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  • Allergen information

    Hi Everyone!

    I'm in the process of setting up a soap making business and am very new to the soap making world. I bought certification from a company that promised they'd help me through everything however under the labeling information on my soap certification it mentions that i need to include any allergens from the 26 allergen table created by IFRA yet it doesnt have that table in the certification! I've tried to contact the company but they wont answer my calls or e mail and i'm really worried now that i've wasted my money buying the certification! Does anyone have a copy of the table or even explain what it means?

    Thanks for listening x

  • #2
    Now I am baffled! You have cosmetic certification yet you don't know anything about working out allergens? Don't you think you've done this the wrong way round? How new to soap making are you? What kind of soap are you making?
    Your fragrance oils all have MSDS which list the allergens. Which you have to list is based on how much you used in your batch and the size of that batch.
    Similar for EO's.
    I really think you should do some research for yourself!


    • #3
      Did you buy it from Just a Soap - they stopped offering this service some months ago so may well not be supporting it any longer or did you buy it somewhere else?

      When did you send your emails - if over Christmas/New Year whoever may not be operational until next week.
      ElaineJ soap and other stuff


      • #4
        Got to agree with Corrie, you shouldn't be thinking about going into biz until you know all about your allergens and how to calculate them etc. Sorry if that sounds a tad harsh but you normally know these sort of things before you think about going into business. What type of soap are you making?


        • #5
          Thanks for your answers and for being so kind. I will make melt and pour soap.
          Do essential oils have allergens in them too?
          My certification was done by justasoap and they dont really require any input as it's a pre worked document. It just states the allergens for fragrance oils but none of essential oils? does this mean they dont have any that need to be declared on the label?

          How do i find out about allergens?


          • #6
            Totally Baffled, I'm not sure you understood my first post. You should NOT even be thinking about selling soap before you have a firm grip of what EU Cosmetic Regulations require of you.
            To answer your question. Both fragrance oils and essential oils have allergens so you will have to list any allergens present in your soap.
            I urge you to do a bit more research before even contemplating selling your soap. If you mess up and fail to list allergens and someone has a reaction to your soap you could be sued. Also before you sell anything you are required to have insurance.
            For allergen info try this


            • #7
              Thanks for the link, i found it really useful. It seems that justasoap do not list their allergen information like this and i think thats what confused me more than i was before! Does anyone know how to read the justasoap allergen information on the MSDS they provide? It seems to me that they simply list the allergens that you need to put on the label instead of having to work it out. is that correct? certainly would be alot easier if it was

              I've managed to find a EEFA list of allergens in essential oils and was wondering if this is the right way to calculate the allergens - i'll use Lemon E.O as my example:
              See the percentage of the allergen on the table so citral at 3%. then multiply this by the % of Lemon in my finished product which is 2% then multiply this by 0.01% as it's in a rinse off product so the final amount of allergen is 0.06% so i would list citral as an allergen. Is this right?

              I already have soap insurance so thats one things i can cross of my to do list!

              I just wanna thank you all for putting up with me in my confused state! I've been soley using pre certified saop to make soaps as a hobbie so i havent really had to know this side of it.


              • #8
                To put the allergen risk into perspective (from my point of view anyway)
                I am allergic to tree nuts. If I even smell them I have a severe reaction, even if the product is wrapped and even if I do not realise I have come into contact with it (it's not psychological).

                I have to read labels of everything: creams, soaps, shampoo, food etc as nut oils and derivatives are used in so many things. I cannot walk near open displays of nuts ie at fairs, shops etc.

                I am not trying to be drastic here this is a reality for me and for anyone with an allergy. If you do not take this risk into consideration it could be fatal to someone who is allergic to the most innocuous sounding ingredient.

                I knew a girl (22) who died as a result of eating cake she was told was nut free - she did not get to hospital in time.
                While I appreciate your products are not for eating, allergies are a real and severe threat to many.

                I apologise if this sounds harsh and alarmist but I am sure you don't want to cause anyone any harm, please check all aspects before selling your products.
                Terry xxx
                You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
                Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy


                • #9
                  Hi Terry,

                  Thanks for adding that about the seriousness of allergies. I completely agree with you which i guess is partly the reason i've worried myself into a state over listing allergens. I feel like listing every allergen that could be in the soap just to make sure it's safe for people but i dont know if i'm allowed to do that?!


                  • #10
                    You're covered re nut oils and such as you have to list the ingredients - admittedly with INCI names, but you can put the common name in brackets after each.

                    Your allergen calculation above is OK.
                    ElaineJ soap and other stuff


                    • #11
                      Sticking to my specific allergy just to give an experience based example - labelling can be really unhelpful.

                      A general 'may contain nuts' does not allow me to assess risk and if asked no one will guarantee anything to be nut free which is very restrictive. However some labelling eg Tesco says - product does not contain nuts or nut ingredients but cannot be guaranteed to be nut free. I am happy with this level of risk.

                      % breakdown would be really helpful too.

                      What is excellent about buying direct from a producer is the opportunity to discuss ingredients and gain reassurance. A comprehensive knowledge of your product will put minds at ease, especially those with skin conditions etc and should result in repeat sales as people will go where they know their specific 'issue' can be avoided/alleviated.

                      All the best with sorting out these regs! Sorry to harp on about nuts
                      Terry xxx
                      You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
                      Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy


                      • #12
                        Hi Elaine.
                        Ah thanks. i'm feeling a bit more confident now about allergens. I'm so glad i found this forum as i really was panicking! I've heard loads of negative things about setting up a soap business but it seems like this is the place to give/swap advice. I'm sure it will be a long while till i can actually give out advice though!

                        Terry - i'm glad you mentioned your nut allergy as to be honest i hadnt thought about nuts! i'd gotten so bothered about the chemical names that it hadnt crossed my mind. My business aim will be to provide products that are clearly marked. I'm guessing i'm gonna need to remember things like people who cant have chocolate cant use cocoa butter and people who are allergic to bees cant use beeswax. My minds working overtime now!
                        Last edited by Totoally Baffled!; 04-01-2009, 10:11 PM.


                        • #13
                          Oh I am sorry to add to your list of things to worry about
                          I was trying to give you a perspective from one 'afflicted'.
                          I think it's great that you are aiming for clear labelling.

                          Please remember you can't please everyone, nor can you be expected to cover all the bases, but make it known that you are able to/willing to come up with a solution.

                          Then, rather than being expected to have a ready made product for every permutation, people will be able to say what it is they need to avoid.

                          Hope that helps
                          Terry xxx
                          You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
                          Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy


                          • #14

                            Having just read this, although a bit late, this is just for information and to clarify that Just a Soap issued its last assessment in July 2007.

                            If you have purchased an assessment since that date with our name on it we would suggest you contact the seller directly as it wasn't from us.

                            best regards,



                            • #15
                              just a thought

                              this is quite a minefield. why not sign up for a course - I know it costs but it will pay dividends in the end. Sarah Janes at the Soap School runs courses and is brilliant and she has organised my safety assessments. also Plush Folly run courses to go to and as distance learning (c.£100).

                              it's important to get it right and very complex.

                              i'm glad you're looking to get it sorted rather than ignore the regulations.