How To Correctly Package and Label Your Soap In Nigeria

If you are thinking of going into soap production as a business; then, you need this post. To be honest with you; soap production has gone beyond just production. At this age and time; you need to know how to correctly package your soap correctly. Unfortunately, this information is hidden from the public until the long harm of Law catch up with them. This I think is a deliberate act to exploit the general public; which is why I am doing this today. So, if you are into soap production; you need to read this carefully. Although, it is supposed to be a long post, but I will do all within my reach to make it short as I can.

Before I go into soap packaging and labeling proper; I need to make a clear distinction between soap, cosmetics and drugs as they are all closely related. As a matter of fact, most of us here are producing drugs instead of soaps. However, there is no cause for alarm as this post is going to clear all your doubts.

Whether a product is a soap, cosmetic or a drug under the law is determined by a product’s intended use. Different laws and regulations apply to each type of product. Firms sometimes violate the law by marketing a cosmetic with a drug claim or by marketing a drug as if it were a cosmetic, without adhering to requirements for drugs.

Before you can label and package your soap properly; you need to first decide if your soap does not do more than just cleaning the body. Or is it a cosmetic because; a cosmetic does either of these:

A) It contains detergents or B) you make a claim like “moisturizing soap.” And it may also be a drug if you make a claim like “diminishes acne.”

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines cosmetics by their intended use, as “products intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied to the human body…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.”

Among the products included in this definition are skin moisturizers, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail polishes, eye and facial makeup preparations, cleansing shampoos, permanent waves, hair colors, and deodorants, as well as any substance intended for use as a component of a cosmetic product. Are you seeing what I am seeing?

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act defines drugs, in part, by their intended use, as “products intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease” and “products (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or other animals.”

Fortunately, some Soaps meet the definitions of both cosmetics and drugs. This may happen when a soap has two intended uses. For example, a soap is a cosmetic because its intended use is to cleanse the hair. An antidandruff treatment is a drug because its intended use is to treat dandruff. Consequently, an antidandruff soap is both a cosmetic and a drug. Among other cosmetic/drug combinations are toothpastes that contain fluoride, deodorants that are also antiperspirants, and moisturizers and makeup marketed with sun-protection claims. Such products must comply with the requirements for both cosmetics and drugs.

Claims stated on the product labeling, in advertising, on the Internet, or in other promotional materials. Certain claims may cause a product to be considered a drug, even if the product is marketed as if it were a cosmetic. Such claims establish the product as a drug because the intended use is to treat or prevent disease or otherwise affect the structure or functions of the human body. Some examples are claims that products will restore hair growth, reduce cellulite, treat varicose veins, increase or decrease the production of melanin (pigment) in the skin, or regenerate cells.

This principle also holds true for “essential oils.” For example, a fragrance marketed for promoting attractiveness is a cosmetic. But a fragrance marketed with certain “aromatherapy” claims, such as assertions that the scent will help the consumer sleep or quit smoking, meets the definition of a drug because of its intended use. Similarly, a massage oil that is simply intended to lubricate the skin and impart fragrance is a cosmetic, but if the product is intended for a therapeutic use, such as relieving muscle pain, it’s a drug.

Although, in Nigeria, soap is not considered a cosmetic unless you are making claims such as moisturizing, conditioning, etc. However, all lotions, creams, lip balms and other such products do fall under the Cosmetic legislature and there are labeling requirements.

Mind you, cosmetic labeling must be truthful and not misleading. Products intended to affect the structure or function of the body, or for a therapeutic purpose, such as treating or preventing disease, are subject to regulation as drugs.

Soap is a category that needs special explanation. That’s because the regulatory definition of “soap” is different from the way in which people commonly use the word.

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act interprets the term “soap” to apply only when the bulk of the nonvolatile matter in the product consists of an alkali salt of fatty acids and the product’s detergent properties are due to the alkali-fatty acid compounds, and the product is labeled, sold, and represented solely as soap.

So, if a product intended to cleanse the human body does not meet all the criteria for soap, as listed above, it is either a cosmetic or a drug. For example:

If a product

  • consists of detergents, or
  • primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids, and
  • is intended not only for cleansing but also for other cosmetic uses, it is regulated as a cosmetic. Examples of cosmetic uses include making the user more attractive, by acting as a deodorant, imparting fragrance to the user, or moisturizing the skin.

If a product

  • consists of detergents, or
  • primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids, and
  • is intended not only for cleansing but also to cure, treat, or prevent disease, or to affect the structure or any function of the human body, it is regulated as a drug, or possibly both a drug and a cosmetic. Examples include antibacterial cleansers and cleansers that are also intended to treat acne.

If a product

  • is intended solely for cleansing the human body,
  • has the characteristics consumers generally associate with soap, and
  • does not consist primarily of alkali salts of fatty acids,

it may be identified in labeling as soap, but it is regulated as a cosmetic.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sorry, contents on this blog are copyright protected!