Getting ready to launch the business
I began my soap making journey in 2010 after receiving two soap making books from a family friend who knew I enjoyed crafting.
I highly recommend these two books for anyone wishing to make their own bar:
The Natural Soap Chef by Heidi Corley Barto -
Soap Making Self Suffiency by Sarah Ade
I practised begineer to advanced techniques and even sold some after gaining my Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR). Then life took me on a different path!
In 2020, due to lockdown restrictions, I returned back to soaping. Not much has changed in the soap world in 6 years or so! After making numerous batches and being surrounded by hundreds of curing soaps, I decided to work on collections to sell again. However, I have not been able to find my pre 2013 Cosmetic Product Safety Report (CPSR) - these were not restricted to one single base recipe(!). To apply for one in the present day is costly and limited to just one base recipe (£180+VAT for 8 variations of one base recipe). I have sent off one for 32 variations so I can have more creative flexibility and scope. I have sent 18 variations and will send the remaining 14 early summer once finalised. Fingers crossed it will arrive before Easter 2021!
What do you need to sell handmade soap?
Dislaimer: I am writing the process I am currently following - but please also do your own research!
Cosmetic Product Safety Report
Register on Cosmetic Products Notification Portal
Keep Product Information Files and Good Manufacturing Practice
Insurance - Product and Public Liability
Correctly Label your Soap
1. Cosmetic Product Safety Report
It is a legal requirement to have any cosmetic product certified in order to be sold. Any cosmetic or toiletry product, intended for sale to the public, that comes into contact with the skin, requires a CPSR. It can take anything up to 12 weeks in total for your recipes to be certified.
Some options include:
The Soap Kitchen: https://www.thesoapkitchen.co.uk/cosmetic-safety-assessment-advice
Naturally Balmy: https://naturallybalmy.co.uk/collections/comprehensive-cosmetics
Cosmetic Safety Assessment: https://www.cosmeticsafetyassessment.com/
2. Register on Cosmetic Products Notification Portal
Once you have your CPSR document, you need to register yourself as the Responsible Person and your products on the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal, CPNP for short, this is currently an EU portal but is likely to transfer to a UK one in the future.
3. Keep Product Information Files and Good Manufacturing Practice
In order to comply with Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009, a Product Information File (PIF) must be completed for all Cosmetics intended to be marketed within the EU. The Product Information Files (PIF) are files recording every detail about your soap manufacturing (such as dates of manufacture, batch numbers, MSDS sheets for all ingredients, allergens, method of manufacture plus your assessments). You need to keep records of anything related to the manufacture of your products. This audit trail is required should things go wrong but also can be requested.
You also need to keep a record detailing your Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), (to include detail such as where you will make your soap, storage of materials and packaging, equipment use, waste disposal, final product quality checks).
4. Insurance - Product and Public Liability
You will need product and public liability insurance at the very least. In the UK, you are unable to sell at market stalls or craft fairs without Public Liability.
5. Correctly Label your Soap
Your CPSR provided will give instructions on how to correctly label your soap in line with regulations. All cosmetic products in the UK are covered by Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009. These regulations place responsibility on the “responsible person” (this is generally either the manufacturer or person who has such a product designed or manufactured, and markets that cosmetic product under their name or trademark) to comply with the regulations.
Is it worth it?
Yes this seems alot of additional (and serious!) admin to get through in order to sell your handmade soap. There is a high degree of responsibility in providing skincare - for all the right reasons. However, once you have passed these hurdles it will be plain sailing from then! Providing natural bars of goodness is at the core of Wild Cornish Soap - we all deserve to have happy hands!