How To Read A Skincare Ingredients Label? The beauty industry is full of claims and clever marketing, making it more important now than ever to learn the art of reading labels. Ingredient lists can be overwhelming to decipher, but you don’t need a scientific background to figure it out.
Use our tips below to help you make an educated purchase next time you shop for makeup or skincare. ORDER OF INGREDIENTS Ingredients are generally listed by their INCI name (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) followed by their common name in brackets. Ingredients are listed in descending order from greatest amount to least amount.
The exception to this is ingredients amounting to a concentration of less than 1%, which can be listed in any order. Potential allergens present from natural oils and fragrances are listed at the end of an INCI list and are usually marked with an asterisk or listed in italic font.
EY & ACTIVE INGREDIENTS Often used in marketing, key or active ingredients are sometimes listed as part of the product title or as a separate list on a website to only highlight the clean, beneficial ingredients.E.g. “Day Cream with Organic Rosehip Oil”. It’s important to read the entire list of ingredients to ensure you are happy with the product overall, and also find out where the key or active ingredient sits within the list.
A product may contain organic rosehip, but how much is included will impact how much of an effect it will actually have on the skin. It is also important to check that the product might only contain one organic ingredient and the bulk of the ingredients could be chemicals that are known to cause sensitivity, irritation, redness or other alike skin problems.
Parabens Sodium Benzoate Talc Artificial Fragrances Artificial Colours EDTA based agents Sodium Lauryl Sulphate Sodium Laureth Sulphate Ammonium Laureth Sulphate Petrochemicals Polysorbates
Did you know LAMAV uses Aloe Vera Leaf Juice as a first ingredient and not water or Aqua which means the entire base of all LAMAV products contain healing, soothing and calming ingredients? As a consumer, it’s important to do your own research regarding ingredients to determine what you are happy to use on your skin.
How are ingredients listed on a cosmetic label?
Warnings and Precautions – FDA cosmetic labeling requirements state that if there is a possibility of a health hazard being associated with the product, there must be a warning statement on a contrasting background with a minimum character height of 1/16″ and in a bold type.
This is to ensure that consumer will likely read it. If scientific experts cannot reasonably conclude from the available data that the product is safe to use, there must be a statement that the safety of the product has not been determined. Some products have specific regulations for warning statements (aerosols, foaming detergent, feminine deodorant) Canadian labeling requirements for cosmetics indicate that if a product can be associated with an avoidable hazard, warnings should state how to use the product and when not to use it to avoid the risk.
This is satisfied through a combination of cautions, instructions and symbols, in English and French. In addition, some products (flammable products, hair dyes, mouthwashes) have a specific regulation for warning statements. Ingredients Declaration The FDA cosmetic labeling requirements state that ingredients declaration is a must when labeling cosmetics.
Ingredients that do not exceed 1% can be listed in any order, as long as they are after the ones that do.For cosmetics that are also a drug, the active drug ingredients must be stated first.Colour additives can be listed in any order after other ingredients.If there are ingredients accepted by the FDA as a trade secret, they can be stated as “other ingredients.”
Cosmetic labeling requirements for the Canadian market also state that cosmetic labels must include an ingredients declaration. They must be listed according to their INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) name. Health Canada has also set out specific requirements for Botanical ingredients.
How do you read a product ingredient list?
Basic rule nr 2: Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight up to the 1% mark – The product contains most from the first ingredient, the second most from the second etc. up to the 1% mark. After the 1% mark, companies can list ingredients in any order they like.
- They typically move good sounding ingredients up and not-so-good sounding ingredients down, but that is a legal and ok thing to do.
- There are some notable exceptions worth knowing about when it comes to the order of the ingredients: Products regulated as Over-The-Counter products by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration in the US, the agency that regulates cosmetics and drugs).
