Is your product label compliant with the labeling requirements of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)? Strict guidelines are in place to protect consumers from products that are potentially unsafe or deceptively labeled. While the FDA regulates beauty and cosmetic products, it places much of the responsibility on the makers. So, Avery label experts have taken a closer look at what goes on the label to help you make sure your health and beauty product labels are compliant.
Principal Display Panel (PDP)
This is the label that is examined under normal conditions for retail sale. The information shown here should include:
The name of the product
Net quantity of contents
Additional information not on the PDP label should be on the information panel. This can include items such as:
Directions for safe use
Warning and caution disclosures
Name and place of business
Any other required information
For more information on labeling requirements under US laws and related regulations, read the Cosmetics Labeling Guide from the FDA.
Product Labeling Symbols
So how does all that information fit on your product label? The following symbols can help you communicate more information to your consumers in a smaller place.
The Period After Opening (PAO) symbol is the open jar icon. This icon indicates how many months the product will be good after it’s opened. This is typically on products with a shelf life of 30 months or more.
Best before date
For products with a lifespan of less than 30 months, an hourglass icon and a “best before end of,” or BBE, date is displayed.
The lowercase “e” is known as the estimated sign, or e-mark. It is required by the EU and basically indicates that the quantity of the product in a batch of packages is the same as what’s stated on the label.
Refer to insert
When there’s required information such as ingredients and instructions to provide (and sometimes in multiple languages) but not enough room to do so. So this symbol lets the consumer know there’s a leaflet, card or other insert to refer to inside the packaging.
Responsibility for packaging
The Green Dot trademark indicates the manufacturer financially contributes to a recycling organization to manage its packaging waste in an ecologically responsible manner. It is not a recycling symbol.
Responsible forest management
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) trademark indicates the paper the company uses come from responsible sources. Use of the logo requires authorization and license code from the FSC.
The Organic seal indicates the product has met strict production and labeling requirements of the USDA, and the final product is certified. Selling a product as organic when it is not can cost a company up to $11K for each violation.
US Public Health Service seal
Products bearing the U.S. Public Health Service seal must contain 70% organic ingredients. Also they must follow strict guidelines for manufacturing and processing.
PETA runs the well-known Beauty Without Bunnies certification program. However, the Leaping Bunny is another internationally recognized certification program that upholds a stricter program and mandatory audits.
Body care standards
Whole Foods developed strict baseline body care standards in quality sourcing and environmental impact in order for products to earn the Premium Body Care logo. They’ve also identified more than 400 ingredients deemed unacceptable.
Full label disclosure
The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, established the EWG VERIFIED mark to indicate the product meets the strictest standards when it comes to harmful chemicals.
To earn the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, products must complete third-party verification for their product labeling and certifications. It ensures products have been thoroughly evaluated by an independent party for compliance.
The Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) leads a strict gluten-free certification program. They inspect products and manufacturing facilities for the presence of gluten. Products bearing the gluten-free symbol must be certified by a third party to earn certification.
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