Curated Series: Into The Gloss wrote a great article on how to understand and read the labels on our makeup and skincare products. Be sure to take time to jump over to their site and read the entire article here.
The ABC's of Cosmetics Labels
"Contrary to popular belief, being able to decipher those tiny, vague symbols on packaging labels is not something that just happens when you become an adult."
The lowercase 'e' is a symbol called the “estimated sign.” Found on products produced in the EU, it ensures that the amount of product in the packaging is correct. “8 fl oz' is guaranteed to be eight fluid ounces, and the packaging prevents any altering of the amount of the contents without opening or destroying it. Basically it says you're getting what you paid for—volume-wise.
FLOATING LID JAR W/ A NUMBER AND AN 'M'
The “period-after-opening symbol' tells you how long your product is good for after opening. If the open jar has a 12M on it, know that it will expire 12 months after breaking the seal, popping the lid, etc.
THE CONTENT BUNNY
No bunnies—not even the little jerks that bite—were killed in the making of the product. The internationally recognized “Leaping Bunny' symbol is the highest guarantee that no animals were harmed—in all stages of development and production, and it goes for all parties involved, including labs and suppliers. The Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) audits companies wishing to use the symbol on their packaging to be sure that they adhere to the symbol's strict cruelty-free standards.
THE OPEN FLAME SYMBOL
The “flammable' symbol means that under no circumstances should you introduce the product to flames or high heat.
THE HAND READING A BOOK
The “Refer to Insert' symbol means that the label on the actual container doesn't include all the info on the product, so the manufacturer has included a handy leaflet for reference.
TRIANGLE MADE OF RIBBON ARROWS
This is the internationally recognized symbol for recycling, and indicates that the packaging is recyclable. If a percentage is present, it means that the manufacturer used that amount of post-consumer waste in making the packaging.
THE CUDDLING ARROWS
Companies pay to use the “Green Dot' symbol on their packaging. The license fee goes toward the cost of recovering and recycling various materials, like those drop-off bins outside of grocery stores and elementary schools. The symbol alerts you that the brand from which you're buying supports those efforts—through that fee. It's cyclical, if you think about it. Like recycling!
THE VEGAN HEART
The “Certified Vegan' symbol means that not only was the product not tested on animals, but it also contains no animal products.
The "NSF" SYMBOL
The “NSF' symbol means that the product is made with at least 70 percent organic ingredients.
TRIANGLE W/ A NUMBER INSIDE AND LETTERS UNDERNEATH
These are resin identification codes, and appear on plastic packaging. They help determine which polymer was used in the plastic, and thus allow recyclers to sort properly. Because everybody knows that low-density polyethylene and polyethylene terephthalate do not mix.
THE FRENCH ONE
The EU's Cosmebio symbol signifies that the product contains at least 95 percent natural ingredients and does not contain synthetic coloring, fragrances, preservatives, or petrochemical products, or genetically modified ingredients.
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