Packaging symbols & labels: do you care?

I didn’t notice the “No Animal Testing” logo on my Burt’s Bees Very Volumizing Shampoo until yesterday, when I was checking the bottle for any description stating that it is pH balanced. Except for the ingredients and those communicating use and saftey, I usually do not scrutinize the other symbols on the packaging and some of these labelings really mean nothing to me.

Okay, perhaps the only other thing I’m bothered with is the “used by” or “expiry date”. I don’t even bother with the little icon stating how many months to discard the product unless the manufacturing date is indicated on the packaging.

So I wonder…do these symbols and labels mean a lot or very little to you? What is the one thing that you usually keep a lookout for when it comes to the product packaging?

My plea to cosmetic manufacturers: please indicate your date of manufacture in understandable format to consumers!


  1. Paris B says:

    To be honest I don’t care for whatever’s stated except for name of product, instructions and perhaps expiry date if there’s one. Everything else is superfluous for me.

  2. Jyoan says:

    I do read almost everything on the packaging. Particularly the use within how many months of opening and the recyclable or not plastic indicator. =)I am quite “kaypo” when it comes to which country the product is manufactured in as well.

  3. sesame says:

    Haha…you’re like me then…

  4. sesame says:

    You’re very detailed oriented then…which is good. I do check out the country of manufacturing too, particularly with new brands. I agree it’s important to know that.

  5. heather says:

    hehe, i look for quite a number of things when i buy skincare products.

    1. manufacturing date
    2. expiry date
    3. the little can logo with 6M/12M
    4. no animal testing

  6. sesame says:

    You’re particular about animal testing? But actually I don’t know why they want to test cosmetics on animals when they’re used on human. ?

  7. emily says:

    actually i think its best not to use animal testing products… animal testing is super cruel! (if you see the clips in PETA websites)…

  8. loveless says:

    i used to just look at pdt functions, instructions, expiry date…
    but ever since I became aware of environmental, health & safety issues & some others (e.g. airline check-in customs), everything included &/or omitted in the labels is of concern.

    i believe that whatever you buy or consume personally does make a difference. Animal testing used to be a standard for the cosmetic industry and tho it may not make sense why the researchers want to test on animals, they do it anyway, and the harm and damages it does to the animals is something you don’t even want a stranger to experience.
    Also, since a lot of companies are jumping on the green, natural and organic wagons, what kinds of labels and certs they have on the pdt labels differentiate the real McCoys from the wanna-bes. e.g. European standards for cosmetic & medical pdts are usu more stringent than the US etc.
    oh and one last imptn reason why I reads labels is of increasing allegeries and intolerance to certain ingredients.

  9. sesame says:

    Err…I rather not watch. But yes, I don’t think it makes sense.

  10. sesame says:

    I guess I should be more conscious of the labels. My eyesight is poor and I have a hard time reading the ingredient list with fine prints. Sometimes I can only guage roughly and then buy it back to read carefully. But I’ll like to be more conscious about purchasing products without animal testing. If we do it together, then that’ll hopefully send a message to the manufacturers as a whole.

    But I think those companies who are into natural or organic are more conscious of such efforts – against animal testing and using sustainable packaging. So it’s good to go natural in that way too.

  11. Angel says:

    What is most important to me is the info of what is inside! I like ingridents and active ingreidents % to be on there. But that isn’t really a symbol.

    I do prefer my products to have a exp date. Lol. I like it spelled out for me. I can figure out manufactor codes and whatnot. Like, I have no idea what 6m means…

    The little symbols don’t bother me, but I’m not looking for anything specific either.
    I don’t hunt out products that are organic or are animal tested free. It’s a nice plus, and I feel better if I buy a product like that, but sometimes it cannot be avoided…

  12. Natalja says:

    Usually newer and more health councious manufacturers don’t test on animals, there is no need for it if the ingredients are natural. But the larger companies who use a lot of chemicals still do. They have to test the chemicals to see if there will be any adverse reactions before they forward the chemicals to consumers (us) for use. It’s terrible. Some of those “famous” testers are Johnson & Johnson, Chanel, Garnier, Shiseido, and a lot of other ones. Mainly well known ones. Those companies that test on animals are also NON signers of Compact for safe cosmetics and rate pretty badly on Skin Deep.

  13. everbluec says:

    I normally just check manufacture date! lolx

  14. sesame says:

    A lot of the bigger manufacturers use batch codes which is quite hard to figure. I wish it’s more clear cut. But for the natural and organic products I get, they’re straight forward. I guess because it’s a requirement for them.

  15. sesame says:

    Thanks for the info. I’m glad I’m moving to natural products and manufacturers in this category are more ethical in their manufacturing process.

  16. sesame says:

    Yup, for me too…either that or the expiry.

  17. crystal says:

    I recently purchased the Burt’s Bees Very volumizing shampoo. I thought it wouldn’t foam up since it says “no sulfates” but lo and behold, it still foams anyway. So, those little symbols don’t mean anything to me now or the “objective” of the shampoo.

    I just look for the ingredients and directions from now on.

  18. sesame says:

    Do you like the shampoo? It foams up well and actually smells good. But I wonder if it gives you the volume cos some said yes, some no.

  19. finsternissan says:

    I usually look at the ingredients list to see if there are any parabens and etc on the back.

    The type of plastic they use for recycling, since i avoid number 7, and 3’s since they contain BPA and PVC.

    I also check the expiry date if they have one. I tend to shop for things that are natural/organic so most likely they’ll have an expiry date.

  20. sesame says:

    Wow, I don’t know anything about the plastic at all and what those numbers mean.

  21. Karen says:

    probably the ingredient lists, expiry date, instructions and Organic logo are important to me. as i try to go green, i sometimes use some “chemical” products, since some natural products do not work as well as “chemical” products, such as Sukin shampoo.
    i love the conditioner, but i use Loreal Elvive shampoo.

  22. sesame says:

    I know what you mean…sometimes, there is a compromise. If I go under hot sun, then it’s a chemical sunscreen I prefer.

  23. Hayashi says:

    For me, I would just look at the manufacturing date, expiry date, ingredients and instructions.

    By the way, just a random question : how important is pH balance for shampoo and facial cleansing foam?

  24. sesame says:

    It’s important cos anything out of the range could be too harsh. *btw, I have difficulties sending you email*

  25. Linz says:

    do we able to use cosmetics products until 6M (6 months) because of the symbol even the best use before is Feb’10? or 6M is only the sign that we could use the products up to 6 months after we open it, but still have to be aware with the ‘best used’ time? thanks…

  26. sesame says:

    Of course, it’s best to use before the date is up for freshness but based on experience, one or two months after should be okay to use. Just check the quality and the smell.

  27. momtomomhealth says:

    I agree although the label is not a symbol it’s very important to be aware of what’s inside your product. As a breast cancer survivor with no family history I know my environment has played a huge role in my cancer. There are many elements to consider but I have become more cautious of what I put on my skin and reading those labels can be very eye opening.

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