Before purchasing or using any cosmetic products, make sure you know what the symbols shown on the labels actually mean. This will enable you to make smarter decisions by choosing your products wisely. Here are the eight most common labeling symbols, and what they stand for:

This symbol indicates 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.


Commonly known as the Period After Opening (PAO) date, this symbol indicates how long it will take before your product expire after opening. If the open jar has a 12M on it, it will expire 12 months after the seal is broken.

This globally recognized “Leaping Bunny” symbol indicates that no animals were harmed or killed in the production process of that particular product, 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. Hence you can use your creams with peace of mind that it did not involve any form of cruelty.

This symbol indicates that the product was not tested on animals and does not contain any ingredients that its sources can be traced back to any animals.

The flammable symbols indicates that the product is flammable. Therefore you should not introduce it to high heat or flames under any circumstances.

This symbol indicates that not all the information on the product is printed on the actual container, usually due to the lack of space of the surface of the container. Therefore, for the sake of reference, you can read more on the handy leaflet included within the packaging. This happens quite often with smaller cosmetics packages.


This symbol indicates that the packaging for the product is made from recycled material. The symbol is internationally recognized. It also means that the packaging is recyclable.

This Green Dot symbol indicates that the manufacturing company of the product provides financial support towards the recovering and recycling of various materials oversee ecologically responsible management of their packaging waste, often through a license fee that needs to be submitted in order to have the permission to produce the symbol on their products.

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