Crack the beauty code

Ever wonder what those little symbols on beauty products mean? I recently appeared on The Marilyn Denis Show talking about what these symbols mean. But continue reading to get the information you need to shop smarter for beauty products.


Any product with this symbol is flammable and should be kept away from both flames and high temperatures. This is often on aerosols, or products with alcohol, like nail polish remover.

Refer to Insert

Sometimes beauty brands can’t fit all the usage information on a bottle. In this case, they include this symbol, to indicate that further information can be found in an enclosed leaflet. This is often the case if the bottle is difficult to read, the bottle comes in a box with a leaflet, or the bottle is small, like nail polish and it has the small tab at the bottom that you peel to reveal more info.


The hourglass signifies that a product will only last for 30 months, whether it has been opened or not. The product may have active ingredients, or lose its efficacy after this time frame.


This symbol means that the package can be recycled. A number in the middle of it represents the percentage of the packaging that has been made using recycled materials.

Leaping Bunny

There are variations on the bunny symbol but the leaping bunny is the only internationally recognized logo that means no animal testing was used in the process of creating any part of the product or the ingredients used in it.

PAO: 6 M/12 M

PAO stands for Period After Opening – the M stands for months, so if you see a product that says 6M, it means it’ll last 6 months after you’ve opened the product.