What do you know about Natural Cosmetics legislation?
Today I want to talk to you about legal natural cosmetics.
Throughout my professional career, which began in 1987, I have had the opportunity to speak and respond to many people who have contacted me for information on the requirements for selling their homemade cosmetics. To this day, there is not a week that someone does not call or write me for guidance on legal natural cosmetics.
I am writing this short article because there is an explosion of interest in this subject of natural and self-made cosmetics, and with the intention of helping and clarifying the situation for those who read it.
First of all, what has to be clear is whether the cosmetics we make are for our own use or for sale.
If it is for our own use, there is no problem of any kind and we do not have to worry about anything other than the quality of the ingredients we use and the good elaboration of the cosmetic.
The problem comes when we want to sell it.
In the same way that you cannot make a medicine at home and sell it legally (because it requires a health registration), you cannot make a natural cosmetic and sell it legally (because it requires a health registration).
In Spain, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products regulates cosmetic products (AEMPS). You can see the current legislation and regulations here: https://www.aemps.gob.es/cosmeticosHigiene/portada/home.htm
In recent decades, the criteria for cosmetics has increasingly come closer to that of medicines.
For this reason, the requirements for being able to manufacture cosmetics are getting higher and the facilities, processes and personnel involved are getting closer to pharmaceutical laboratories.
This has not been done all at once, it is being done slowly, but it is paradoxical (in my opinion) that today there is much more demand at the health level for a cosmetic than for a food.
Whether we like it or not, this is what there is. In order for you to be able to manufacture and sell your products, you have to do so with a cosmetic health record. If you sell something without a register, you are acting illegally and can be sanctioned by the administration.
In order to obtain a health registration, you must comply with the regulations in force, that is to say, the product must be manufactured, packaged and labelled in facilities that meet the requirements defined by law.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF LEGAL NATURAL COSMETICS
The facilities where natural cosmetics suitable for sale are produced must meet certain requirements in terms of distribution, quality of materials, lighting, air treatment, processes, etc. and obtain the corresponding administrative authorisation.
In addition, you must have the support of a Responsible Technician who supervises all activities (Pharmacist, Chemist, Biologist, etc.). This is very important. If you do not have the title that validates you to sign the products, you need someone who has it, even if it is hired by the hour.
In short, no one can make homemade cosmetics and sell them legally.
That doesn’t exclude that you can make homemade natural cosmetics for yourself and for yours: family friends, etc., as long as you don’t sell them.
Some people also ask me “but I am an artisan, can I sell with my card? The answer is categorically no. There are laws that affect all cosmetics in Europe and there are no “shortcuts” to legal marketing.
Other people are interested in our training, especially the Master in Natural Cosmetics, and ask us if these studies can cover the figure of Responsible Technician.
The answer is: no, unless they have the university degree required by law. No study, neither ours nor that of any other school, substitutes or overlaps a university career, do not be fooled by people with few scruples who say that with their studies you have the training for it.
With our Master you will have a theoretical qualification to know all the aspects to take into account in the manufacture and commercialization of natural cosmetics, but if you do not have the university degree, you will not be able to practice as a Responsible Technician.
That doesn’t mean that it won’t do you any good, far from it, it will do you a lot of good because you will know what you are doing and what your job is all about, but you will have to hire a professional profile that covers that specific position.
And all those people who say that the regulations and legislation are going to change and that in order to fill the position of Responsible Technician there will be no need for a university degree, at the moment they are lying, because the law is what it is and it is difficult for the level of demand to be less, when in recent decades it has not only gone further, but there is a clear tendency for this position to be filled by pharmacists.
By the way, perfumes are considered as cosmetics, so they are governed by this same regulation.
And finally, some people ask me why in the United Kingdom it is legal to sell what you make at home and not in Spain. Well, you can clearly see that it is a country that has always had laws that are quite particular and different from those we have in Europe, and especially in Spain that we are always lagging behind what is said in the north.
This is not the United Kingdom (unfortunately in this matter, from my point of view it seems magnificent that there if allowed) and we must know and abide by the laws of each country.