 CFR 701.3(a)).
Cosmetics which are also drugs must first identify the drug ingredient(s) as "active ingredient(s)" before listing the cosmetic ingredients (21 CFR 701.3(d)).
All label statements required by regulation must be in the English language and must be placed on the label or labeling with such prominence and conspicuousness that they are readily noticed and understood by consumers under customary conditions of purchase (21 CFR 701.2).
It is my recommendation that anyone making cosmetic products take the time to browse these pages for more information with regards to proper cosmetic labeling. Just being a small business does not exempt you from the law. The FDA fines small businesses as well as larger ones. The information contained within their website is informative and easy to follow.
is the link to the entire FDA Cosmetics Labeling Guide. This is a MUST read for
anyone making anything cosmetic. It includes the following: (this is
hyperlinked right to the FDA site.)
Cosmetic Labeling Guide
The Cosmetics Labeling Guide provides step-by-step help with cosmetic labeling, with examples and answers to questions manufacturers often ask about labeling requirements under U.S. laws and related regulations.
On this page:
- Laws Regulating Cosmetic Labeling
- Legal Definitions of Terms
- Principal Display Panel
- Placement of Information on Labels
- Prominence and Conspicuousness
- Type Size
- Identity Labeling
- Name and Place of Business
- Net Quantity of Contents Declaration
- Warning Statements
- Ingredient Labeling
- Ingredient Identification
- Order of Declaration
- Fragrances and Flavors
- Trade Secret Ingredients
- Petitioning for Trade Secrecy
- Drug Ingredients
- Color Additives Added for Color Matching
- Incidental Ingredients
- Dissimilar Product Assortments
- Similar Product Assortments
- Branded Shade Lines
- Direct Mail Cosmetics
- Off-Package Ingredient Labeling
Happy Holidays and have a SAFE New Year!