How to Read a Cosmetic Product Label

Reading a product label can be tricky, but there's so much power found in that information. Once you understand how this information works, you will see it's pretty easy to consume.


The FDA requires all consumer-facing beauty and personal care products to display all ingredients from highest to lowest concentration. With that in mind, if you really want to know the main ingredients in a product, look at the first 3-5 ingredients listed on the label. Here, you will find the ingredients that really define the nature of the product and really deliver the performance. Ingredients listed later down the list are typically added a less than 1% and only sometimes add to product efficacy. Cashmere Moon is proud of all our ingredients. We pride ourselves on transparency and proudly display our ingredients on the labels and outside packaging.


An important part of developing a great product involves figuring out the best way to use it to get the best results. Companies run simulations to determine best practices for using a product, and you must follow those directions closely. The moment you choose to use the product outside of the intended use, you open yourself up to risks, which leads us to our next point.


Watermint Clementine Whipped Body Cream cosmetic product label

Safety Warnings

There are so many powerful, effective ingredients that can truly transform your skin when used correctly, but they can be equally as dangerous when mishandled. Safety warnings provide consumers with guidelines on what NOT to do when using a product. Often they will say things like "avoid contact with eyes," "for external use only," and "do not ingest."

Period After Opening

Even if a product is manufactured under the strictest hygiene standards, the second you open it and expose it to the environment, the clock starts ticking on its lifespan. Cosmetic product developers run stability tests and shelf life studies to determine just how long you have. This metric is called "The Period After Opening" and appears on some labels as an icon of an open jar with a time frame listed in months.

Company Contact

The FDA also requires that companies leave contact information on all their labels. Traditionally, this contact information was always an address or a phone number, but companies now share their social media, websites, or live chat details. You spent your money on a product, and If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, you, as the consumer, have the power to go straight to the source. Reach out!