Period after opening (PAO) vs Date of minimum durability

Cosmetics manufacturers are often confused and don’t know when they should use the date of minimum durability symbol on their product labels, and when they should use the period after opening symbol.

Date of minimum durability:

  • The date until which the cosmetic product, stored under appropriate conditions, will continue to fulfil its initial function
  • Not mandatory for products with a minimum durability of more than 30 months
  • Expressed as: “date of minimum durability symbol” + expiry date (month and year, or the day, month and year)

date of minimum durability symbol

Period after opening:

  • Period of time after opening of the container for which the product can be used without any harm to the consumer
  • To be used for products with a minimum durability of more than 30 months
  • Expressed as: “PAO symbol” + number of months and/or years (how many months the product is still safe to use after it has been opened)

Period after opening symbol