Sunday, August 29, 2010The language of labels

Which purpose is a cosmetic for?

©L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

The function of a product is a kind of its purpose: what and whom it is designed for. As per the applicable regulation, it is mandatory that this information be obviously easy to see on the outside label of the cosmetic product. This requirement is always met, this information being of the utmost importance for the consumer to choose a product that meets his (her) needs (or, at least, seems so …). Nevertheless, a thorough reading may help in understanding it … to prevent any mistake.

Reading time
~ 4 minutes

The function comes as a description of the cosmetic, which can take many forms, all easy to understand, even if they are more or less accurate.

The naming

Some manufacturers choose the name of their product as if a dream: "Souffle d’Eau Pure" (A Breeze of Pure Water), a "Caresse d’Eveil" (an Awakening Caress), or "Cocktail Végétal" (A World of Plants), all are poetic names, for sure, but are unable to give the consumer the faintest idea of what is in the cream pot.
The names shall then come with more explicit and precise words, which may be respectively, a "Tonic Lotion", a "Day Care Cream" or a "Serum".

When the name is relevant, it may be even more explicit as to the purpose of the cosmetic or the part of the body it is designed for. The three examples come now as, "Refreshing Tonic Lotion", "Moisturizing Day Care Cream", "Face Care Serum" …  

The function may be as simple as the name of the product itself: when a Moisturizing Day Care Cream is labelled "Moisturizing Day Care Cream", well, it is less glamour but easy to understand. 

The target

If the sidelines of products for men are put apart (though …

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