Selling your cosmetic & skincare products legally in the UK
On this page you will find useful details on the laws on selling homemade beauty products in the UK. Find out all about how to get your Cosmetic Product Safety Reports, also know as CPSR's, Cosmetic Safety Assessments or CPSR Certification in the UK, as well as details of recommended companies to help you.
Why not try the FREE SKINCARE BUSINESS COURSE and get off to a flying start! You might also like the article on the pros and cons of getting ADDITIONAL CERTIFICATIONS & ACCREDITATIONS FOR YOUR PRODUCTS.
Also take a look at the EQUIPMENT & CONTAINERS page that tells you what equipment you might need if you are just starting, and also has details of equipment and container suppliers. Lots more information on the NATURAL INGREDIENT SUPPLIERS, BRANDING & DESIGN, LEGAL PAGES FOR WEBSITES, and ONLINE MARKETING pages.
CPSR Certification and Insurance Companies
CPSR Certification in the UK
If you want to sell your homemade natural skincare products legally in the UK, then there are a few things you need to do.
The first is that every product that you sell will need a CPSR (Cosmetic Product Safety Report), also known as cosmetic certification. This document is part of the process that allows you to sell your homemade natural skincare products legally in the UK. (If you are wanting to sell in Northern Ireland or the EU there are different rules for part of the process).
For instance, if you bought the BRAND & GO Body Oil recipes and decided that you were going to sell the 5 body oils at local markets and shows, then you would need 5 different CPSR's, one for each body oil.
When you have a product such as a hand cream range, where there is a base product (the hand cream) and the other hand creams in the range are only a very slight variation (perhaps the addition of different essential oils), then you often find that cosmetic chemists will take this in to account when quoting you a price for the CPSR, as most of the recipe in each product is the same.
How to obtain a Cosmetic Safety Assessment - UK
Cosmetic certification is not difficult to achieve and if you have developed your product(s) and wish to sell them your next step will be to contact a cosmetic chemist to discuss the CPSR for your product (see details of CPSR companies in UK below).
You will need to provide details of your product with the ingredients that you are using and the amounts, along with other details such as the packaging type and details of the appearance, colour and aroma of the product.
Some products may require stability or challenge testing as well, but your cosmetic chemist can advise further on this point.
Cosmetic Safety Assessment price in the UK
The amount you will pay for a CPSR can range from roughly £40 to about £80 or more (excluding any stability or challenge tests required) and will depend on a few factors:
How many recipes you submit for certification at the same time
Whether the recipes are all completely different products or are variations on a theme
Which supplier you are buying your natural ingredients from
Both the cosmetic safety assessment companies below do discounts in various ways for multiple products submitted at the same time, and for a range of similar products, for instance a range of body oils with the same base but different essential oils blends.
One of the companies also provides a discount if the ingredients in the recipe are from Aromantic (see NATURAL INGREDIENTS SUPPLIERS page) as they work closely with them and know their products well.
You need to look at what products you want to get CPSR reports for and see whether you can benefit from any of the discounts, you should be able to get no obligation quotes from both companies.
Calculating cosmetic ingredients - w/w
When you submit your recipes to a cosmetic chemist you normally need to calculate each ingredient as a percentage of the total weight of the product. This is called w/w, or weight per weight.
For every recipe you need to weigh each individual ingredient. You may have a mixture of oils (measured in ml) and solids like beeswax or butters (measured in grams) but every ingredient needs to be weighed. 50ml of one carrier oil does not necessarily weigh the same as 50ml of another carrier oil.
Take your recipe and weight every single ingredient. Once you have these individual weights, add them all up for a total weight of the product.
To calculate each individual ingredient weight, take the weight of an individual ingredient and divide it by the total weight of the product and multiply by 100.
For example, a total product weight of 121.38g with one of the ingredients weighing 30.47g would be:
30.47 (individual ingredient weight) divided by 121.38 (total weight of product) multiplied by 100 = 25.10 w/w
This tells you that that particular ingredient is 25.10 w/w of the overall product
You can calculate the ingredient w/w weights manually or set up a spreadsheet to do it for you.
If you are not confident doing this part yourself then don't worry! Cosmetic Safety Consultants (details below) will do this for you if you send them your recipe in ml's and grams.
Can I sell skincare products once I have a CPSR?
Once you have a CPSR for your product you still need to comply with a few other regulations and your cosmetic chemist (who supplied you with your CPSR) should provide you with full details. Briefly, you need to comply with the correct labelling regulations, have a good manufacturing process (ensuring that products are made in a clean and hygienic environment with care), and keep a PIF (Product Information File) for each product as well as registering the product for sale on the GB Cosmetics Notification Portal with the Office for Product Safety & Standards (OPSS)
If you need extra help in this area (although it's not difficult to get set up), Cosmetic Safety Consultants (see details below) provide free comprehensive guides to their customers to help explain and assist them through the additional regulations after they get their natural skincare product CPSR.
Once you have your CPSR, your product is registered on the portal and you know what regulations you have to comply with, you are all ready to sell!
You might also want to take a look at the insurance company details below too.
I have personal experience of using both of these companies for CPSR's.
Cosmetic Safety Consultants Ltd
Cosmetic Safety Consultants have free, user friendly guides (if you need them) to help you understand everything that you are required to do in order to sell your products. They also provide free, no obligation quotes and do a range of discounts available if you want to certify a range of similar products. They are used to dealing with small scale and homecraft clients and also have an express certification service available if required.
Oxford Biosciences Ltd
Oxford Biosciences offer a discount to customers of Aromantic (see INGREDIENT SUPPLIERS page). If you submit a batch of different natural skincare recipes to them for a variety of products they are happy to discount the price and they also have a lower price charge for variations on a base formula.
Skincare Business Insurance
Insurance for selling skincare and beauty products
If you are selling skincare or beauty products to the public as a business then it is a good idea to have some insurance to cover yourself. If you plan on selling at markets or shows you will find that you will be asked to provide a copy of your insurance by the organisers.
There are different types of insurance depending on what you are selling and how and also whether any other people may be attending shows and events with you.
Ian Wallace Craft Insurance
A good company to talk to about your requirement for people who make and sell natural handmade skincare and beauty products.
They cover individuals, partnerships and businesses for selling online, in retail outlets and shops and indoor and outdoor events.
If you are providing other types of services such as consultancy or advice in the natural skincare or beauty products business then you may need some professional indemnity insurance. PolicyBee do insurance for small businesses, from sole traders to limited companies and cater for every type of business you can think of.