5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

What Symbols on Beauty Products Mean

We often read markings and inscriptions on food packaging. We check the best before date, ingredients, energy value, and the presence of preservatives and artificial additives. However, when buying beauty products, we just pay attention to the description written by the manufacturer.

5-Minute Crafts would like to tell you how to read the symbols on beauty products.

The open jar with a number inside

This symbol can be found on containers with beauty products, and it shows how long the product will be good for after it has been opened. The numbers inside the jar indicate the number of months during which the product can be used. For example, if the inscription says 12M, the product must be used within a year from the moment the package is opened.

Important: This symbol indicates how long the product can be used within its shelf life (which can be significantly longer). The shelf life shows how long the product can be stored in general, regardless of whether it was opened or not.

The hourglass symbol

Unlike the previous symbol, the hourglass symbol indicates the best before date and the shelf life, meaning how long the product can be stored in general — open or closed.

“E” symbol

The lowercase “e” symbol confirms the amount and weight of the product as indicated on the package. It is commonly found on products manufactured in the European Union.


This symbol signifies that the product contains a large amount of natural, organic ingredients.
The inscription “Ecocert natural and organic cosmetic” indicates that at least 95% of the plant-based ingredients and at least 10% of all ingredients in the product are organic. The inscription “Ecocert natural cosmetic” means that at least 50% of the plant-based ingredients and at least 5% of all ingredients in the product are organic.

The hand and the book

This symbol indicates that the product includes a leaflet with additional information. It may contain information about the composition of the product, recommendations on its usage, and its storage particularities.


The flame symbol on the packaging warns that the product is highly flammable which is important to know while using and storing it. For example, keep aerosols or liquids with this symbol away from heaters.

Green dot

This symbol is often confused with the recycling symbol, however, it has a very different meaning. The green dot looks like 2 arrows flowing from one another. The symbol indicates that the manufacturing company contributes to the sorting, recovering, and recycling of packaging materials.

The Mobius loop

The symbol that looks like 3 looped arrows (The Mobius loop) is used all over the world as the universal recycling symbol. The number in the middle of the symbol indicates the material that the package is made out of. If it already consists of recycled material, you will see a percentage next to the Mobius loop.


The circled UVA symbol informs the buyer that the product contains at least the minimum recommended level of UVA protection for a sunscreen.


The symbol CE (Conformite Europeenne) confirms that the product was manufactured in accordance with European standards.


The FSC symbol informs the buyer that the packaging was made from materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This means that the raw materials for the packaging were obtained in a legal way, taking into account the conscious use of forests.

The rabbit

The rabbit image on the packaging indicates that the product has not been tested on animals at any stage of its production. Rabbit images may vary depending on the animal welfare program the manufacturer is involved in.

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