Question for UK based soap makers.

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New Member
Jan 2, 2023
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United Kingdom
(2nd attempt at posting this thread. First one got deleted though I'm not sure why. I re-read the rules to make sure I'd not broken any in my post and it didn't seem like I did, the only thing I could think of is perhaps I posted my question in the wrong part of the forum so I shall try again in this section. I've changed some wording also.)

Hello everybody, firstly I'd like to apologise for asking a question that has been asked countless times already - I would just like some clarification due to some new information I was given recently.

I have been making soap for years and I do have a couple of CPSR' under my belt but I still find myself a bit confused regarding the fragrance/essential oil concentration limits. From many sources I see 3% being the absolute maximum concentration regardless of if the IFRA stipulates a higher usage rate. I recently received one of my completed CPSR' back from my assessor and I was most concerned to find that my essential oil concentration had been measured at 3.2%! (the horror) and so I contacted my assessor to ask why I'd not been alerted to the fact that I'd gone over the legal limit, she went on to inform me that there isn't actually a blanket 3% limit and that their assessor just looks at the safe usage rate as stipulated on the IFRA certificates for each oil and goes by that, meaning the final concentration can actually be above 3% as long as it is in line with the safe usage rate of that particular oil.

I found this information to be quite jarring as I've always just 'known' that the usage rate was 3% or lower depending on the IFRA.

I suppose my question to you all is - what is the essential/fragrance oil concentration limit for soaps on the UK market? And are there different rules for just 'safe' soap vs soap intended for sale?

Thanks for reading my post, hopefully it made sense.

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