Understanding The Ingredient Label On Your Skin Care Products
Some skin care ingredient labels are so complex, you feel like you need a PhD to read them! Educating yourself on how to read cosmetic ingredients is in your best interest so don’t ignore the label because it appears too difficult.
Check Out What Comes First
The ingredients listed on the label are done so in a systematic way. Each ingredient is listed by order of the abundance they are contained in the product. The first ingredient on the label is the most abundant product on the list. This is true for skin care products and food ingredients.
So, if alcohol is the first ingredient on the list, that’s what you are mainly putting on to your skin. This is why you need to understand the ingredient labels.
Putting Water and Oil Into Perspective
While each skin care product is designed for a specific purpose, one thing remains sure. Your skin’s moisture level must be protected. That’s why a moisturizer isn’t really a moisturizer without water as the first ingredient on the label.
The second ingredient to look for on the product label should be an oil like Almond, Aloe, Coconut, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Olive, and Shea. Avoid products that contain cheap oils that only clog the pores like, Mineral oil, Paraffin, and Petroleum.
The purpose of an oil in a product is to seal the moisture into your skin without clogging your pores. That’s why an oil should be at the beginning of the ingredient list in a scrub or other cleanser. When you are washing your body, the oil is needed to seal in the moisture.
Manufacturers can get “creative” with how they label skin care products. When you see words like “For professional use only,” a manufacturer has unwritten permission to remove certain ingredients from the list.
An example would be a chemical called Dioxane. The National Cancer Institute lists Dioxane as carcinogenic (cancer causing). Yet, it’s commonly found in your skin care products but concealed within other chemical ingredients like:
FragranceWith consistency you’ll be able to quickly identify the natural and synthetic ingredients on your skin care product labels.
Preservatives Have Their Place
It’s common for skin care products to contain some form of preservative. That’s because preservatives prevent harmful micro-organisms from growing in the products.
If synthetic preservatives are used, they should be as far down on the ingredient list as possible, without compromising effectiveness.
However, there are a number of effective natural preservatives such as Vitamin E, Grapeseed Extract, Bee Propolis, Potassium Sorbate, Citric Acid, and Sodium Chloride. These can be further up on the ingredient list, behind water and essential oils.
Reading the ingredient label on your skin care products doesn’t have to be a chore. Focus on the most abundant and decide if you are OK with the other ingredients on the list; no matter how minimal the amount.