7 common cosmetics labelling myths BUSTED

by | Mar 4, 2019 | Compliance/Legislation | 0 comments

Let’s talk cosmetic labelling myths – you know, the information that’s passed around online like an urban legend, and isn’t based on fact. There’s so much misinformation out there!

So today, I’m busting some of the most common myths.

MYTH #1: It doesn’t matter which measurement marking you use

FACT: Australia’s national trade measurement laws are actually quite strict about which abbreviations you can use to indicate the weight/volume of your products. Even down to which letters may be capitalised. For example, you’re not allowed to use anything other than a lowercase ‘g’ for grams, and you can’t use ‘g’ for liquids. This is one of THE MOST COMMON labelling mistakes I see.

MYTH #2: By saying ‘may assist’ on the label it’s not a therapeutic claim

FACT: This is totally untrue. It’s about the content and intent of the claim, regardless of whether you say ‘may assist’ or not.

MYTH #3: No one will care if my label is non-compliant, my business is only small

FACT: There have been reports of regulators attending markets and giving out warning notices about non-compliant labels to stallholders. But the most important reason to have compliant labels is because labelling laws exist to protect the safety of your customers. The last thing you want is for a customer to have a reaction to your product because it’s labelled incorrectly.

MYTH #4: You can use any type of address on a label (or you don’t need one at all)

FACT: You must include a physical address where documents can be served if required – you can’t use only a website URL or PO Box address. If you don’t want to use your home address, you may be able to ask your accountant or lawyer if you can use their address for your registered business address.

MYTH #5: You only need to comply with the ACCC cosmetics labelling standard

FACT: Actually, there are at least six different laws and regulations to consider when creating your labels, including the Australian Consumer Law, national trade measurement laws and Poisons Standard.

MYTH #6: You can say ingredients are ‘traditionally used’ for a therapeutic benefit

FACT: No you can’t – it is illegal to state that an ingredient in a cosmetic product can be used for any kind of therapeutic use, as this is classified as a therapeutic claim. You can’t advertise/promote any therapeutic claims (e.g on your label or website) for a product that is not listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

MYTH #7: Another company is doing it so it’s OK for me to do it

FACT: You can’t always trust that other brands are compliant, e.g. there are so many brands out there that illegally advertise eczema creams. They may either not know what the regulations are or they know but choose not to comply with them to gain an unfair marketing advantage. Focus on what you need to do to make sure you’re compliant. You can also choose to report any non-compliant brands to a regulator (e.g. the TGA for illegal therapeutic claims) because it’s unfair to brands who are doing the right thing.

Remember – don’t believe everything you read online. Do your own research or consult an expert (like me) to find out the truth.

Jen x

P.S. Want to see how much you really know about cosmetics regulations? Test your knowledge with my Cosmetics Compliance Quiz!

You may also like..


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jennifer Rudd Skincare Business Foundations 28

Hi, I'm Jen

Founder of Skincare Business Foundations, I help skincare and beauty founders build compliant and ethical brands that last.


Want to be the first to know?

Download a freebie and you’ll be added to the VIP list for future news, updates and VIP-only offers.


Why ‘Clear Beauty’ is the next big thing

Why ‘Clear Beauty’ is the next big thing

Move over Clean Beauty - a new era of Clear Beauty is here! In this industry, where innovation plays a key role and brands are always trying to stand out amongst their competitors, it’s crucial we think about about not just what we're creating but how we're...

Cosmetic versus therapeutic claims: what’s the difference?

Cosmetic versus therapeutic claims: what’s the difference?

I know from personal experience that marketing claims are one of the most confusing parts of running a skincare business, apart from labelling. Working out what you’re legally allowed to say can be tricky to navigate - particularly when it comes to cosmetic versus...

Cosmetics regulations in Australia unpacked – 2024 update

Cosmetics regulations in Australia unpacked – 2024 update

Cosmetics regulations in Australia Being a compliance nerd, I love educating skincare business owners about the laws and regulations they need to comply with. When skincare brand owners think about legislation they need to comply with, they most often think about what...

Importing cosmetics into Australia (+ CHECKLIST)

Importing cosmetics into Australia (+ CHECKLIST)

I often work with cosmetic brand owners and distributors worldwide who want to import cosmetic products, primarily skincare and hair care products, into Australia. Here's how I can help you if you're looking to sell your cosmetics on the Australian market.  Benefits...