For example, sunscreens or certain acne-treatment products. OTC products list the active ingredients first with their exact amounts, then the “inactive” ingredients. Here is an example sunscreen and an example benzoyl peroxide acne treatment, The ingredient list of an OTC product in the US Creams, gels, ointments that are regulated as medicine and are sold in pharmacies list ingredients differently than cosmetic products.
They usually separate active and inactive ingredients and do not use the INCI nomenclature but the Pharmacopeia nomenclature of their region. Inactive ingredients are also not listed in descending order of weight. The ingredient list of an Rx medicine As strange as it sounds, Australian sunscreens do not have to list out their full ingredient list, only the UV filters and the preservatives.
This rule is beyond us, as there is literally no way to know what is in an Australian sunscreen, but apparently this is the regulation there. Labmuffin has a more detailed post on this, if you are interested, The (not-complete) ingredient list of an Australian sunscreen We do not have exact knowledge of South-Korean regulations (if you do, please write us an email at [email protected], we are more than happy to update this section!), but we have seen several examples that prove that regulations on the order of ingredients in Korea is different from regulations in the EU & US.
This often results in K-beauty products listing “good sounding” ingredients way sooner in their ingredient lists than it would be listed in the EU/US. A very good example is the Krave Beauty Oat So Simple Cream where the US ingredient list has Oat in the 9th position out of 10, while the Korean ingredient list has it in the very first position.
It seems that an ingredient-in-water-solution can somehow count as one ingredient in Korea, while this is not the case in the EU/US. Here is a great article on this topic by Tracy from Fancervice-d,
|귀리가루추출물 (790,000ppm), 부틸렌글라이콜, 카프릴릭/카프릭트라이글리세라이드, 스쿠알란, 1,2-헥산다이올, 베헤닐알코올, 암모늄아크릴로일다이메틸타우레이트/브이피코폴리머, 에틸헥실글리세린||Water, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, 1,2-Hexanediol, Behenyl Alcohol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Avena Sativa (Oat) Meal Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin|
Left: ingredient list of Krave moisturiser from the Korean website with Oat Flour Extract as the first ingredient (with amount is 790 000 ppm, about 79%) vs Right: the ingredient list of the same product from the US website
How do you read an INCI list?
How do you read an INCI? – The ingredients are listed in the order of concentration. Mostly. Rule of thumb is that the first ingredient in the list is the one in the highest quantity, second is the second highest and so on. However, this only applies to the ingredients with a concentration of 1% or more.
How do you label ingredients on skin care?
Ingredients List – Cosmetic products need Ingredients Lists too! The FDA stipulates that you list ingredients in order of heaviest to lightest ingredient, even if the lightest ingredient is the main one. Always use the common or proper name for an ingredient or a technical name where applicable.
- Eep in mind that if your cosmetic product also claims to treat or prevent a disease, or claims to alter appearance or structure of the human body, your product is also considered a drug and should abide by the FDA guidelines for both cosmetics and drugs,
- The label must first list the name and quantity of the drug(s), kind and amount of alcohol (if any), and then the remaining ingredients.
You want to make sure consumers can read what’s in your product, so do not use a font smaller than 1/16″, If the total surface area of your packaging is less than 12 square inches, you may use a font size no smaller than 1/32″. Keep in mind that font size is determined by the lowercase letter ‘o’.
What is the most important information on a cosmetic label?
2. Statement Of Identity Or Product Identity – The statement of identity or product identity, commonly known as the Principal Display Panel or PDP, is the most important part of your labeling, The statement of identity is actually the name of your product along with the net weight of the product that you mention on the FRONT of the cosmetic package,
What does numbers mean on an ingredient list?
Numbers Explained The “numbers” in the ingredients list on Real Meals labels replace the chemical or common name of particular food additives. We don’t actually add these things ourselves. They come with some of the ingredients we use, for example, coconut cream, curry paste, ice cream etc.
- These are used in most products to enhance the colour, flavour, texture or prevent food from spoiling.
- This isn’t a new thing; food additives have been used for centuries.
- The ancient Romans would use spices such as saffron to give foods a rich yellow colour.
