Deodorants technically fall under the purview of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. (You’ll find that the regulations are spelled out in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations.)
While most of the rules are fairly straightforward, there are a few that might be handy to learn about. We’ll look at what to include on a deodorant label, so you can plan one that meets all the requirements.
The Four Major Components
There are four key things that you’ll need to include on the label:
- What the deodorant is
- How much of the deodorant is found in the package
- What the deodorant is made of
- Any relevant warnings
These components are the first things that the FDA will notice on a label, particularly if there are any recalls or approvals involved. Breaking them down will make it easier to keep everything straight when you’re getting your first label together.
The first thing that you’ll need to do is determine how you want to convey the product identity on the label of the deodorant. This is somewhat open to interpretation though. You can call the product “men’s deodorant”, or you can call it “The Last Stop for Sweat”.
The idea with the FDA laws is that you’re getting across both the product and its intended use to the consumer. This can be done with words or with pictures. For instance, you might put an image of a woman rolling the deodorant under her arm on the package.
As long as the product identity is on the front of the label and reasonably clear to another person what it is, then you should meet this requirement with flying colors.
Net contents refer to how much of the product is in the container, not how big the container is. Solid and semi-solid deodorants should be expressed as weight and liquid deodorants (e.g., roll-ons, aerosols, etc.) should be expressed as volume.
You need to include contents expressed as both imperial (e.g., pounds, etc.) and metric (e.g., kilograms, etc.), and it needs to be located on the bottom 30% of the package. When you’re labeling your deodorant’s net contents, keep the number and labels parallel to the bottom of the container.
Net contents do not have to be perfect to the last decimal in order to meet federal regulations, but they should be relatively accurate.
Declaration of Ingredients
You must state all of the ingredients of the deodorant on the label in order of use. This will include listing out all the ingredients in terms of percentage used and then putting them in order.
Some deodorants will name the active ingredient toward the top of the label and then list the inactive ingredients toward the bottom. If an ingredient is less than 1% of the total composition, then it can be listed in any order you want following the major ingredients.
According to the FDA rules, if an ingredient is blended, it cannot be listed as a single ingredient. This is often one of the more difficult components of making your own label, as the composition of each ingredient may not always be apparent. When it comes to naming all of the ingredients, you may need to use the Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary to use the proper terminology for each word on the label.
This rule only applies to certain cosmetics. Deodorants have come under some degree of scrutiny for their potential health hazards. For instance, people have raised concerns about the amount of aluminum and its absorption in the body. However, despite this, there’s been no real evidence to confirm that this is a major threat to your health, which means that you shouldn’t need a warning label for most general deodorants. The only exception is deodorants specifically designed for feminine hygiene.
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