Sep 15, 2023

Packaging for cosmetics - What you should pay attention to

Packaging for cosmetics - What you should pay attention to

If you are looking for suitable packaging for your cosmetic product, you will find that the choice is huge and there are legal requirements for cosmetic packaging according to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.

We show you what to look out for and help you through the jungle of regulations.

What must be written on a cosmetics package?

The legislator prescribes certain mandatory information that must appear on every package of personal care and cosmetic products.  

In addition, ingredients must be declared and the country of origin must be indicated.

For other packaged products, such as top-quality hair care products, you can expect packaging-related advertising claims as well.

Aesthetics play a major role in cosmetics packaging. Mandatory information sometimes interferes with this, but is required by law.

Mandatory information on the cosmetic packaging are:

  • Country of origin (e.g. "made in Germany")
  • Name and address of the person placing on the market
  • Type of product, if not obvious from the presentation
  • Indication of the net quantity in ml or g
  • Use-by date or shelf life (MHD)
  • Reference to allergen labeling
  • Labeling according to the Cosmetics Ordinance (e.g. "KVO")

Declare ingredients

When declaring ingredients, the order in which they are stated is important.

The first declared substance is also the one most commonly found in the product.

However, there is one exception: if a certain ingredient (e.g. a fragrance) is only used in small quantities, it can still be declared in the first place to hide it from the consumer.

Manufacturer information on the cosmetic packaging

On the packaging for cosmetics you should find additional information from the manufacturer.

These can give you information about the quality of the ingredients used, the production conditions or even the social and environmental commitment of the company.

Commonly encountered quality claims include:

  • "Free from..." statements (e.g. "free from animal testing", "paraben-free").
  • Sustainable or ecological certificates (e.g. BDIH, Ecocert)
  • Social certificates (e.g. Fairtrade, UTZ)

What are the requirements for cosmetics packaging?

The European Cosmetics Regulation 1223/2009 (KVO) requires a safety report for each cosmetic product.

This report must contain information on the ingredients used, the production conditions and the intended use of the product.  

Cosmetic packaging is usually made of plastic or glass. However, there is now also packaging made of paper, as a sustainable alternative.

In addition, information must be provided on the packaging materials and components used.

At KoRo Source, we work exclusively with certified contract manufacturers and packaging producers. On our platform you will find suitable packaging for the respective cosmetic products. You can also quickly and easily book a safety assessment for your product.

What are the requirements for the material?

The materials used for cosmetic packaging must meet certain requirements.

For example, they must not be toxic, carcinogenic or allergenic.

Ecological aspects such as environmental compatibility also play a role in the selection of materials.

As a rule, packaging for cosmetics has a so-called certificate of conformity according to VO 1935/2004, according to VO 10/2011 or both.

Thus, the manufacturer of the packaging guarantees that it is suitable for food contact and, therefore, is not dangerous for cosmetic products because they have similar properties (e.g. aqueous, oily, etc.).

What does 12M mean on the packaging of cosmetic products?

The indication "12M" on the packaging of cosmetic products means that the shelf life of the product after opening is at least 12 months.

This information is mandatory and must be indicated on all packaging of cosmetic products marketed in the EU.

What does exp mean for cosmetics?

The indication "exp" on cosmetic products means that the preservative solution used is no longer effective.

This statement is mandatory and must be indicated on all packaging of cosmetics marketed in the EU.