Superb Skin Secrets,

What’s Inside? Decode What You Dab!

Understanding & Reading Product Labels

Ever wondered what’s in the stuff that you’re slathering on your skin? Don’t rely on labels and fall for the million dollar promotions – at least not without digging a little deeper. Growing awareness on complex compounds found in cosmetics made everyone a stickler when it comes to ingredients. Many of these chemical compounds are absorbed by skin, inhaled & ingested when you don’t wash hands before eating. 😲

This is why it’s VERY IMPORTANT to know what you’re smearing on your skin.

Don’t fall for the the attention-grabbing front label design or the laundry list of adjectives and their pseudo-scientific claims. It’s high time you focus your attention on what’s behind & the always overlooked vital details printed there. They are in smaller texts, symbols and numbers, which seem insignificant, but that determines the quality of the product. In fact, it’s what you’re applying on your skin. So, you need to be more vigilant. 👀

Taking a closer look at the label aids you in making an informed decision and leave you feeling good about your purchase. Keep reading this guide to learn how to decode a cosmetic product label like a pro.

Ingredients list:

According to Indian Labeling/Marking requirements, ingredients list must be declared in descending order of their composition. This means the ingredient with largest quantity comes first followed by lesser quantity additives. Research about each ingredient & what they do to understand how they affect your skin. This way you’ll have a clear idea on what’s good & what’s harmful for your skin health.

Shelf life:

Remember that open jar with an M & some number written in it? It’s PAO-Period After Opening. This represents the shelf life of the product after opening. The number followed by an M is the number of months the commodity is safe to use after unsealed. If this PAO symbol is not mentioned, you’ll find Best Before or Expiry date or Use before dates printed on the label. Keep a note of this date & make sure you don’t continue using an expired product.


Read the instructions on the package before using. It talks about application guidance, storage, product cautions and other vital information. Based on your skin sensitivity, some ingredients may react adversely. Always do a patch test before directly smearing it all over. Sometimes, when there’s no enough space on the package, all this vital information is provided in a card or leaflet, which is represented with a Refer to insert symbol. Look for it.


How do you know if a cosmetic has harmful products or is cruelty free or non-toxic? Apart from local government recognitions, some private organizations like PETA, Ecocert certify the products to protect you from toxic ingredients.

If you find an Ecocert organic label on the package, it guarantees you that the product is organic and 95% of the content in it is plant-based. Whereas, PETA label suggests cruelty-free products and indicates that no animal testing is conducted or will be conducted. These certifications are an assurance and makes it easy for you to get non-toxic & cruelty free cosmetics.

Disposals or Recycling:

Ever noticed a triangle with arrows? It’s Recycling loop. It doesn’t suggest the product is recyclable but helps in grading the type of plastic. The number inside that loop is called Resin Identification Code, which indicates the type of plastic that a product container is made of. In general, grade #1 with PET(E) code is used in manufacturing soft drink bottles & grade #2 PEHD or HDPE is for plastic bags, trash cans etc., If there’s no recycling loop you can find a trash bin icon which reminds you to throw in a trash can after use.

Yay! That’s all! Doesn’t it feel good to learn things, which once you thought were unimportant?

So, if there’s something you’re concerned about just look at the back label of package and get a right product of your needs!

Now, as you know many things about a product label, go ahead, educate your friends!




This content, including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. Onthebuzz does not claim responsibility for this information.


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