Confused about a certain beauty label that you see on beauty or skincare products? How do you know if something is really “organic” or “natural” as they claim to be?

I’ve complied a list of the most common beauty labels used in the beauty and  makeup industries. Hope this list will help you make better shopping decisions. If you see a label that is not in this list, please contact me and I will add it!


Symbol (If One Exists)Label NameMeaning

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EcoCertLook for the "EcoCert Organic Cosmetic" or " EcoCert Natural Cosmetic" label on makeup products. Products that carry these 2 labels has passed EcoCert's strict requirements for the use of organic ingredients. You can find more information for EcoCert here.

(By Kennedy - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
PAO (Period After Opening) Symbol Look for a symbol that looks like an opened makeup container with the number of months or years written on or below the container. This is the PAO symbol which tells the user how long they should keep the product after opening it. Wikipedia has a few good examples of what the symbol looks like. Check it out here.

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CRUELTY-FREE Look for a "Leeping Bunny Logo" on animal cruelty-free products. The logo indicates that the product has passed the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) standards. CCIC places strict standards on certification and the "Leeping Bunny Logo" is internationally recognized. Find out more here

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ORGANICIf you see the word "Organic" on the label, also take the time to look for the USDA Organic Seal. This seal indicates that the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. The word "Organic" can be a good sign that the product uses organic ingredients but the USDA Organic Seal will provide more confidence. Find out more here
DERMATOLOGICALLY TESTED If you see the words "Dermatologically Tested", it simply means that the product was at some point tested on human skin. However this is more of a marketing gimmick because there are no standards that govern what this label means or exactly how the product was tested.
NATURALThe word "Natural" seen on beauty labels doesn't actually mean anything. Its more of a marketing gimmick.
MADE WITH ORGANIC If you see "Made with organic" on a beauty label, it indicates that the product may be certifed to the USDA NOP standard which require the product to have at least 70% organic ingredients.
CONTAINS ORGANIC If you see "Contains organic" on a beauty label, it indicates that the product may be certified to the NSF 305 Personal Care Standard. This standard requires that the product have at least 70% organic ingredients