How to read an ingredient list

How to read an ingredient list

It can be very confusing navigating your way through a skin care product ingredient list. 

I hope that some of the tips and information we have put together will help you along the way.

1.  Ingredient lists should be listed with their INCI name.  INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. This is a huge list of standardised names for cosmetic ingredients published by the Personal Care Products council.  For example, the INCI name for Argan oil is Argania spinosa kernel oil.

2.  Because INCI names can be confusing we put the common ingredient name along side the INCI name on our packaging. This can make our ingredient lists a little longer and this can be a problem, especially with small containers.

3.  Font size is also meant to be big enough to read.  Print should also be readable, that means not having white print on say a yellow background.

4.  Ingredients should be listed in decending order, based on quantities used.   When you get to 1%  they can be listed in any order.

How can you spot misleading ingredient lists?

The use of common names and not the INCI names.

Use of trade names instead of INCI names.

Use of general names e.g. emulsifying wax, plant oils etc.

Ingredients not in descending order - this is a little harder to spot.  For example if you saw something like a very expensive ingredient listed as number 1 or 2 on an ingredient list and that product that was cheap, you should be suspious.   

Essential oils listed at the very top of the list. 

Key ingredients only listed, you see this often on web sites.

Hopefully this helps makes life easier.


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