How To Label Your Soaps For Sale

label your soaps

The prehistory of soap in personal care and cosmetics spans several centuries. Soap, in some form or another, is part of our everyday, household, and personal hygiene routines.

If you create and market soap, there is nothing more significant, so to say, to properly label the soap. Soap labels inform consumers about the products they buy.

Important details to be included on the soapā€™s label are the name of the soap, its ingredients, its weight, and its use. Compliance with soap labeling rules is also essential.

In the US, there are fewer rules concerning the labeling of soap compared to cosmetics and foodstuffs. What determines if soap labeling laws include the necessary components of a label?

We will talk about what soap labels should contain, their composition, and general soap labeling requirements. The article also provides suggestions for creating labels for soap.

Basic Requirement to Label the Soap

The FPLA in the United States governs the specifics of labeling some consumer products, such as soap. Here are the basic requirements to comply with FPLA:

  • Product Identity: The label should distinctly provide the soapā€™s identity. This includes either the common name or the usual name that can be readily understood by consumers.
  • Net Quantity of Contents: Specify the net weight or volume of the soap product in both the U.S. customary system (ounce, pounds) and the metric system (Gram, kilograms).
  • Manufacturer/Packer/Distributor Information: Identify the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor. This information enables the consumers to contact the concerned party if need be.
  • Metric Conversion: If the product is labeled in the U.S. customary system, the metric conversion must be in brackets (grams or milliliters).
  • Ingredients Listing (if applicable): If any ingredients are listed on the label, they should meet other applicable laws, and the ingredients should be listed by their common names.
  • Warning and Caution Statements (if applicable): Add warning or caution statements where necessary. For example, if the soap has components that may lead to allergies, this needs to be stated clearly.
  • Barcode or Universal Product Code (UPC) (if applicable): If this product is sold in wholesale stores such as retail stores, the barcode or UPC speeds up the checkout process.

The FPLA requirements guarantee compliance with federal guidelines and help consumers make informed buying decisions. Ensure to keep an eye on any developments in relation to labeling legislation to remain in compliance.

Soap Ingredients

Many ingredients are used to produce soap, and each type of soap (bar soap, liquid soap, specialty soap) will have specific formulations. However, traditional soap typically consists of the following basic components:

  • Oils or Fats: Oils mostly include coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, and so on. The choice of oils determines the characteristics of the soaps, such as hardness, lathering, and moisturizing. 
  • Lye (Sodium Hydroxide for Bar Soap, Potassium Hydroxide for Liquid Soap): Lye is a key ingredient in soap making. Saponification is a process in which soaps are produced from their reaction with oils. However, the final product does not have lye because it is fully reacted during soap-making.
  • Water: Soapmaking involves both water and the dissolving of the lye.
  • Fragrance or Essential Oils (Optional): In the case of scented soaps, fragrance or essential oils are added. They come from natural sources in the form of pleasant aromas.
  • Colorants (Optional): To make the soap color, natural colorants, including clay or plant extracts, can be used. Or artificial dyes can be employed.
  • Additives (Optional): Other additives can be herbs, spices, exfoliants (like oatmeal) or specialty ingredients to add further properties to the soap.
  • Glycerin: The natural outcome of the saponification process is glycerin. It is a moisturizing agent that traps moisture in the skin and adds more moisture to the skin.
  • Preservatives (if needed): In various commercial liquid soaps, preservatives may be included to increase life span. Other naturally occurring antioxidants include vitamin E.

Which of the Soap Labeling Laws Apply to Your Product?

The FDA is the regulatory body that governs the laws on the labeling of soaps in the United States. The specific regulations depend on how your soap is classified:

  • Soap: In case your product is a real soap, according to the FDA, it belongs to the regulatory area of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). In this situation, soap is excluded from several labeling regulations applicable to cosmetics.
  • Cosmetic: If your soap has cosmetic ingredients or the soap claims to be cosmetic (e.g., moisturizer, beautifying), it is considered a cosmetic. In this instance, it has to comply with the cosmetics labeling requirements that are stipulated under the FD&C Act.
  • Drug: If some of the components or claims that are present in your soap make it a drug, it is regulated as a drug. In such circumstances, it has to comply with the labeling regulations of OTC drugs.
  • Detergent: Detergents may include soaps designed for cleansing but are not purported to be true soaps. Detergent products need to adhere to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) and its labeling rules.

This determination is vital so that you can grasp the specific classification of your product to identify the applicable set of regulations. Consult the FDA guidelines as well as the relevant acts to ensure that they are met.

Remember that this summary is only a general guide, and restrictions can be modified. Regularly monitor updates from the FDA or seek advice from legal practitioners conversant with cosmetic and drug codes to make sure the soap labels reflect the law.

How to Make Labels for Soap

Soap labeling entails both designing and adhering to relevant laws. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make labels for soap: 

  • All vital information that should appear on the label including the soap name, net weight, ingredients, use instructions, and your contact details for business purposes.
  • Your soap’s label area and large and small sizes should be clearly indicated. Ensure that it complies with packaging specifications and is ideal for your soap.
  • Among other things, your brandā€™s logo, color scheme, and general aesthetic can be reflected in your layout for consistency and brand awareness.
  • Choose a readable font for your main body of text. Ensure the readability of all relevant information.
  • State the composition of the soap by order of importance Be consistent with any applicable law or industry standard on ingredient statements.
  • Defining it clearly for the net weight of the soap, which should not only converge in imperial but also in metric units.
  • The instructions on using soap should be straightforward and concise. Any warnings or precautions may be added to it.
  • For ease of quality assurance, include the Batch Number. Where appropriate, give the expiration or the recommended-use-by date.
  • Any graphic, including logos related to the aspect of eco-friendliness or the absence of cruelty to animals, should be incorporated in the soap designs if desired.
  • Labels should be applied firmly and neatly to your custom soap packaging. Make sure to center and align them.

Bottom Line

To summarize, correct labeling of your soaps is an integral part of guaranteed consumer satisfaction and compliance with the legislative requirements.

The traditional soap labels are governed by the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Besides promoting transparency, you earn the trust of customers as you clearly indicate soap names, ingredients, and usage directions. Make sure your soap packaging design ideas align with the branding by using relevant colors and graphics. Complying with local regulations is a top priority, but investing in good-quality, eye-catching labels makes the presentation stand out.

In the end, your success or failure depends on how well your label guides and shapes the consumer experience, and your soap sales are merely a way of measuring that success.