Open Jar Symbol: Period After Opening (Expiration Date)

Free Downloads, Meaning and when to use it

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Meaning of the Open Jar Symbol

Have you ever noticed a tiny icon on your cosmetic products that looks like an open container with a number followed by the letter ‘M’ inside? That’s the Open Jar Icon, commonly known as the Period After Opening (PAO) symbol. It’s there to tell you how long you can expect your cosmetic product to stay in good condition after you’ve first used it.

For instance, spotting a “12M” inside the jar suggests that your product is best used within 12 months from when you first open it. It’s a straight­forward way to help you keep track of your product’s freshness and efficacy.

When to use the Open Jar Symbol

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Adminis­tration (FDA) does not mandate the inclusion of expiration dates on cosmetic products’ labels.

Contras­tingly, the European Union takes a more stringent approach to cosmetic labeling:

  • For Long-lasting Products: Cosmetics with a lifespan exceeding 30 months must feature the Open Jar Icon instead of a specific expiration date. This symbol guides users on the duration a product remains usable after first opening.

  • For Shorter Lifespan Products: Products that will last up to 30 months require a clear expiration date on their packaging, without the need for the Open Jar Icon.

Moreover, the EU rules provide some flexi­bility under parti­cular circum­s­tances, such as for cosmetics that are sealed, dispensed as sprays, intended for a single use, or are unlikely to deteriorate.

More Cosmetic Symbols

Hand in Book symbol white

Hand in Book Symbol (Refer to Intert)

This Symbol is used to provide extra details to consumers. It means there’s more infor­mation available to read.

BBE symbol white

Hourglass Symbol (Best Before End Date)

This Hourglass Symbol (BBE) is used for products with a lifespan of less than 30 months. It’s like an expiration date for cosmetics.

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E‑Symbol (Nominal Net Content)

The E‑Symbol stands for “Nominal Net Content” and is used to indicate the amount or volume of the product inside the packaging.