Have you ever found yourself grabbing a self-care product off the shelf with a confused glance when reading words like ‘hypoallergenic’, ‘noncomedogenic’, or even ‘clinically proven’? The good thing is, you’re probably not the only one, but the downside is that there are no strict restrictions on putting up these various claims on product packaging. So your ‘dermatologically-tested’ products does not necessarily equate to a harmless and effective formula. And this is why we highly encourage the reading of product labels before purchasing them. Okay, we know what you’re thinking; how can you possibly know which ingredient is good and which ones are not? Well, we’re here to give you a quick 101 on how you can properly read product labels to ensure that what you’re putting on your skin is actually safe for use.
The order in which the ingredients are placed in the list is not random. The first five ingredients that you see from the top are typically the bulk of the formula. So before grabbing a serum that utilizes ‘green-tea extracts’, make sure you can identify those at the very top of the list, otherwise, it’s as good as nothing.
Can’t pronounce something? Fear not!
Do ingredients like acetyl hexapeptide-8, glycosaminoglycans, and niacinamide intimidate you? Don’t worry, a quick Google search can reveal that it might not be the case at all. Some of these names are actually describing the ingredient’s chemical structure so before shying away from them, make sure to know what it does first. Some of the most common good ingredients with daunting names are sodium hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid and salicylic acid, all of which are skin replenishing ingredients that are essential for plumper skin.
Parabens? Red flag alert
Products that contain water need preservatives so that they don’t grow moldy, and one of the most common and cheap preservatives are parabens. You’ve probably heard of warnings to stay away from them and rightfully so. Studies have indicated that parabens are carcinogenic and can lead to allergic reactions and hormonal disruption. So if you spot ingredients like propylparaben and isopropylparaben, drop that product right now!
Behind the Latin
It’s not uncommon to see an ingredient written in Latin, but don’t be alarmed because this is actually a good thing. Latin ingredients on the label are usually just botanics, for example ‘lavendula gastufolia’ is just the scientific name of lavender. If you can’t recognize a botanical ingredient in Latin, check the parenthesis. They usually translate it there.
Get your products from a trusted source
Finally, one of the best ways you can guarantee non-toxic and safe products are by purchasing them from a brand that you trust. Find a business with like-minded values that you relate to and you don’t have to over stress on those labels either!
At Beauty Binge, we acknowledge that reading labels may be exhausting so we do the clean checks for you. Here’s to building a community of mindful bingers!