Have you ever checked out the packaging of your cosmetics, only to be thoroughly confused by the different symbols littering the back? You aren’t alone, and actually, these are some important messages these cosmetics companies are attempting to send you. To ensure you know exactly what you’re purchasing, we’ve put together a short guide through some of the most popular packaging symbols.
This symbol means that the manufacturer pays to recover and recycle the material. It’s trademarked and used worldwide, though the recovery program is mainly in Europe.
The Leaping Bunny Program is the highest standard for companies that are committed to no animal testing. In order to be approved for inclusion in the Leaping Bunny Program, companies producing cosmetic, personal care, and household products must make a voluntary pledge to clear animal testing from all stages of product development. The company’s ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product guaranteed to be 100 percent free of new animal testing. All Leaping Bunny companies must be open to independent audits, and commitments are renewed on an annual basis.
Period After Opening
This is essentially the same as an expiration on food. Although it’s not always advertised in the US, cosmetics do have a shelf life. This symbol will usually have a number in the center, indicating how long the product is good after opening.
Most plastics are identified by their resin, which informs you of certain characteristics of each type. You can find more information about different resins on our plastics and resins page.
This symbol shows the amount of product estimated to be inside the container using an “average fill system.” Ideally, this should coordinate with the amount advertised.
For more information on the different aspects of cosmetic packaging, be sure to check out our resources page.