We can all feel a little clueless when it comes to reading the packaging on your cosmetics and skincare. Sure, you know how to use the products but what exactly are all the ingredients and what do those tiny little symbols mean?
In her book, In Your Face, makeup artist and hairstylist Bernadette Fisers decodes the 10 symbols you need to know to make smart purchases and get the most out of your beauty cupboard.
Check the packaging for signs that a product is organic if that’s something you’re interested in and cruelty-free, and for other features such as these:
An open jar symbol tells you how long a product will last from the time of opening; for example, 12m means 12 months.
An hourglass symbol tells you that a product has a lifespan of less than 30 months and the product will often have a use-by date on it.
A recycling logo tells you the packaging is recyclable. These logos often look like a triangle with three arrows. The European logo is called the green dot, but it’s really two arrows in a ball – the awesome thing is many European companies pay to collect and recycle their product’s packaging. Pretty cool!
A forestry symbol tells you the paper used in the packaging did not harm any forest.
A book and hand symbol tells you that there is an information sheet inside the packaging, often in various languages.
A letter ‘e’ symbolises that the product’s size or weight has been checked, i.e. that it matches what is stated on the label. It usually sits after the ml.
A CE symbol means that the product has passed the European health, safety and environmental standards.
A flame symbol means the product is highly flammable.
A triangle shape made up of three arrows with a number in the middle means the packaging contains resin, and identifies which one, which is important for sorting recycling.
Fairtrade certification means the product has been made using an ethical labour force.
This is an edited extract from In Your Face: The Insider’s Guide to Truly Transformative Makeup and Skincare by Bernadette Fisers (Penguin, RRP $45.00), out now.
© Prevention Australia
First published: 12 Dec 2019