Have you ever picked up a product and looked at the back of the label, opened your eyes wide, blinked a few times, and quickly turned your attention back to the front so you could read the name of the product, because it’s the only thing you understand?

This is for you if you are a label reader, and if you’re not a label reader because you’re not sure what the heck those complicated labels say, then this is definitely for you.

In today’s market, customers want to be informed. They want to know what’s going on their skin and ultimately into their bodies.

As a result, customers are paying attention. Yes, I know. You’re paying attention.

Product labels can be confusing. So if you’ve ever wondered what’s on a label and why it’s set up the way it is, here is an overview of what you’ll find on some typical bath and body product and skin care labels.

And if you’re not sure what these super, duper complicated words mean, you can go to the EWG (Environmental Working Group’s) skin deep database for a breakdown on what a particular ingredient may be responsible for when absorbed into your skin.

A. Company Logo or Word Mark

B. The name of the product. Not all products have names

C. The Product Identity. What the product is. A lotion, scrub etc.

D. Net. Content. How much product is in the container

E. Product Claims. A summary of the benefits of the product or description (optional).

F. Ingredients. A list of all ingredients used in the formulation in descending order. Scientific/common names are used. For example, Simmondsia chinsensis/(Jojoba oil)

G. The name of the company distributing or manufacturing the product

H. Location/address of the company

I. Company website address (optional)

J. Country where the product was manufactured

K. Period after opening symbol (PAO). This signifies how long the contents can be used after the jar has been opened. For example, 24M means the product can be used up to 24 months after opening

L. The estimated Sign. Required by the European Union (EU). It certifies that the actual contents of the package comply with specified criteria for estimation. Not all products use this.

Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a wife, mama, science educator, author, certified health coach and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Redbook, Natural Health, Instyle, Working Woman, Huffington Post, Essence Online, Tampa Tribune and more. She is currently the Chief Self-care Connoisseur and founder of I. O. Beauty Market, where she curates products that are free of toxic, harmful ingredients.

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