Where Can I Use my TKB Flavor or Fragrance Oil?
How to Select the Right Flavor or Fragrance Oil For Your Product
If you have purchased flavor or fragrance oils from us, you’ll know that we primarily market them for use in cosmetic lip products. But what if you are thinking about making something different, like a lotion or body scrub? Perhaps you are wondering whether your favorite scent can be used in said products. If that’s the case, this article is for you – keep reading for information about how a flavor or fragrance oil can work across a range of different products.
Who Sets the Rules on Using Flavor or Fragrance Oils in Cosmetics?
While we market our TKB Flavor and Fragrance oils for use in lip gloss, they may also be used in popular products such as body butter, body scrubs, soaps, shaving creams, hair products, cosmetics, baby products, and even household cleaning agents. The amount that may be used, however, varies from product to product, and those limits are set by an organization called International Fragrance Association (IFRA). (Pronounced: “IF-ra”)
As most fragrance and flavor oil products come into direct contact with different parts of the body, IFRA puts regulations in place to ensure your safety. Knowing how to read that IFRA certificate will answer your question about what that product can be used for, and in what amounts. If you follow the IFRA guidelines when selecting and using the fragrance or flavor oil of your choice, you are unlikely to encounter any problems.
Before we get to the topic of safe levels, the first thing is to decide which fragrance oil you would like to use in your product. Factors that affect your choice of fragrance include:
- Decide what you are making. A lip gloss? A lotion? A scrub? (what “IFRA CLASS” your item falls into.
- Pick which flavor or fragrance you are interested. (You probably you don’t want a Tea Tree Lip Gloss because the odor is too medicinal; you may not want a Gummi Candy scented lotion for your natural skin care line)
- Find the IFRA certificate for the product in the products “Documents” tab
- Compare your IFRA CLASS against the limits in the IFRA certificate in order to determine how to proceed.
Understanding What an IFRA Class is and which IFRA Class Your Product Belongs To
Read the following list to determine which class your product belongs.
Class 1 - Products Applied to the Lips
This includes lip products such as lip balms, lipsticks, and any other product intended to come in contact with the lips, regardless of whether it is a leave-on product or otherwise.
Class 2 - Products Applied to the Axillae
Deodorants and antiperspirants of all kinds belong to this category, as they are products applied to the axillae. If they are products intended for babies or children, however, refer to class 5d for the level of use.
Class 3 - Products Applied to the Face/Body
This class includes all products applied to the face or body using a fingertip. Examples are aftershaves, eye creams, wash-off face masks, and balms.
Class 4 - Products Related to Fine Fragrance
This is for products related to fine fragrance and includes hair sprays, perfume kits, body scrubs, foot care products, and hair deodorants and styling aids.
Class 5 - Products Applied to the Face and Body
This class of products is further divided into 5a, 5b, 5c, and 5d. Classes 5a - 5c consist of products applied to the face and body using the hands (palms), primarily leave-on body lotions, face moisturizers, facial makeup, hand creams, and wipes. Class 5d, however, is solely for baby products: baby creams, baby oils, and talc powders. Every product to be applied to the skin of a baby is placed in this category.
Class 6 - Products With Oral and Lip Exposure
This class should be treated with extra caution, as it includes products with oral and lip exposure which can be easily ingested into the system during use. Some examples are toothpaste and mouthwash.
Class 7 - Products Applied to the Hair With Some Hand Contact
This class is specifically for hair products with some contact to the hand. Like class 5, this class has subclasses: 7a and 7b. 7a is for rinse-off hair products, while 7b is for leave-in products. Class 7 includes hair styling gels, hair shampoos, conditioners, and mousses.
Class 8 - Products With Significant Anogenital Exposure
Products with significant anogenital exposure are contained here. This includes sanitary pads, panty liners, and menstrual cups.
Class 9 - Products With Body and Hand Exposure, Primarily Rinse-Off
This category includes products that come into contact with the hands and body, but are intended to be rinsed off. It consists of soaps, shaving cream, air fresheners, and other aerosols (excluding deodorants and household care aerosol products).
Class 10 - Household Care Products With Mostly Hand Contact
This class belongs to household products with mostly hand contact. 10a covers all household care products that are not in aerosol form, while 10b is for the aerosol household care products. Some of these products are bleach, detergent, spirit solvents, sanitizers, and abrasives.
