Deciphering Cosmetics Ingredients


Do you know how to read a cosmetics ingredients list? When was the last time you closely looked at the ingredient list on your cosmetics? Did you notice that concentrations are NOT typically included?

As consumers, it is very important to know and understand the content of the products we ingests, apply and at times inject into our bodies. Although ingredient concentrations are not included on the packaging, standard practices require that they be listed in order from the highest concentration to the lowest. Apart from simply understanding the concentrations in the product, it is important to note key ingredients to look for when purchasing products for specific uses.

Ingredients known for enhanced moisturizing qualities include (but are not limited to): shea butter, mineral oil, fatty acids, glycerin/glycerol, hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, and urea. Moisturizers help maintain the skin’s hydration, and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.  Ultra Violet damage can cause skin to loose hydration and tightness, and thus products contacting SPF should be used consistently. SPF containing products include titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide. Natural SPF sources include: red raspberry seed oil (SPF25-50), carrot seed oil (SPF34-40), Vitamin C containing products and badger organic Sunscreen.

Equally as important, consumers should also know ingredients to watch out for in high concentrations; these include (but are not limited to): denatured alcohol, ethanol/ethyl alcohol, and methanol. Alcohol based compounds should be avoided in high concentrations due to undesirable effects such as increased potential for free-radical damage, enhanced ‘aging’ effects, exacerbation of oily skin and redness, as well as acute and long-term damage to skin’s protective barrier.

Next time before lathering on your favorite cosmetic, take a moment to review the ingredients within, and be an informed and mindful consumer.