Period After Opening (PAO) symbol on beauty products


To my great surprise, I found out the other day that many people do not know that there is an expiration date on cosmetics and skincare products. This has been compulsory in the EU since 2005.

This small symbol shows how long after opening you can safely use the product.  For this type of labelling to work, you have to remember more or less when you opened a product. In many ways it is much easier with a ‘best before’ date.


Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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