We regularly receive questions from (potential) customers who want to make cosmetics to sell. Not everyone realizes that there are rules when it comes to the saole of cosmetica that require time and money to properly adhere to. Below an overview.
We can help with the supply of substances and materials, advice, technical support. However, do not just buy products intended for professional cosmetic production in the webshop. Please consult us first and indicate that you want to use the products for cosmetics production.
Rules and regulations
First of all, it is important to know that the rules on this point apply to everyone and to any quantity. Whether you sell one bottle of homemade shampoo to the neighbor or have a factory that makes a million bottles a year, all the rules are the same in both cases. It also makes no difference whether you find the product natural, or safe or mild.
The rules are the same throughout the European Union, except for minor nuances. That is great, because if you can sell the products in the Netherlands, you can usually also sell them in the other EU countries. That is a huge difference from the past when each country had its own rules, which resulted in trade with other countries being only reserved for large companies.
You will find the most important rules in the European Cosmetics Regulation. A few important points from this:
- Cosmetics must be packaged in a certain way. The packaging must contain a number of information, such as the ingredients, shelf life and batch number.
- The person who markets the cosmetics (manufacturer or importer) must record certain data. Auditors from the NVWA in the Netherlands must have access to this data. The data that must be recorded are, for example, the composition, requirements for the raw materials in terms of purity, animal testing, claims, side effects.
- Access must be given to the safety assessment of the product. This also means that a safety assessment must be made. This assessment should be made by a licensed chemist, physician, biologist or someone with a related degree at university (sometimes college) level.
- Cosmetics must be made and packaged according to certain hygiene standards, which means you cannot without question use your own kitchen.
- Any cosmetic product must be registered via the Cosmetic Products Notification Portal ( CPNP) .
Furthermore, the law contains lists of substances that may or may not be used.
If you want to make cosmetics for the purpose of selling them, there are rules, some are easy to follow, some are not. What does that mean in practical terms?
You will likely need to hire an expert to do the safety assessment. These experts are not cheap, it can easily cost hundreds of euros for a single, simple product. With a more difficult product such as a CP soap or a perfume with 50 fragrance compounds, you should probably estimate thousands of euros in costs. To make the safety assessment, you need information about the raw materials you intent to use, which you must request. That too can cost time and money. Maybe your product is not safe enough, then you need to develop a new one or adjust the formula.
The cosmetics must be made in a clean room, which you will probably have to rent or have built or renovated. It is often cheaper to outsource production. If you prefer to make it yourself, you must -in principle- work according to the GMP cosmetics guideline. GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practice. According to this GMP, you must work in a clean manner, according to previously devised procedures, take measures to prevent mix-up of products and so on.
If you have never had a (production) company before, it might be good to think about it. Do you enjoy making soap and therefore want to make it your profession? Making a few bars of soap every weekend is fun, but is it also fun to make hundreds of bars of soap almost every day? Let’s say 50 weeks a year? If you are not an (experienced) entrepreneur: realize what that can entail: a lot of risk, especially in the beginning very long days and at any time something could happen that would force you to close the company and be left with a debt.
We recommend that beginners on the cosmetics market find a good cosmetic chemist first and outsource production. It will be 2 to 20 times more work and effort than you initially estimated.
For documentation we have created a separate page.
What can De Hekserij do for you
We regularly receive requests from established cosmetic manufacturers if our products can be used for the production of cosmetics.
In all cases: always first contact our customer service (by email) before ordering or developing for production with our products. We sell the products from our webshop for research, development, education and entertainment and NOT for the production of cosmetics. This also means that not everything that is in the webshop is automatically suitable for the production of cosmetics. In many cases we can help you, but to save time, money and frustration it is advisable to discuss everything with us (well) in advance.
If it concerns a fragrance composition: there is a lot we can help your with. Scent is our specialty, we are flexible, have a lot of knowledge, and many contacts. A word of warning: we do not do things cheap or fast. If you are looking for a copy of an already existing fragrance, you are better off looking elsewehere. We are good at good quality, special fragrances, unique scents. We love tough safety, environmental, sustainability and fair trade requirements. We can supply 10 grams or 1000 kg, whatever you need, provided you have the time and are willing to pay the price.
Do you want to mix your own scents? We can help with lessons, base formulas, technical advice, individual aroma chemicals (even those that are not available in the webshop).
Incidentally, you have also come to the right place for fragrance materials for scented candles, cleaning products, air fresheners and the like. However, if you are looking for aroma for food, tobacco, e-smoking, medicines and the like, we, unfortunately, can NOT be of service to you.
We can do less for you for other cosmetics. Only if you make very small quantities (typical batches of less than 25-100 kg) on ??a small scale in your own preparation areas, we are sometimes a suitable supplier. In those cases: we can deliver more than is stated in the webshop, what is in the webshop is not necessarily suitable for professional use. For example, because not all the usual documentation is available.
Technical assistance is also available here.