Whenever you print product labels, you are subject to a variety of laws. These laws are designed to protect the consumer and ensure the consumer is informed enough to make the right decision as to whether to purchase or not.
Cosmetic labels have their own set of laws as set down by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC). The good news is that these laws have not changed since May 23, 2008. Firstly, you need to know if your products actually come under the umbrella of cosmetic products or not.
The ACCC states that:
Cosmetic products are substances or preparations intended for placement in contact with any external part of the body, including the mouth and teeth, for the purpose of:
altering the odours of the body
- changing the appearance of the body
- cleansing the body
- maintaining the body in good condition
- perfuming the body
- protecting the body.
These laws obviously govern deodorants, perfume, soap, sunscreen, lip balms, shaving cream, shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash and many other creams and lotions for the human body.
The cosmetics industry is a large one and hence, there are thousands of different cosmetics labels in the market place.
There is a mandatory standard as set down by the Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Cosmetics) Regulations 1991.
This is an amendment to the Trade Practices Act of 1974.
It is important that your cosmetic labels comply to this mandatory standard because there are penalties for not doing so. More importantly, the ingredients of your cosmetics must be made known to the consumer to protect them from potential allergies. This is the main focus of the mandatory standard.
Unfortunately, I can speak from personal experience here. About ten years ago, I experienced a rash from shaving. In fact, I had it for some time but eventually I went to a skin specialist and after doing a patch test, he discovered that I was allergic to a certain chemical with over ten letters in it.
The label on my shaving cream revealed that this chemical was in fact contained in my shaving cream. The detailed ingredients of this label enabled my rash to disappear very quickly when I changed shaving cream brands. I am really thankful that the manufacturer of the shaving cream had complied with the labelling laws set down by the ACCC.