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It might seem strange that I can’t label my BARS as SOAPS or my potions as lotions but this is actually a law. I live in Sweden and here there are many rules and regulations for everything. Yes, there are the same laws and rules throughout the EU, but Sweden always likes to take it one step further.

Any product that is put on the body, such as soap, lotions and even bath bombs, is considered a cosmetic product and all regulations regarding cosmetic products are handled by the medical products agency. You need permission by this agency to produce and sell (or even gift) soap.

If you don’t have permission to sell homemade cosmetic products, you could get a two year prison sentence in addition to multiple fines.

In order to get permission you have to pay a fee of 4000 SEK (£340/€380/$430) per year, plus 600 SEK (£50/€57/$65) per product per year to have them tested by a professional chemist. If the formula is the same but it has a different fragrance or color it is considered a different product!

You must have a laboratory separate to your own property where you produce your products, which means you have to rent another property. This can easily be 10.000 SEK + (£850/€950/$1,080)  per month.

And, you are then required to have regular checks and inspections thoughout the year, which is charged at 750 SEK per hour.

If you have more than 200 products, the 201st product onwards are then free, which is  obvoiusly great for big companies, but does not help small businesses!

In addition to all of this, all product must be written in Swedish. There are fines of 10.000 SEK per product if this is not done correctly and the fines are imposed immediately. As a non-native, I simply do not have the confidence in my abilities to speak Swedish to do this correctly and coherently. To have each product I make professionally translated would incur further costs that would have to be added on to the sale price.

With all of these fees and costs it would require thousands per year just to have the legal right to sell these cosmetic products, and this is even before the cost of materials, equipment and labor to produce the items. Can you imagine how much each item would then have to sell for to make it into a functioning business?! This is why my products are advertised and sold as decorative items.

With all this said and done, it dosn’t affect my working practices. I work in a clean and safe environment using high quality ingredients from reputable sources. My BARS are developed, tested and cured for a minimum of four weeks before being available for sale. Everything I make is used (and loved) by myself, family and friends, and I hope you will love them too!