Attempting to market and sell handmade soap and other cosmetics within the confines of the FDA and other legal agencies can be difficult and tricky to navigate. We want to share with customers the amazing and wonderful benefits of our products, but we need to do so in a way that follows the law and protects the consumer.
The FDA defines a cosmetic as a product that is "intended to be applied to the human body for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance." The FDA defines a drug as "articles intended for use in the... cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease... and ... articles ... intended to affect the structure or any function of the body."
Even if you think your honey oatmeal soap treats and heals psoriasis or beleive your charcoal soap heals and prevents cystic acne, making this claim is illegal. You aren't allowed to (and shouldn't) make any medical claims about any of your products, unless of course your product has also been approved as both a cosmetic and a drug, such as a medicated soap. Medical claims include words like "treats," "cures," and "heals." A cosmetic and a drug are not the same thing.
I personally do not believe, nor do I have the qualifications to definitively state, that soaps are capable of providing some medical benefits, unless a drug is included. I do however feel that handmade soap does offer cosmetic benefits which can include cleansing, exfoliating, brightening, and more. These adjectives are acceptable cosmetic claims and are words used to describe an external product used for beauty enhancing purposes.
Below is a list of over 225 different words that can be used to describe your handmade soap for cosmetic and marketing purposes.
All skin types
Indulge/ Indulging/ Indulgent
Love/ Loving/ Loveable/ Lovely/ Loveliness
Not tested on animals
Organic (certification required)
Regenerate/ Regenerating/ Regeneration
Relief/ Relieve/ Relieving
Supports small businesses
Target/ Targets/ Targeting
Hopefully these words can help give you some inspiration when it comes to describing your amazing handcrafted products. Excellent marketing skills is an absolute necessity for a successful business and this means having the ability to promote and highlight your products. Happy Soaping!
*I am not a laywer and these terms have not been confirmed by a legal team. It is your responsibility as a seller to do this.