What Are Batch Codes and Why Are They Important?

As a consumer, batch codes can be easy to ignore. They look like a random mix of numbers and letters that have been mysteriously stamped on a product. You might have not even known they existed until you started developing your own line of cosmetics.

 For cosmetic manufacturers, though, batch codes are vital. They give you critical information about your products, including their expiration dates, production lot numbers, and how long they have been on the shelf.

 On top of providing information that keeps consumers safe, including batch codes on all your products gives you protection and traceability if you ever face litigation for one of your products.

What are Batch Codes?

A batch code is a series of numbers and letters that associates a batch with specific information about where and when it was made. Batch codes can be anywhere from three to 11 digits long and located on the bottom of the product, near the barcode, or near the company information listed on the product label.

Unlike bar code numbers, which all look uniform, batch codes can vary in their appearance. They are stamped on after the packaging was made, so they won’t match the typography and style of the rest of the label.

Batch codes are not easy to decipher on their own. However, you will be able to use the batch codes on your products to trace where they came from if there is ever a question.

Why are Batch Codes Important?

Batch codes are required for brands that want to comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for many reasons.

The most critical piece of information a batch code provides is the date a product was manufactured. This is important because all cosmetics have a shelf life. So, if a customer contacts you wondering if a product is too old to use, you can look up the batch date and let them know with certainty whether or not it has expired.

Another important use case for batch codes is in the event of a product recall. For example, if an ingredient used in earlier batches of your product is recalled, you can look up your stability testing data and what batch of ingredients were used with the batch code. This will help you identify which products need to come off the shelves, and can ensure you comply with the product regulations and standards. 

Finally, having batch codes can protect you in the event of liability issues and lawsuits. You will be able to trace each back to where and when it was manufactured, which can assist you in avoiding being held liable for damages that did not result from your production practices.

Learn More about Batch Codes with pH Factor

Including batch codes on your products protects your brand from potential liability issues and demonstrates your commitment to following industry best practices for manufacturing cosmetic and personal care products.

We want to help you fully understand all the aspects of cosmetic manufacturing so you can provide your customers with safe products. Browse our training and workshops to learn more about batch codes and other essential elements of beauty and care production.