General News, MsBarb, Starting your own cosmetic business

Learning Curves: The Move 2

At the moment, we’ve been looking into the European Union’s rules and regulations for selling skin care. When Sonia and I first discussed opening a brick and mortar shop in another country, we actually thought it would be pretty easy. Get the business registered, license it, insurance, register the tax stuff, and maybe another step or two but not much more than that.

And then we began looking into selling skin care products. And holy sweet mother of olive trees. My mind was blown away with the regulations. To the point where I was ready to give up and just not do it. But then, the more I wrapped my head around the idea of it all and why the EU has these rules, is actually quite smart. It protects the consumer. And it is not too bad. On paper!

So what have we been working on in terms of The Move? And yes, I think from now on it shall be referred to as, “The Move”.

We’ve been looking at Assessors for our products in case we decide we will end up in the EU. And let’s just say, some of them have horrible communication skills. I can understand that a lab company might have a lot going on, but good Time Lords, why am I chasing you down to reply to my emails inquiring about your company? I want to pay you to do my assessments and that’s going to be a costly fortune to get done. And because I have to chase some of these lab companies down to reply to my emails, it makes me want to use another lab. And it is not just one lab. It’s three! And from the groups I belong to on Facebook? This is common!

In between the frustration of lab companies and dealing with our new customers and their questions of, “are your products organic? Chemical free? 100% all natural?” we’ve been finalising our soap recipes. We have the final list of ingredients we want in our soaps, just we wish that we could have 110% oils in soaps and not just 100%. Changing 5% of tallow is a huge deal when you only have had 10% in the recipe. But if you look at changing 5% of olive oil when olive oil is at 40% it really isn’t a big deal. But I want my hard, long lasting hydrating bars of soap and tallow gives me that! And then the superfatting, I like 8%, but is that a bit too much? Or should we have some 8% and some 5%, and the can market the 8% as super moisturising/ gentle and the 5% for everything?

Ah soap. I love you. But you have too many choices to play with!

We need to finalise all our products and get the recipes set in stone with no further tweaking ASAFP. If we move anywhere, we have to register our products with the FDA/Health Canada and EU, and once they are registered, we cannot be changing them unless we register them again and/or get them tested all again. Which has to be paid for. With real money. And not Monopoly money.

Which epically sucks huge camel…. er… toes.

Rant over.

For now.

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General News

Learning Curves: The Move 1

At some point in the next few years, both Sonia and I would like to leave China and open a Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin physical shop. Where exactly that would be, is not yet 100% decided. So one day soon, Sonia and family, and I will be opening our own little shop in another country. How friggen exciting is that!

But until then, it means lots and lots and lots of learning.

We have so many things to think about and things that have to be done before we even decide what is what and where this shop will be. One of the biggest things to think about are the rules. Europe has the EU Cosmetic Rules and Regulations, America has the FDA and Canada has Health Canada. Each of them are very different in terms of what is needed to make and sell skincare items. It seems as if North America puts more onus on the seller to follow FDA and Health Canada rules.

Whereas the EU has so many rules and inspections and assessments you have to pay to have done before you even begin to sell your product to anyone. So this means you have your ingredient lists all ready to be submitted to a chemist/toxicologist/lab to be studied and given the green light. Anything sold to be used on the body has to go through this assessment. This means, even something as simple as a three ingredient lip chap! And then register with this governing body and that one.

Insane!

And then the different rules of labeling, the manufacturing process, the storage of ingredients… all these have different types of rules to follow.

What does this mean for Happy Skin? Why are we posting about rules of the EU and FDA and Health Canada you might ask? Well, we want to start off with good habits. We want to make sure we follow the highest international standard so we get into the habit of doing everything right the first time and not needing to re-learn how to do something and un-learn a bad habit.