How to interpret cosmetic labeling
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Do you want to know what is hidden behind the label of a cosmetic? María Cid, Regulatory & QA Manager at cosmeticsinMind gives us all the keys to interpret cosmetic labeling.

Cosmetic products follow rules given by the competent authorities of the countries where they are marketed. The primary purpose of these regulations is to guarantee the safety and protection of human health.

One of the consumer safety and protection guarantees is the right to information about the cosmetic product. This information is primarily communicated through product labeling. To do this, the labeling of cosmetic products must convey the regulated information on its packaging in a way that is legible and visible. It is worth highlighting the importance that it must also be understandable for the consumer.
The labeling of cosmetic products provides a lot of information. In this article we will see how to interpret each point for proper use. Before continuing reading, take a cosmetic product, and we are going to identify the different elements of the label!
To break down the different parts that make up the labeling of a cosmetic, we will focus on the points defined in the European regulations. In this sense, its bases are applicable in various countries outside the European Union. Although not all countries are comparable, it is a reference in the global regulatory field.

The sections that the labeling of cosmetic products must contain, which for those marketed in the European Union are subject to article 19 of Regulation 1233/2009, are the following:

1. Name or company name and address of the “Responsible Person”
This is information about the person or company that is responsible for marketing the product. This figure is usually the manufacturer, the importer or the person in charge of the brand.

2. Country of origin
The country of origin is normally indicated introduced by “Made in…”.
Sometimes it is not included, this is because it is only mandatory in cosmetic products that are imported, although in practice it is usually added.

3. Nominal content
It can be indicated in the form of weight or volume.

4. Date of minimum durability
It is important to know this information before using a product. This is the date until which the cosmetic will continue to fulfill its initial function and will continue to be safe for human health.
We will not always see this date on the label. If the minimum duration date is greater than thirty months, it will not be mandatory to indicate it and the PAO will be added. This term is also indicated by a symbol. The PAO is the period after opening during which the product is safe.

5. Particular precautions for use
The data included in this point can be identified on the labeling both in the instructions for use and in the warnings for use.

6. Lot number
It is a code of numbers and/or letters that allows the cosmetic product to be identified and its traceability to be carried out.

7. Function
The function has to be clearly defined in the labeling.

8. Ingredients
The list of ingredients is preceded by the word “Ingredients”. The ingredients are written in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI), this is a unified nomenclature that is used within Europe and in many other countries.

Do you want to go into each of these points in depth and expand the information on how to interpret cosmetic labeling? The Decalogue to interpret cosmetic labeling will soon be published in Next In Beauty.