Making sense of ingredients in your skin care products....
Posted: Sep 05 2017
Packaging and marketing materials can be quite persuasive. So we go straight to the ingredients list to get the true picture of the product. How much of those “wonder” ingredients promoted on the front are actually contained in the product?
Ever wonder why some of the names on the ingredients list are unrecognizable? Why is orange peel oil listed as Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil? Ingredients lists must conform to the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients) standards of identification. INCI is a system of names for waxes, oils, pigments, chemicals, and other ingredients in skincare and cosmetics that is based on scientific nomenclature (so, yes, that means much of the list will literally be in Latin!).
The order of the list matters. A lot.
The FDA directs that ingredients be listed in order of concentration by weight. So the first listed ingredient is the most concentrated ingredient in the product.
If water (or aloe vera juice) is the first ingredient on the label, it is likely that 75-95% of the product is comprised of water. Emulsifiers (ingredients that hold the oil and water in mixture) are necessary if oil and water are combined in the product (like in lotions, foundations, cream, illuminators and moisturizers). And preservatives are always necessary if water is present to keep the product from spoiling. Factoring in the percentage for those two necessary ingredients, the remaining available space for active ingredients is between 22 and 2%! This doesn’t mean the product won’t or doesn’t work—peptides, enzymes, vitamins, antioxidants and a host of other active ingredients are typically effective in small percentages.
Always ook for fragrances that are naturally derived or essential oil blends. At One Love Organics, they only use ECOCERT certified blends of 100% natural origin that are made from essential oils, fruit and plant extracts. Natural fragrances are free of phthalates, parabens, sulfates, chemical sunscreens, petrochemicals, formaldehyde donors, peg’s, dea/tea and 1,4 dioxanes.