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Top Nine Cosmetic Labeling Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

Don’t get caught making expensive business mistakes.

It doesn’t matter how dynamite your product is. If there’s a mistake on your cosmetic product’s label, that item may never make it to the store shelves. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a healthy list of cosmetic labeling rules you’ll need to follow. When designing your labels, make sure first to answer these common questions to eliminate costly errors.

Can I Run My Cosmetics Business Alone?

You don’t need a colossal factory full of staff, but at the bare minimum, having another set of eyes when it comes to proofing any final products is critical. This is especially true for labels that have to meet specific FDA requirements, such as cosmetic product labels.

If you make a mistake on your cosmetic label design, you’re going to be stuck with a fair amount of product that you may not be able to sell. After all, cosmetics are typically manufactured in bulk. Not only will you be unhappy with the result, but you could also even be forced to reprint labels that you didn’t budget for.

Common mistake number one in cosmetic labeling comes from, you guessed it, people trying to do all the things, all on their own. A one-person band is excellent, but everyone needs a little help from time to time. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes. The key is catching those mistakes before going into production.

What Must Be Included on My Cosmetic Product Label?

Before we continue with the rest of the common cosmetic product labeling mistakes, let’s quickly cover what you will need to include on your label. All cosmetic product labels must contain the information listed below. We’ll cover more details on these topics as we progress through the article.

  • Contact information

  • Ingredients (most products)

  • Net contents

  • Product identity

  • Warning labels (certain products only)

Can a Cosmetic Product’s Name Include the Main Ingredient?

If you decide to name your product after one of its ingredients, you may have a problem with the FDA. Why? Your product’s front-facing label must list all ingredients or none at all. Otherwise, the FDA may consider your product to be misbranded. This is common mistake number two for cosmetic product labeling.

According to the FDA’s cosmetic labeling regulations, referencing only a single ingredient is considered misbranding. The idea here is to protect consumers from misleading labels that allude to products being something that they are not.

While it’s not required to include the product name on your label, you must have the product identity on the front of your cosmetic package. The product identity is simply a way for consumers to know what your product actually is. You can show this by listing the common name or by using a picture.

Does a Cosmetics Label Need Contact Information?

Don’t forget to include your business address on your cosmetic product label.

The FDA guidelines require all cosmetic product labels to include contact information for the company that the product was manufactured for, the packer, or the business distributing the product. This vital requirement is frequently overlooked, leading to common cosmetic product labeling mistake number three.

For most, the manufacturer, packer, or distributor name, street address, city, state, and zip code are required to appear on a cosmetic product’s label. However, if a business is listed in a current city directory or telephone book, the street address can be omitted from the label. Of course, the name, city, state, and zip code are still required.

Suppose the name and address of the business responsible for the product are not that of the manufacturer. In that case, you must include phrases such as “Distributed by…”, “Manufactured for…”, or other equally appropriate wording.

Are There Font Requirements for a Cosmetics Product Label?

Clear guidelines have been set by the FDA when it comes to printed fonts for cosmetic product labels. Certain areas of your product’s label will require different font sizes. To ensure that you are using the correct font sizes in the right places, get to know the FDA guidelines.

Then, get out your ruler because you’ll want to physically measure the lowercase “o” and uppercase “L” on your printed labels to make sure you’re using the correct font sizes in each area of your cosmetic product label.

Working with the right fonts and font sizes is critical for both consumer safety and product sales. Have you ever had trouble reading a product’s label? I bet you set it back down and walked away. Or, at the very least, experienced some frustration. A legible label is essential for people with allergies.

Much information has to be included on what is typically a minimal space, leading to our fourth cosmetic labeling mistake, incorrect font size, or illegible font choice. Labeling pertains to all printed information distributed with your product, such as the label itself, leaflets, inserts, promotional literature, and more.

Are Warning Statements Required?

Only some cosmetics require warning statements. To avoid running into cosmetic labeling mistake number five, make sure to learn which cosmetic products have this FDA requirement. Some of those products include:

  • Aerosols

  • Certain bubble bath

  • Feminine spray deodorant

  • Products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids

  • Tanning products that don’t include sunscreen

When Is an Ingredient List Required on a Cosmetics Label?

If your product is making cosmetic claims, such as moisturizing skin or reducing acne, then you’re going to want to make sure that you include an ingredients list. If, however, your product is not making any of these claims, you may be off the hook. Please learn the FDA’s cosmetic guidelines to avoid making mistake number six on our list of common cosmetic labeling mistakes.

How Do I List Micas on a Cosmetics Label?

When related to a cosmetic product’s use, micas will be a mica-based pigment, or in this sense, product coloring. Since multiple parts generally make up a mica-based pigment, every piece will need to be listed. Make sure to separate the components by commas to bypass the seventh cosmetic labeling mistake on our list.

What Are the Requirements for Listing the Net Weight on a Label for a Cosmetic Product?

Make sure the net weight is listed in bold on your cosmetic product label.

Customers know how much product is included by looking at the net weight on your product’s packaging. To meet the FDA’s net weight requirement, you’ll need to make sure that your product’s net weight is printed in bold lettering on the product label.

While this may not seem like a big deal to some, others may not like how this looks on their product design. Trying to get around this requirement is cosmetic labeling mistake number eight. Unfortunately, there’s no sneaking around this one.

Additionally, your cosmetic product’s net weight must be printed on the bottom third of your product’s front panel. It should be printed parallel to the bottom using both the metric system and the imperial system.

Do Cosmetic Product Ingredients Need To Be Listed in Any Particular Order?

Overlooking this FDA requirement leads to number nine on our list of cosmetic labeling mistakes. When it comes to how the FDA regulates customized labels, cosmetic products fall in line with the rest. This means that you’re required to list all ingredients in descending order of predominance by weight.

The word “and” should not separate these ingredients; instead, it’s expected that only commas are used. Additionally, all blended ingredients, such as mica-based pigment, are to be listed individually but based on their percentage as a whole.

Let’s do a quick recap on what we’ve covered so far in this article:

What Are the Top Nine Cosmetic Labeling Mistakes You Need To Avoid?

  1. Trying to do it all on your own

  2. Using an ingredient in or as your product name

  3. Leaving off contact information

  4. Not using the correct font sizes

  5. Knowing if warning statements are required

  6. Skipping the ingredients list

  7. Listing micas incorrectly

  8. Not bolding the net weight

  9. Printing ingredients in the proper order

How Do I Avoid Making Cosmetic Labeling Mistakes?

A simple solution around these common mistakes is to work with an experienced and highly rated beauty products private label manufacturer. Skip the extra expense and headaches of having to redesign and reprint your cosmetic product labels by working with a company that has your best interests in mind.

If you’re looking to manufacture cosmetic products, Moe's group would love to hear from you. You can reach out by submitting an inquiry through the website or reaching one of our specialists by phone. Your product success is the number one priority at Moe's group. Reach out today!


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