Understanding The Symbols On Your Custom Formulated Skin Care Products

Since the advent of toxic skincare products and medical issues like cancer, people have become more curious about what their skincare products contain. They want to go through the ingredients list even though they don't know half of the chemicals listed. This is a good thing because you should know what goes on your skin to prevent skin-related irritations like rashes, hives, acne breakouts, and possibly cancer.

Regulatory agencies like the TGA have been put in place to help people know more about the toxic chemicals that could cause harm to them. It makes it easier for people to know what to look out for in their skincare products.

These regulatory bodies have also mandated that certain symbols be used to indicate or give more information about a product. These symbols can appear on food, skincare products, or any other product. But for this article, we will be focusing on the symbols that appear on skincare products.

You might have seen these products, but you don't know what they mean, which is why we have carefully curated this article to explain these symbols to you. So, the next time you see them, you actually know what they mean!

Let's get to it.

  • The Leaping or Flying Bunny

When you see this logo on skincare products, it simply means that it has been certified that the manufacturer does not carry out product tests on animals. It is universally recognized as the "cruelty-free" symbol. Other types of certifications validate non-animal testing, but the leaping bunny symbol supersedes them all.

  • The Mobius Loop or The Recycling Arrows Triangle

This symbol generally means that a product's packaging is recyclable. This sign can come in different variations. These variations give more specific information about how to recycle the container. For example,

If the Mobius loop is inside a circle, it means that the container is recyclable.

If it is in a container and has a percentage inside or beside it, then this means that only that percentage is made of recyclable materials.

If there is a letter below the triangle and a number inside, it is trying to tell you what resin was used in making the container.

  • The Open Flame

This one is pretty common. It means that a product is flammable. When exposed to fire, it can ignite and cause pretty serious fire accidents. This symbol is usually found on aerosols like perfumes, air fresheners, body sprays, nail polish removers, and other alcohol-based products. The open flame with an X symbol means that the product is not flammable.

  • The Open Jar Symbol

This symbol means that a product would only be good/ effective for several months after it has been opened. This is also known as the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol. This symbol is often used to indicate expiration. So, for example, if you see the open jar symbol with a "36" on a product, it means that after 36 months, it will expire. 

  • The Hourglass Symbol

This is another variation of the open jar symbol. It is also used to indicate expiry, but there's a difference. The difference is that while the open jar symbol is used to indicate expiry for products with an expiry date over 30 months, the hourglass is used for products with an expiry date under 30 months. This symbol is accompanied by a "Best Before End Of" Date (BBE) or an expiry date below the sign.

This symbol is mostly used for EU-regulated products because the EU requires that manufacturers indicate the expiry dates of such products.

  • The Natural Standard Seal

This symbol is not exactly a TGA-approved seal. This certification is given by the Natural Products Association, a Non-profit organization in the U.S. This organization certifies that medicines, beauty products, or food are made from natural products.

  • The Ecocert Symbol

This is another common symbol. It is a more recognized variant of the natural seal symbol, but it is only for cosmetic products. It also certifies that a beauty/ cosmetic product is made up of natural materials. This symbol has two main variations.

    • The Organic Cosmetic Ecocert Symbol: This symbol certifies that at least 95% of a product is made up of natural products
    • The Natural Cosmetics Ecocert Symbol: This symbol certifies that at least 50% of a cosmetic product is made up of natural materials.
  • The "Refer To Insert" Symbol

This symbol simply means that a customer has to read the pamphlet in the packaging of a product to get extra information concerning any aspect of the product that is not listed on the packaging. This is because, most times, every single piece of information might not fit in the packaging. This symbol looks like a hand pointing to a book.

  • The "Halal" Symbol

This symbol means that a product is suitable for Muslims to use. This symbol is often replaced or substituted by the letter "M." It certifies that the methods and ingredients used do not go against the religious doctrines of Islam.

  • The "Kosher" Symbol

This is another symbol that originates from religious inclinations. It is the Hebrew/Jewish variant of the Halal symbol. It certifies that a product was manufactured according to the standards of Judaism.

  • The E- mark/Estimated Symbol

This symbol certifies that a product was manufactured and packaged according to European standards. This symbol is mostly used in the European Union States. By European standards, the product quantity cannot be less than the specified number. This means that customers would get the value of their money every time!


These are just a few of the symbols that normally appear on skincare products. There are more like the " vegan" symbol, the "green dot" symbol, and many more.

So, the next time you see them, you know what they mean!