How To Read a Beauty Label

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Do you know what to look for on a Cosmetic Label?

If you are a skincare enthusiast you probably already look beyond marketing and packaging while shopping for beauty products. In case you still don’t know what everything on beauty labels mean, or if you’re just getting into skincare and beauty products, we’ll have a close look at cosmetic labels in this blog post.

Open Jar symbol – Expiry Symbol

The open jar symbol indicates the expiry time.

The open jar symbol is on any skincare and makeup product, right next to it or inside the jar you can either see a number, a number plus “m” or a number plus “months” to indicate its expiration time. So, for example, 6, 12 m, or 24 months – This means that the product will be good for 6, 12 or 4 months after opening it. Chances are the product will also eventually go bad if you don’t open it, but the number will indicate how fast you should use it up once you open it. Products are directly influenced by oxygen and sunlight exposure, so you should try to use it up in time. Look out for any weird changes in color, scent or texture as well.

Ingredient list

Core piece of any beauty label is of course the ingredient list! This is where it gets interesting and you can find out what the product is made of and what the main ingredients are. I wrote a detailed guest post about how to decode an inci list on Vivian’s Beauty Talk right here. The best part: You don’t need to know much about chemistry to get useful information about it.

Peta Certified or cruelty-free Bunny

The official PETA-Bunny.

PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is a worldwide, very well-known organization for animal rights. They also face some criticism, but they do offer a PETA-cruelty-free-logo for products that meet the requirements. It’s part of the Global Beauty Without Bunnies program.

According to PETA these are the requirements to qualify for the logos:

Global animal test–free recognizes companies and brands that have verified that they and their suppliers do not conduct, commission, pay for, or allow any tests on animals for their ingredients, formulations, or finished products anywhere in the world and that they will never do so in the future.

Global animal test–free and vegan recognizes companies and brands that meet the same requirements and whose entire product line is free of animal-derived ingredients. These companies are truly cruelty-free.

As mentioned on Peta’s website.

You can also check their online database here.


There’s a lot of useful information on a beauty label. You should take the time to have a close look at what it says and see if the product fits your shopping preferences and personal choices. Nowadays shopping decisions are based on may different factors and consumers hold brands to certain standards and accountable for their business decisions.

Do you pay attention to beauty labels? What do you usually look for?

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