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POA Symbol: An overview on POA symbol in cosmetics packaging

The period-after-opening symbol or PAO symbol is a graphic symbol that identifies the useful lifetime of a cosmetic product after its package has been opened for the first time. It depicts an open cosmetics pot and is used together with a written number of months or years.

In the European union, cosmetics products with a shelf-life of at least 30 months are not required to carry a "best used before end of" date. Instead, there has to be "an indication of the period of time after opening for which the product can be used without any harm to the consumer". The EU Cosmetics Directive defines in Annex VIIIa the language-neutral open-jar symbol, which manufacturers should use to indicate this period.

The time period is most often represented compactly as a number of months, followed by the letter "M", as in "36M" for a period of thirty-six months, written either onto the front side of the depicted pot or to the right or bottom of it. The letter "M" is the initial for the word month not only in English, but also in many other European languages. It is also used in the ISO 8601 duration notation.

For products lasting longer than 30 months, the product must have a “period after opening” symbol. This is shown by a jar with the lid off, and a number. This indicates how long the product is good for, in terms of months, after it's been opened.

Difference Between Expiration Date and POA

Expiration Date- A product’s expiration date (or “shelf life”) is generally accepted as the amount of time it takes a product to cease performing as outlined or advertised. Essentially, the period of time it is safe to use and will perform its function within. Depending on the type and nature of the product, an expiration date can very.

Period After Opening- Period after opening (PAO) refers to the amount of time a product will remain stable and safe for human use after it has first been opened. As such, it is very much involved with the scale of degradation a product faces in the same way as the shelf life is, however in this instance it is far more directly influenced by its first use or first interaction with the consumer (and the inevitable risk of microbial contamination therein).

For products lasting longer than 30 months, the product must have a “period after opening” symbol. This is shown by a jar with the lid off, and a number. This indicates how long the product is good for, in terms of months, after it's been opened.

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