Class 11 - Products With Intended Skin Contact But Minimal Transfer of Fragrance to Skin
Some products might have skin contact, but involve a minimal transfer of fragrance to the skin from an inert substrate with or without UV exposure. Products belonging to this category include diapers and scented clothing.
Class 12 - Products Not Intended for Direct Skin Contact
The last category, class 12, is for products not intended for direct skin contact. These products have minimal or insignificant transfer to the skin. Products in this category have no limit to the amount of fragrance oil that can be added to them as they are not made to be applied to the skin. They range from candles to air freshening crystals, incense, and other solid or liquid products not intended for direct skin contact.
Finding the IFRA Certificate
Where To Find The IFRA Certificates
Most of the flavoring oils we sell at TKB Trading are allowed by the IFRA to be used for commonly manufactured products. To make your research process smooth sailing, we have included the IFRA certificate for each product in their Documents tab.
Please note that the IFRA certificate you find on the Documents tab of each flavoring oil is for that oil in particular and should not be used for its equivalent on another manufacturer’s page. Similarly, the level of use from another manufacturer’s IFRA certificate should not be substituted while using ours. This is because the constituents of the flavoring oils might vary and could put users at risk when not carefully used. Always ensure to use the IFRA certificate for the given product and do not use a substitute for any reason.
How to Interpret an IFRA Certificate
Interpreting an IFRA certificate is easy once you understand the basics. Each flavoring oil has its own IFRA certificate, and the level of use for each class differs from one oil to the next. After coming up with what fragrance you want to use, the next step is to go on to the IFRA certificate of that fragrance to see if it can be used in the product you want to make, and note the advised maximum levels that should be present in the end product.
The first page of an IFRA certificate includes a table containing the twelve different classes of products and the advised level of use of fragrance for each of them.
On the second page of the IFRA certificate is a table that details the various products contained in each class.
From the first two screenshots, we can interpret the following:
- The level of use of the TKB Green Apple Flavoring oil for Class 1 (Products applied to the lips) should not exceed 0.23% in the final product.
- The level of use of the TKB Green Apple Flavoring oil for Class 2 (Products applied to the axillae) should not exceed 0.13% in the final product.
- The level of use of the TKB Green Apple Flavoring oil for Class 3 (Products applied to the face/body using fingertips) should not exceed 2.56% in the final product.
- The level of use of the TKB Green Apple Flavoring oil for Class 4 (Products related to fine fragrance) should not exceed 2.32% in the final product.
- The level of use of the TKB Green Apple Flavoring oil for Class 5a, 5b, and 5c (Products applied to the face and body - body lotions, face moisturizers, and hand creams) should not exceed 0.60% in the final product.
- The level of use of the TKB Green Apple Flavoring oil for Class 5d (Baby creams, baby oils, and baby talcs) should not exceed 0.20% in the final product.
We can see from the above example that the TKB Green Apple Flavoring can be used for products such as lip gloss, lipstick, face cleansers, body lotions, and many more based on the products in the different classes.
How to Calculate the Amount of Fragrance to Add to Your Product
You’ve selected the fragrance you want to use and have read the IFRA certificate. Now it’s time to convert the level of use into an actual recipe for your product. Getting confusing? No worries – we are here to help! Let’s run through how to calculate the amount of fragrance oil to add to an example product.
Let’s say the product in question is a face scrub and I have decided to use the TKB Green Apple Flavoring oil as my fragrance. After reading through the IFRA certificate for the green apple flavoring oil, I discovered that:
- The face scrub I plan on producing belongs to class 3, as it is applied to the face using the fingertips and is washed off the face afterwards.
- The maximum level of the fragrance oil to be contained in my end product is 2.56%.
This means that I can use less than 2.56% of the green apple flavoring in my product but shouldn’t exceed 2.56% by weight of the formula.
Now, assuming I want to make 10ml of face scrub and decide to have 2% of the fragrance in my end product. Technically, the formula must be converted to “by weight”. 10ml of face scrub conveniently weighs about 10 grams. So, the amount of green apple flavoring oil I will have to input in the face scrub to achieve that will be:
(10grams of face scrub) x (2% of green apple flavoring oil) = 0.2grams of flavoring oil
This value changes if I decide to use less than 2% of the flavoring oil or use the maximum amount allowed to be used (2.56%). It also changes if I decide to make a lip balm rather than a face scrub, as:
- The product class changes entirely from class 3 to class 1.
