Skin care: New book symbol draws consumers' attention to information leaflets

New book icon on cosmetic products. Image: Robert Kneschke - fotolia

Whether make-up, moisturizing fluid or mascara: cosmetic products contain various ingredients that normally have to be declared on the product itself. If this cannot be done for reasons of space, for example, manufacturers must add an instruction leaflet instead. In this case, a book symbol indicates the additional information to the consumer.

Cosmetics law in the EU provides clear rules
Similar to food, there is a kind of "list of ingredients" on the packaging of cosmetic products, in which all ingredients of the product must be specified. As the Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) informs, consumers should be able to check whether there are critical substances in lipstick, powder, facial toner or similar. The labeling is based on the "International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients", or INCI for short.


New book icon on cosmetic products. Image: Robert Kneschke - fotolia

According to cosmetics law in the EU, the list must also follow a certain rule, in which the substances are named in descending order according to their weight percentage. At the beginning there are the ingredients that are most contained in the product, at the very end those are named whose proportion is less than 1% in the overall recipe.

Label or tag as an alternative
However, if there is no place for the list on small products such as lipsticks or eye shadow, these can alternatively be listed on an enclosed slip of paper, label or tag. In this case, a book symbol indicates to the consumer that the declaration of the ingredients and possible precautionary measures or warnings cannot be found on the packaging itself, explains Thomas Büttner, specialist lawyer for cosmetics law in Frankfurt am Main. Instead, attention must be paid to the package insert, the expert told the news agency "dpa".

The manufacturer can of course also be contacted for further information. Anyone who would also like to find out what function an ingredient has can, according to the BVL, obtain information in the search engine at; the European Commission also provides a list of INCI names. (No)

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