- Salt and vinegar were used to preserve meats and vegetables for long voyages.
In the 1960s, regulators decided to make a standardised list of these additives. A lot of people call them ‘E-numbers’. This is because in Europe, they are referred to as E-numbers (the E stands for Europe). In New Zealand, we just use the code number. So, vitamin C would be called E300 in Europe.
- In New Zealand, it can be found on labels with the code number 300, such as “food acid 300”, “ascorbic acid (300)” or “vitamin C (300)”.
- The numbers & what they mean; 170: Calcium Carbonate, derived from egg shells and chalk (limestone), and used as an anti-caking agent and frequently added as a calcium supplement in bread and baked products.200: Sorbic Acid, occurs naturally in some fruit, and is added as a food preservative to eliminate mould.202: Potassium Sorbate, used to preserve candied fruits, and inhibit the growth of mould and yeasts.211: Benzoic acid, a salt based product used as a preservative.
Fruit and vegetables can be rich sources of benzoic acid especially cranberries.220: Sulphur Dioxide, used as a preservative for dried apricots and sultanas and was first used by the Romans to preserve wine.222: Added to wine and beer to stop fermentation, and acts as a preservative by preventing browning and yeast growth.223: Preservative used in coconut cream production to stop the cream from going brown when it is exposed to the air.260: Acetic acid, otherwise known as vinegar!300: Ascorbic Acid, also known as Vitamin C, naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables, and used as an anti-oxidant, and essential nutrient required for the repair of tissues and enzyme production in the body.330: Citric acid (think Lemon Juice), an anti-oxidant, preservative and acidity regulator to inhibit mould growth.339: An acidity regulator.340: Potassium Phosphate, a nutrient supplement, sequestrate and emulsifier, a malting or fermentation aid, and a stabiliser and thickener.341: Calcium Phosphate, raising agent used in baked goods, and found naturally in milk.385: A preservative added to prevent oxidation and dis-colouration.401: Alginic Acid, extracted from brown seaweed and used as a gelling agent, and an emulsifier, often used in ice cream.412: Guar Gum, extracted from Guar beans and used as a gluten free thickener.414: Gum Arabic (similar to 412), a dietary fibre and a prebiotic.415: Xanthan Gum, made by fermenting glucose and sucrose, and used as an emulsifier and thickening agent.433: Emulsifier, stabiliser and thickener, used in ice cream to keep it smooth, and increases its resistance to melting.460: Cellulose, a source of fibre, and used to stop grated cheese from caking together in the pack.470: Salt, used in crisps as an anti-caking agent.500: Bicarbonate of Soda, a raising agent used in baked goods.541: Baking Powder.575: Used in cheese manufacturing to increase the tangy taste, also used in pickling and curing.1414: A modified starch used as a thickener and emulsifier in food.1422.
What does 6M mean on makeup?
PAO (6m/12m) – PAO stands for Period After Opening – the M stands for months, so if you see a product that says 6M, it means it’ll last 6 months after you’ve opened the product. The following products were featured in this segment: Root Retoucher via Schwarzkopf | Burt’s Bees Hydrating Gel Cream, $20.99 via Shoppers Drug Mart | Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules, $106 via Hudson’s Bay | Bio-Oil Dry Skin Gel, $23.99 via Amazon | Vichy Double Glow Peel Mask, $34 via Vichy | Marcelle Eye Makeup Remover Pads, $10.95 via Marcelle | Live Clean Shampoo + Conditioner, $6.68 via Walmart | KISS Make Up Setting Spray, $8 via KISS USA
How do you read beauty product codes?
Most skincare products have a batch code printed on them. This code can be used to check the manufacture date of the product. Here is a guide on how to read batch codes on skincare products: The batch code is usually printed on the bottom or back of the product.
What is cosmetic ingredient nomenclature?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients ( INCI ) are the unique identifiers for cosmetic ingredients such as waxes, oils, pigments, and other chemicals that are assigned in accordance with rules established by the Personal Care Products Council (PCPC), previously the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA).
