Decode The Label: Here's What The Symbols On Your Fave Beauty Products Actually Mean

Decode The Label: Here's What The Symbols On Your Fave Beauty Products Actually Mean

Online shopping and constant sales have really caused our bathroom shelves and cabinets to overflow with products. While picking up a new product every now and then is easy, most of us neglect what's really important. Have you ever taken the time to read the labels on those products? Cosmetic products, skincare and body care products have a lot of *important* information printed on their labels. And no I'm not talking about the price! Want to know if they're cruelty-free or when they expire? Check out the product label.

But what do packaging symbols mean...Give this post a quick read!

Expiry Date

The expiry date tells you the shelf-life of the product. This is different for different products. Check out our makeup expiration guide. And this is also DIFFERENT from the PERIOD AFTER OPENING date. You can usually find this date on the box of your product or printed somewhere on it. Product expiry ranges from 12 months to 36 months depending on the type. Natural products have a shorter shelf life because of the organic and pure nature of their ingredients and the lack of preservatives being used. So keep that in mind before you stock up. 

Period After Opening Date

cosmetic labels symbols period after opening symbol

This date tells you how long your product will last for after you open it. A sealed product may be good for 36 months, but once you open it - it's shelf life decreases. The PAO date is depicted by a symbol of an open jar with a number written on the jar.

Do They Recycle?

cosmetic labels symbols green dot

The green dot symbol is used on products and it tells you that the company is doing its bit to recycle and be ecologically responsible. 

Refer To Insert

cosmetic labels symbols refer to label symbol

This is basically more information on the product. This happens a lot of times when companies don't want to overcrowd the label by putting lots of information on it. The symbol is a hand pointing to a book and is often in the bottom left corner of the label. You can peel out the label and read more about the ingredients, product warnings etc.

Leaping Bunny

cosmetic labels product symbols leaping bunny peta cruelty free

The Leaping Bunny symbol tells you that the brand does not perform testing on animals and conforms to the standard set by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) and Cruelty Free International (CFI). There is a different vegan version of the logo stating that the products are vegan!


cosmetic labels symbols e mark

The "e" sign in lowercase is a sign commonly used across the EU countries. It basically refers to an estimated sign that tells you the average quantity of product in a batch will not be less than the quantity stated on the label. 

Made With Recycled Materials

cosmetic labels symbols recycle symbol

The universal symbol for recycling is depicted by 3 arrows in the shape of a triangle pointing towards one another. It indicates that the product/packaging has been made using recycled materials. 

Is It Flammable? 

cosmetic labels symbols fire flammable symbol

This means that the product is flammable, so store it away from excessive heat and light. You can find this symbol on nail polish and deodorant bottles. All of your aerosol sprays have this icon. You don't want to use these products near an open flame either as they can be hazardous. 

Now that you know what your cosmetic labels mean, you'll never have to worry about using an old or expired product again! 

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