The UK love affair with handmade products has always been something to cherish and we produce Artisans in every area, whether this be in the production of Bread, Felt, Jewellery, Gifts and indeed Cosmetics (Soaps, Bath Bombs, Lotions and Potions). Indeed this area of the British economy is a thriving and diverse arena with many exciting people working to produce fine quality goods for sale via Markets, Events, Shops and other retail businesses.
Now the difference in producing something like a felt purse and a hand and body lotion is markedly so, it may be produced with the same love and attention to detail, but the hard truth is one is subject to stringent testing and regulation in order to ensure that the product will not harm the user; and it’s not the nice felt purse you just bought for Gran’s Birthday…. It is of course and quite naturally the hand and body lotion that is going to be applied to the most important organ of your body – Your Skin
To comply with current legislation, a manufacturer such as Big Green Tree – Natural Skincare must hold the relevant Cosmetic Safety Assessments, duly authorising them to make a specific range of products for general sale. These items will have been tested by a professional chemist in a laboratory to ensure no adverse reaction to raw materials and allergens; these are then logged via a special web site referred to as the CPNP. This ensures the products are safe and can be quickly found by for example the UK Trading Standards; if not a manufacturer/producer can face a fine of £20,000, such is the serious nature of the offence.
The Guild of Craft Soap & Toiletry Makers association as part of their nationwide public awareness campaign to ensure fit for purpose products are on sale have produced guide lines for potential customers and businesses; but in essence the following statements and points are to be noted when thinking about purchasing a product from a small manufacturer or Artisan producer.
The manufacture and sale of soaps and toiletry products must comply with the Cosmetic Products Safety Regulations. This applies to ALL cosmetic products supplied in the UK & EU, whether for consumer or professional use, supplied through traditional retail outlets, craft or farmers’ markets or to private purchasers online via mail order.
There are numerous requirements that manufacturers/sellers must meet under the regulations, however two key requirements of the regulations are:
1. All products must be registered with the newly founded Cosmetics Products Notification Portal (CPNP)
2. Finished cosmetic products must undergo a safety assessment by a suitably qualified person, generally a chartered chemist, before they can be placed on the market. This must be documented
There are many myths in circulation about the sale of cosmetic items – some popular ones are:
- Organic products are exempt
- I’m not a business; I’m not selling much so I don’t have to have an assessment for my products
- I was trading before the regulations came into force; therefore I’m exempt
The above statements are myths and are often made in ignorance of the law relating to the regulation of Cosmetics .To ensure you don’t purchase a product that could harm or damage your business a quick call to the local trading standards department will as part of due diligence help to protect you, your customers and the industry.
This extract and source material is Copyright © Guild of Craft Soap & Toiletry Makers 2013 – all right reserved