What information should you look in a product labels?
2. Make the Text Readable – Product labels usually display vital information such as the logo, the name of the product, and the units (or the quantity). Some products only have a tagline or a short description. Additional information – like the ingredients and instructions on how to use the product – is usually on the back of the product.
- One of the most important things to remember when creating a label is to make sure the text is legible.
- Select the correct font size so people can read the label from a short distance away.
- Most regulators set a minimum text size of 2.5mm (7 points).
- If space permits, the text size should be increased proportionally to the label and the container size to enhance readability.
Steer clear of stylized fonts as most people find them difficult to read. Make sure the font you choose clearly distinguishes similar letters and numbers like “i,” “I,” and “1”.
What is the importance of reading cosmetic labels?
You already know the importance of reading your food labels, but have you ever thought to take more than a cautionary glance at the labels on your skin care and cosmetic products? With the wordy ingredients and half-written “guarantees,” deciphering the true meaning of what’s on these labels can be a daunting task—but the information is important.
- A label can tell you everything from what the product is intended to do and who it’s intended to work for, to what ingredients are involved and how to most effectively use it.
- If you know where to look and what to look for, it can tell you whether the product may help you or potentially harm you.
- Understanding how to read a skin care label will provide you with knowledge you need to make informed decisions about what you put in and on your body’s largest organ.
It’s important to recognize that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate certain words and phrases that are frequently seen on skin care labels. For example, terms like “hypoallergenic,” “fragrance-free,” or “for sensitive skin” are arbitrary marketing terms, legally speaking.
In other words, they are not a guarantee that the product contains no irritants, or that it will be safe and effective on highly sensitive skin. For example, fragrance-free can simply mean that any fragrant ingredients included are primarily being used for purposes other than scent, and “unscented” products often have fragrance chemicals whose scents are just masked by stronger chemicals,
This can be frustrating, but by learning to read the ingredients list, you can determine which of these claims are accurate and how this product will likely perform for your skin. Look for words like:
Parfum Perfume Fragrance Flavor Essential oils Aroma
If the label has a long list of chemical components you don’t recognize, contact the manufacturer and ask them if the products contains fragrance. The most important thing to understand about the ingredients list is that the ingredients are always written in order of their concentrations, except for those that make up less than 1% of the formula, which will be listed at the end in whichever order the manufacturer chooses.
That being said, ingredients listed near the end can still play some of the most active roles, as certain ingredients are potent in even small quantities. If you’re intimidated by the long Latin names or chemical terms, you’ll be happy to know that labels will often show the more common ingredient name immediately following its scientific name in parentheses.
And if you’re not finding the answers you need on the label, a quick Google search should answer any questions you may have. Picking a skin care product isn’t always as simple as looking for certain ingredients and avoiding others, as each person has different sensitivities, but a little research can tell you which ones will work best with your skin type, and which could potentially be irritating or could cause new issues.
- For example, if you’re acne-prone, don’t just reach for products that claim to be oil-free, as they can still be pore-clogging without oil-based ingredients.
- Instead, research the active ingredients of products you’re interested in using to ensure that they won’t further irritate your skin and clog your pores.
If you have sensitive skin, you’ll also want to avoid products with added fragrances or allergens, but you may want to do additional research beyond grabbing a “fragrance-free” cleanser. The ingredients will always reveal what’s really at work in a product and will be the most accurate indication of which claims you can trust.
In addition to the ingredients list, the label also has information on the shelf-life of the product. The expiration date on skin care products is often indicated by either a “Best Before End” (BBE) date, occasionally represented by an hourglass symbol, or a “Period After Opening” date, typically seen as a jar icon along with an amount of time, like “6M,” meaning 6 months.
The label should also contain usage and storage instructions, which can help you squeeze the most benefit out of your product. For answers about which products will work best with your skin, or which ingredients you should seek or avoid, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist to help you navigate your skin care options.
