Product Label News

How Labels Can Become Damaged

Labels | June 24 2021

From food and beverage to cosmetics and medical products, thermal labels and custom labels are used on many types of products. In addition to identifying a product, the quality of these labels can directly influence a consumer’s perception of the product they are attached to. This is especially true if the label is extremely faded, torn, peeling, or otherwise damaged. Faded or damaged labels can also present a safety risk for medical products and certain cosmetics as the contents of the product can become difficult to determine. To ensure that your labels stay in optimal condition, it is important to understand how labels can become damaged over time. As leading providers of quality custom labels and thermal roll labels, the team at West Coast Labels has provided some information on this subject.

Learn about the industries that use custom labels.

What can Damage Labels?

Even if a label is printed with quality materials, it can still become faded or damaged. The following hazards can permanently damage most types of labels:

UV Exposure

Labels are sensitive to UV (ultraviolet) light and can start to fade after prolonged exposure. Though the stability of the colour largely depends on the quality of the materials used and the design on the label, prolonged exposure to intensive UV light can cause fading for even the highest quality labels. Minimize UV exposure by keeping labels away from natural light, covering them, or using laminates.

Excessive Heat

As the name implies, thermal labels use heat to create text or designs. All thermal labels are sensitive to temperature and can become damaged in extremely hot or cold environments. Too much heat can cause labels to darken, while extreme cold can cause labels to fade. Ensure that your labels are stored in environments that are cool and dry.

Oil and Moisture

Though some labels (beverages, cold products) are designed to withstand a large amount of moisture, excessively damp environments can cause them to lose adhesion and start to peel or flake. Oil and moisture on a worker’s fingers can also damage labels by causing imprints and fading during handling.


As one might expect, impacts from tools or drops can also damage labels, causing them to tear and peel. Direct thermal labels are also sensitive to pressure from fingernails, pens, and other objects that can put significant pressure on a small surface area. This means that they can be damaged through improper handling or signing paperwork on top of them.

Awareness and caution are the best methods of noticing these hazards and avoiding them. To learn more about custom labels and how to maximize their usable life, get in touch with the team at West Coast Labels. We can be reached through our online contact form and will be happy to assist you.

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