5 Cosmetic Symbols You Should know about!

Have you ever looked at the back of any of your makeup items?! I have but just to look at the name of the shade I'm getting. However, I have always wondered what some of those symbols really mean. If you think about it, we get pretty up close and personal with our makeup, yet we have no idea what these mysterious symbols mean.

These symbols are important to pay attention to. Those labels are the ones that communicate things about the product that you need to know. Fact is that an average woman spends $15,000 on beauty products in their lifetime. That's a lot of money and a lot of products so it's important to understand what's in your beauty products.

Below are 10 labels that I have seen on most, if not all, beauty products and I think these are the ones you should really pay attention to.

1. The 12M Jar


You know when you get those unexpected pimples?! We usually blame our monthly friend or not cleaning our faces properly. However, did you know that expired makeup can cause those pimples and even skin irritation?! Well this symbol tells you when the product expires.

So if the product has 12,18 or 36M, this means that the products shelf life is 12,18 or 36 months from the date you open it. So pay attention so you don't use expired products for your skin or body.

FIY: PAO is another term that means Period After Opening.

2. The 'e'


The 'e' stands for the "estimated sign" that can be found on products produced in the EU. The symbol indicates the average volume of the product is the same as the number on the label. For example if the product says "10 fl oz', the symbol guarantees to be eight fluid ounces - in other words you are getting what you paid for. That's the EU law.

3. The Rabbits


I have officially stopped using products that are tested on animals. There are plenty of brands that are cruelty free and do wonders for your skin. The little bunny symbol is something you should really look for. It tells you that the company doesn't perform testing on animals.

If you see the words "not tested on animals" but doesn't have a logo, it's best to do your own research before making that purchase. In the picture above, these are the three bunnies you should get to know 🙂

4. Arrows with a Number


We use plastic everyday in our daily lives - water bottles, cosmetics, food packaging, cups, plates and more. Since we have recycling companies - those symbols identify what kind of plastic is used thus allow recycles to sort the plastic properly.

  1. (PETE) or (PET) - this plastic is used for soft or sports drinks. Beer, mouthwash and also salad dressing.
  2. (HDPE) - is used for jugs for milk, water, juice, cosmetics, shampoo, detergents and cleaners.
  3. (PVC) - is used for deli and meat wrap and retail packaging.
  4. (LDPE) - is used for newspapers, bread, frozen foods, garbage, milk cartons etc.
  5. ( PP) - is mostly used for yogurt, margarine, take out boxes, bottle caps, medicine bottles etc.
  6. (PS) - is for cups, plates, bowls, cutlery etc.
  7. OTHER - means that this package is made out of materials that are other than the six above.

5. Ecocert


This stamp is an organic certification that means that the formula consists of at least 95% of natural ingredients. However, don't get confused with "natural cosmetics". This means that the 50% of the formula is plant based ingredients.

End Note

I hope you are little more educated in beauty products you invest your money in. These are the top important logos that I think every fashionista should know about. I had no idea about these symbols until recently and now that I know I make better decisions choosing the right products for me.

XoXo Nina

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1 year ago

Great post! I didn’t even think about makeup expiring, but like everything else, of course, it doesn’t last forever. T

Nicole Bondurant
1 year ago

Thank you for this information. Helpful.

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