Did you know that in order to be legal for sale in the United Kingdom, and therefore insurable for use in your business, ALL cosmetics must comply with the UK Cosmetics Regulation as well as EU Cosmetics Products Regulation?
Despite this legal obligation, unfortunately there are still many products available to the UK market that slip through the net.
How can you make sure that what you are using on yourself and your clients is safe, compliant, legal and insurable should something go wrong?
There are several indicators to help you ascertain whether a cosmetic company is trustworthy, and one of those is by looking at their labelling. According to Regulation (EC) 1223/2009 on Cosmetic Products (and amended by the Product Safety and Metrology etc. (EU exit) Regulations 2019,) there are several things that MUST be on a product label, whether it be on the back of your bottles, containing box or accompanying leaflet.
What should be on a product label?
Name and address of responsible person: this should be an address within the UK and would generally be the manufacturer, importer or distributor of the product. They are responsible for ensuring ongoing compliance, in possession of the Product Information File (PIF) and registering products on the CPNP and OPSS.
Country of origin: If manufactured outside of the UK or EU, this should be stated on the label. If the product is made in the UK or EU then this does not have to be stated, although many brands do. Please note that this is NOT the same as the address of the RP and should be differentiated by being preceded by “Made in” e.g. PRC (Peoples Republic of China.)
Nominal content at time of packaging: there should be a weight or volume of product in the bottle.
Date of minimum durability: the open pot symbol with a number and an M (for months) to show the minimum time in which the product will continue to fulfil its initial functions, after opening. This information shall be supplemented by an indication of the conditions which must be satisfied to guarantee the stated durability e.g. keep out of sunlight.
Precautionary information: Directions on safe usage should be present on the label. All gel polish must be labelled as being for professional use only, and should also advise against skin contact
Batch number: This is the reference for identifying the product and is usually printed on the bottom of the container. It can be on outer packaging only if it’s too small to be on the container itself.
The function of the product: a brief description e.g. “UV gel polish” or “acrylic liquid”.
List of ingredients: Any substance or mixture used in the process of manufacturer must be listed in descending order of weight, in English and referred to by their INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) names, which are internationally recognised under a harmonised system, rather than their chemical names. For example, water (common name) should be referred to as aqua (INCI name.)
If any of this information is missing, then your product is not legal for sale on the UK market. And if your brand has not complied with Laws on labelling, which is a criminal offence, then who knows how many other shortcuts they may have taken?
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