How are products listed on a product label?
When in Doubt, Cut it Out – Design-optimized copywriting is important for all projects and particularly label design. Since space is a premium, coming up with concise and clear copywriting becomes more important. A product label usually holds certain key information that includes:
The name of the product A logo for the larger brand, if the product is part of a line Units of measurement that denotes the size, quantity or weight of the item A short description, or tag line
That’s it for the front of the label. For a package design, more lengthy information is included on the back, and includes:
A list of ingredients A product story Directions for use
Of these elements, the two most important to edit and get right are the product story and directions for use because these tend to require more information and so can easily become epic tomes. If you want to have more information along with your product consider putting it online, or in the case of this example, on the packaging of the case. Moile Honey of Abruzzo
Are ingredients in cosmetics listed in order of amount?
Getty Images Tackling a skincare regime is tricky enough without trying to translate all the ingredients and science jargon on our product labels. But since knowing what goes on our bodies should be as important as knowing what goes in them, we recruited skincare expert Sunday Riley to school us on the basics. Getty Images 1. Know the basics. “Ingredients are listed in descending order, starting with the largest amount in the product (usually water). If a product touts a particular ingredient but it is listed near the end of the list, then not much of that ingredient is present.” 2.
- But remember that size (or rather, amount) isn’t everything.
- On the other hand, certain active ingredients only need to be present at,5 to one percent in order to be the most effective, so a little goes a long way! And because so little of the active is needed, it goes at the end of the list.” 3.
- Be wary that some ingredients can be disguised as others.
“There are some newer preservatives that also act as a masking agent. That means brands can list the preservative as a ‘fragrance’ in the ingredient listing, and make it look like the product is preservative free.” 4. And don’t be fooled by marketing tricks.
- For example: “‘Dermatologist tested’ doesn’t equal ‘dermatologist endorsed.'” 5.
- An acne-treating product might not say “acne” for regulation reasons, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get the job done.
- The FDA regulates acne treatments, and treats them as over-the-counter drugs.
- The minute you use the word ‘acne’ or ‘blemish’ on your product, you have to put an FDA drug fact panel on your box.
You must also include specific active ingredients, like salicylic acid at defined percentage rates, which the FDA recognizes for treatment of acne. Companies get around this by using the word ‘clarifying.'” 6. It’s not just about the SPF number—choose your sunscreen based on ingredients as well. Associate Editor Victoria Hoff is the associate editor at ELLE.com, covering everything from fashion to beauty to wellness. She first joined the team as the editorial assistant in 2013. When she isn’t working, she spends her days in Brooklyn eating (vegan) tacos, yoga-ing, and curating her collections of healing crystals and mom jeans.
Are ingredients listed in order of amount in skincare?
The Order of Ingredients –
Ingredients are listed from highest to lowest concentration, says Jacqueline Schaffer, an anti-aging expert, best-selling author, and founder of vegan skincare brand Schique. This means if a really great ingredient is listed at the bottom, you’re not going to get much benefit from it. “Typically only the top ‘active ingredients’ are required to disclose percentages,” explains Dr. Rachel Nazarian, tktk. “So,” she continues, “because everything else on the ingredient label is simply listed in order of concentration, look for the ingredient you want to be closer to the beginning of the list, rather than near the end. This works the opposite way as well. If an ingredient that doesn’t mesh well with your skin is listed within the first three ingredients, opt for another product.
Meet the Expert
- Jacqueline Schaffer, M.D., attained her medical degree after learning of the often harsh ingredients found in beauty and skincare products. Schaffer wrote a guide to skincare, titled Irresistible You, and developed her own a natural skincare product line, Schique.
- Dr. Rachel Nazarian, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She specializes in cosmetic treatments, skin cancer, and dermatologic surgery.
- Renée Rouleau is a celebrity esthetician based in Austin, TX. She is also the founder and creator of her eponymous skincare line.