- The maximum amount allowed in the end product changes from 2.56% to 0.23%.
If I decide to go a step further and change not only the product (to lip balm) but also the fragrance from green apple flavoring oil to strawberry flavoring oil, then the maximum level of use once again. I can’t use the value 0.23% from the green apple IFRA certificate: I need to check on the IFRA certificate for strawberry flavoring oil (which, incidentally, can be used up to 15.56% in lip balms).
This is why it is important to be meticulous, so that you avoid making mistakes in the amount of flavoring oil to use per product and per fragrance selection.
The Maximum Pragmatic Level
This is the maximum level of fragrance ingredients identified as dermal sensitizers for some product types. The pragmatic level is defined as "not exceeding the usual concentration of the fragrance compound in the finished product." For most classes of the different flavoring oils, the maximum pragmatic level is equal to the level of use; it sometimes differs from the level of use, however, like in classes 8-10 of our TKB Vanilla Flavoring oil.
Whenever there is a variation between the calculated Level of Use and the Maximum Pragmatic Level, you should always use the lower value when deciding how much concentration to put in your product. Always remember to read right through to the bottom of the IFRA certificate so that you avoid missing any details.
Use Case of Maximum Pragmatic Level
Let’s say you want to start producing shaving cream and have decided on using strawberry flavoring oil as your fragrance. While going through the certificate, you noted that:
- Shaving cream belongs to class 9.
- The level of use of strawberry flavoring oil in class 9 products (unlimited fragrance concentration in the end product) is higher than its maximum pragmatic level (5.0%).
When this occurs, the one with the lower value is used. In this particular case, the lower is the maximum pragmatic level. This means that the maximum amount of strawberry flavoring oil to be contained in the end product is 5%. If you want to make a 20grams shaving cream and decide to use 4% of the strawberry flavoring oil in it, the amount of the oil you will need to input to achieve that will be:
(20grams shaving cream) x (4% strawberry flavoring oil) = 0.8grams of flavoring oil
If you are producing a product in class 8 (e.g., a panty liner) using the same strawberry flavoring oil, then you will use the given maximum pragmatic level (2%) of the fragrance rather than the 81.50% given as its level of use. In this case, the amount of flavoring in 1 gram of panty liner should not exceed:
(1gram panty liner) x (2% strawberry flavoring oil) = 0.02gram of flavoring oil
To ensure the safe use of flavors and fragrances in your products, here are some things you must note.
- Some products, like our Stevia Sweetener, do not have an IFRA certificate because they are not covered in the RIFM Safety Assessments. Such products are inclusive of:
- Medical devices and prescriptive drugs
- Aromatherapy applications
- Consumer products used in occupational settings (e.g., shampoos, hand sanitizers)
- Non-cosmetic over-the-counter products
- Not all flavoring oils have Class 12 listed in their IFRA certificate. If the product you want to produce falls into Class 12, but the fragrance or flavoring oil of your choice does not have that class, it is to be assumed that your product is not allowed the use of that fragrance or flavoring oil.
- After selecting which flavor or fragrance to use for your product, meticulously read the IFRA certificate assigned to it and avoid using the level of use recommended for another fragrance. Using the wrong levels could cause your product to have side effects caused by misapplication.
- Amendments are made to the IFRA certificate every 1-4 years. Always be informed and adapt the changes made to your use of fragrances for your product.
- In situations where your product falls into more than one class or is intended for dual use, apply the more restrictive level of use between the two classes. You can refer to this article for clarification.
We hope all of the information above wasn’t too much to take in. Our fragrance and flavoring oils can be used for the production of a variety of products, so all you have to do is:
- Choose the flavoring oil you would like to use in your product.
- Find the class your product belongs to.
- Find the level of use or the maximum pragmatic level of the fragrance for the class your product belongs in.
- If the maximum pragmatic level differs from the level of use, choose the one with the lower value.
- Calculate the amount of the fragrance you will need to add the quantity of product you plan on producing.
With these simple steps, you will find the fragrance selection process for any product you want to make, as well as its addition to the product, a far simpler process!