Labelling system signals product expiration period

By Louise Prance

- Last updated on GMT

A recent study has highlighted that female consumers are holding on
to their makeup products for too long, providing opportunities for
manufacturers to create labelling innovations to further monitor
the shelf life of cosmetic products.

European regulations now require cosmetic manufacturers to display on packaging how long a product may be safely applied for, creating further industry need for a system to allow consumers the peace of mind that their beauty products are within the designated guidelines. A recent study by the College of Optometrists discovered that one in four British women are using make-up that is more than four years old, with nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed stating they continued to use their mascara for more than two years. Indeed, with a massive 92 per cent of women surveyed using keeping their eye make-up longer than the recommended six months there is an obvious need for a more obvious and dramatic labelling system to show when a product is no longer deemed safe for use. Timestrips has risen to this challenge, and is now remarketing its label products that attach to packaging and give a visible sign of how long an individual product has been opened and in use for - activated when a beauty product is first opened, and working for over a year. The Timestrips can be bought in the UK by consumers, but can also be integrated into cosmetic packaging by manufacturers - pitted as the more accessible option and more desirable by consumers - with the labels containing a tinted liquid which, when the label is activated, moves across it at a consistent rate, allowing accurate monitoring of elapsed time. "It's even easier when the labels are built into the packaging, so the more manufacturers that start integrating Timestrips into product packaging, the greater the benefits to women's health,"​ said Reuben Isbitsky, Timestrip's joint CEO.​Cosmetic manufacturer Strand Cosmetics Europe is the first company to incorporate the labels into its packaging, using the labels on many premium cosmetic brands across Europe, America and Asia. By integrating the labelling system the company is falling in line with industry legislation and becoming a more consumer friendly packaging manufacturer, therefore being an attractive option for leading cosmetic brands. Other innovations have come in the form of digital packaging options such as P3 - which was invented by Production Innovations, a California-based packaging technology company. P3, which stands for Precise, Product, Performance, helps consumers using time-sensitive products to use them more precisely and even more regularly. The innovation incorporates a microprocessor into the packaging cap, complimented by an LED light that blinks, as well as an LCD readout that times the length of the application. Studies of the cosmetic field suggested that the product could have several applications for time sensitive products, including items such as facial peels, face masques and hair dyes. It works with the timing mechanism being activated when the cap is opened, the consumer then dispenses the amount they want, then the cap is re-closed - a process that activates the pre-programmed application time. When the time is up and the product should have reached its optimum exposure time, the cap beeps and flashes, indicating that the consumer should wash the product off. The device is then pre-programmed to activate by flashing and beeping again to indicate when the product should be re-applied, whether that be the next day, a few days, a week or a month.

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