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What Popular Symbols on Cosmetic Labels Mean

September 26, 2016

These days, shoppers are all about making informed purchases. With more and more people going for natural, vegan, organic, biodegradable, and recyclable products, various symbols are popping up all over the labels of cosmetic and personal care products. These symbols continue to grow in popularity since they make it easier for many people to find the types of products they’re looking for.

To get ahead of the game and keep up with your competitors who are having their product stickers printed with these symbols, it’s important for you to first understand what each of these seals means.

1. Organic Products

Like organic foods, organic cosmetics must only contain organically produced ingredients without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. USDA Certified Organic products may use the USDA Organic seal if they contain at least 95 percent organically produced ingredients. The other 5 percent of ingredients must be ingredients that are not available in organic form.

Products that are made of 100 percent organic ingredients do not have a specific seal, but the USDA Organic seal may be used in addition to the phrase “100 percent organic”.  There is no seal for products that are made with organic ingredients, but in order to use the phrase “made with organic ingredients” on the product label, the product must be made up of at least 70 percent organic ingredients.

2. Natural Products

Organic and natural do not mean the same thing. However, products with the NATRUE seal mean that a product is made up of natural and organic ingredients, using minor manufacturing methods and environmentally-friendly practices. These products are also not tested on animals. Synthetic fragrances, colors, petroleum-derived or genetically-modified ingredients are not allowed in NATRUE products.

On the other hand, natural products are unregulated, do not contain a seal, and do not have to contain completely natural ingredients. Natural is a term used to define products that contain a combination of plant-based or plant-derived ingredients, and any product can use the term. However, manufacturers must use their own personal discretion when labeling products as natural.

Products that are naturally-derived do not contain a seal, but manufacturers can market the product as naturally-derived if the product was produced from ingredients found in nature. These products may also contain chemicals or be treated with synthetic ingredients.

3. Cruelty-Free and Vegan

There are two types of reputable cruelty-free seals that can be used. The first means that the product is cruelty-free and vegan, and the second means that the product is specifically cruelty-free and not tested on animals.

Products with the Cruelty-Free and Vegan seal mustn't contain any animal-derived ingredients including honey or beeswax, and none of the ingredients may be tested on animals.

The Leaping Bunny seal means that animal testing was not performed during any part of the manufacturing process, and that none of the ingredients have been tested on animals. Product stickers printed with the Leaping Bunny logo mustn’t be tested on animals, but do not necessarily need to be vegan. has the experience, tools, and resources you need to shine in the cosmetics industry. Have your product label stickers printed through us and enjoy our large selection of cosmetic labels. We’re looking forward to serving you! 

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