When buying beauty products, we often pick up a packaging and have a look to see if that product could be something that suits us and our needs. What most of us don’t consider is, all the information that is actually on the packaging and what all of it means, let alone what it actually took to get this product on the shelf. Creating beauty products is a fun and exciting process but there is also a lot of little (legal) things that absolutely need to be considered before launching that product to ensure that YOU have the best experience possible. In today’s blog post and video, we share five things that you perhaps didn’t know yet about your beauty products.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Beauty Products
Did you know that beauty products have an expiration date? Do you know what is actually in your cosmetics? Do you know the process behind getting a product onto the shelf?
In today’s blog post we answer some of these questions and let you know some small fun facts that you perhaps didn’t know about your cosmetics products. Some of them are important and useful whereas some of them are just interesting. None the less we hope you leave today with some new knowledge about your beauty products that you didn’t know before.
1. The ingredients must ALWAYS be on the packaging OR placed near the product in the shop
Ok, so most of you have noticed that the ingredients of your beauty product are disclosed on the packaging, but have you ever wondered why they are not always disclosed? Are some brands trying to hide what is in their product? No, that is not it. In fact, in Germany and the EU at least, the ingredients of a product must always be disclosed on the packaging EXCEPT if the product or packaging is too small to fit the ingredients. A good thumb rule is that a product that has 5ml or less is usually not required to disclose their ingredients on the packaging. However, this does not mean that the ingredients don’t need to be disclosed at all. If the ingredients are not on the packaging than there must be a booklet (or similar) in the vicinity of the product where a customer can easily inform themselves about the ingredients. It’s actually quite interesting to try and find the little compartments where brands “hide” their booklets (in stores) so that it doesn’t disrupt the whole image of their display.
2. The ingredients must always be disclosed from most used ingredient to least used ingredient
This might sound obvious now that you read it but it’s also something that so many of us simply never consider..especially when we don’t really ever even look at the ingredients list. Why is this interesting? It is particularly interesting when you have a look at the few last ingredients of a product which often make up to less than 1% of the whole recipe. So let’s say a company wants to “make” their eyeshadow “healthier” by adding some avocado oil in it. Now obviously an eyeshadow can’t include a whole bunch of any oil because then…well it would just be too oily. If the avocado oil is right at the bottom of the INCI list (ingredients list) than that probably makes up to ca. 0,01-0,1% of the whole recipe. Now the company can indeed write on their packaging that their eyeshadow includes avocado oil and we as consumers might think; cool! However, it is a matter of perspective whether we can think that such a small amount of avocado oil in the recipe has any kind of significant nourishing effect to that eyeshadow. But hey, at least it makes the product sound better, right? Perhaps, but knowing how to read the ingredients, you as a consumer can now evaluate the strength of that claim.
3. Most beauty products have an expiration date (but it’s not disclosed similarly as in e.g. food)
Have you ever had a beauty product for several years and thought: “I wonder if this is still good to use”? You then check out the packaging and can’t seem to find an expiration date. Maybe it just doesn’t expire? We want to share how the expiration date(s) is disclosed in beauty products (at least in Germany and the EU). Generally, there are two ways in which an expiration date is revealed:
Expires within less than 30 months
If a product expires within less than 30 months, when unopened, than the product must have this symbol disclosed on the packaging. Note that this only indicates when a product expires if NOT opened. If the packaging does not have this symbol it means the product lasts 30+ months (unopened).
Expiration date after opening
Most beauty products will have this symbol on their packaging which indicates when the product expires after it has been opened. E.g. if the pot has 12M written in it, this means that the product lasts for approx. 12 months after opening.
If a product doesn’t have either of these symbols on its packaging than it should indicate that the product lasts at least 30 months, even after opening.
4. Most beauty products are NOT vegan
This is a question we get rather often from people who are new to veganism: “what exactly is not vegan in cosmetics”? Most people are surprised when I tell them that a lot, if not even MOST, of conventional (but also natural) beauty products have some sort of animal derived ingredient in it. Here is a list of the most commonly found animal derived ingredients in our cosmetics:
Carmine – derived from crushed cochineal beetles and is used as a red pigment for a lot of our make-up products.
Guanine – derived from fish scales and is found in many shimmer, glitter or metallic shades of e.g. nail polish, eyeshadow, lipsticks, etc.
Tallow – a fat derived from boiling the remains of animals that died for the meat and dairy industry and is found in a lot of our make-up products.
Gelatin – similar to tallow, it is also derived from the remains of the animals that went to the meat and dairy industry. This is used in a lot of creams.
Lanolin – is a fat or wax derived from sheep’s hair or wool and is used in many lipsticks, lip balms and other skin care products.
Beeswax – this one is pretty obvious right? This is a natural wax produced by honey bees and is often found in several lip products.
Keratin – derived from animal hairs or horns and is found in many products meant to strengthen your hair or nails
5. It usually takes at least 6 months to develop a beauty new product
This one is a fun fact which a lot people will not know and have probably never even thought about. That’s ok and this isn’t necessarily something you need to know.
Creating a new recipe/formula for a beauty product can take a very long time where usually the minimum amount of time required is 6 months (although even that is quite fast). The process behind creating a new product includes product development & testing, finding the right packaging that fits the legal requirements, stability & dermatological tests, design, production, and many other steps which are too minor to mention here. Just developing and testing new recipes can easily take up to at least 6 months before a company finds just the right recipe for their new product. Stability and dermatological tests last usually around 2 months and design, as a creative process, can take anywhere between 1-4 months. Needless to say, it takes a lot to bring out a product into the market and the products you find on the shelf have gone through numerous tests to ensure the best and safest solution for you (at least most of the time. Of course, every company is different).
Those were 5 facts about beauty products that you perhaps didn’t know yet. We hope you found some new interesting and useful information here today and that you now know more about what is in or on your beauty products.
Thank you for tuning in for this blog post and video. We hope you enjoyed and if you any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Have an amazing day!
Lots of LOVE,
Your Kia-Charlotta Team