Essential oils are aromatic compounds extracted from plants that capture the plant’s flavor and scent. They are called essential because they capture the essence of the plant. The aromatic compounds are combined with carrier oil to create a product that is sold to consumers and manufacturers. Labels for essential oil bottles may require extra care to comply with FDA and FTC regulations.
The Growth of Essential Oils
The essential oil market is expected to see steady growth fueled by increased demand from industries such as food and beverage, personal care, cosmetics, and aromatherapy. Many manufacturers have shifted their focus from synthetic to natural ingredients as consumers’ demand for organic and natural products has grown. Essential oils, which are considered natural, provide the flavors and scents for these products. Research has been done to use essential oils in food preservation and to treat health conditions.
Aromatherapy has gained popularity and has contributed to the growth of essential oils. Aromatherapy is a healthcare practice that uses essential oils to promote and improve health. These activities include massage, meditation, baths, and more.
Regulatory Requirements for Labels on Essential Oil Bottles
The FDA is the regulatory agency for the food and beverage, cosmetic, and healthcare industries. As each segment has its own requirements, the FDA provides guidance to help businesses decide if their product is a cosmetic, drug, or soap. Companies that are not in compliance with FDA requirements can face stiff penalties.
NOTE: While we can’t go into all the requirements for product labeling, we will touch on a few key points. This blog post is not intended to provide any type of regulatory advice; it is for informational purposes. It is the manufacturer’s responsibility to ensure all federal and state regulations are followed.
Meeting Essential Oil Label Requirements
It is critical that you get your labels right because having to change your whole product line if you run into trouble with the FDA — which can be costly. How essential oils are regulated depends on how they are intended to be used. The wording you use on your labeling and marketing becomes critical for determining your product type. Making health claims, for example, can put your product into a highly regulated category of drugs. Advertising claims are regulated by the FTC and must be truthful.
Cosmetics — Products intended to clean the body or make a person more attractive are cosmetics. They don’t require FDA approval, but the FDA can take action if it is shown to be unsafe for consumers that use it according to label directions.
Labels are not allowed to have misleading information or be misbranded. Labels that do not have all the required information are considered misbranded. Two things that must be the label must have ingredients in descending order and warning or caution statements. Familiarize yourself with the FDA cosmetic labeling regulations to ensure you have all the elements placed and sized as required.
Drugs – If the essential oil is intended for therapeutic use, such as treating or preventing disease (e.g., releases anxiety, eases pain, helps you sleep, antiviral), the FDA considers it an over-the-counter drug. It must go through the same approval process as synthetic drugs and be labeled according to FDA regulations. Some of the statements required on drug packaging include the active ingredient, the purpose, uses for the product, warnings, dosage, and inactive ingredients.
The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires that certain information is printed on the label for all consumer commodities, not just essential oils.
- A statement identifying the commodity
- The name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor
- Net quantity of contents (e.g., 0.5 oz, 2 gm, 10 ml)
Find the Right Type of Labels For Essential Oil Bottles
Choosing suitable label materials will be critical. A poor label can potentially cause legal troubles (depending on the product), but it can reflect poorly on your brand. Your product label is often the first impression consumers get of your essential oils, so labeling is especially important for products sold directly to consumers.
BayTech Label has extensive experience printing high-quality custom labels for nearly all industries. We can even help with the design and branding of your essential oil labels. Oil can damage some labels, making them illegible, so working with us early will ensure you have a label that fits your needs. If your labels must be in a controlled, clean environment, we have a class 1000 clean room.
We can help you create a unique custom label from various processes, materials, and finishes.
- Various foils
- Oil and waterproof materials
- Durable materials
- High-end look and feel
- Clear “no label look”
- Gloss, satin, and matte finishes
- Peel & seal/ extended content labels
- Tamper evident labels