Label Lingo: Your Guide to Reading Beauty Product Labels
Whether you shop for beauty products online, or in store, it is important to know what’s in them. And that information is plainly written on labels for us to see. Not only does the label tell what the product’s intended use is (for e.g. is it a serum or an under-eye cream?) but also who should use it (those with dry skin or those with acne-prone skin), it also offers insights into the formula used to make the product and whether it is cruelty-free and eco-friendly.
The trouble is that reading beauty labels is a tedious and often confusing task. Labels are the big words with weird pronunciations, logos and illustrations, which can be a lot for the uninitiated.
Educating yourself about beauty product labels is very important. We are here to help you take a close look at product labels so you can make conscious & confident decisions when purchasing beauty and makeup products.
What’s On That Label?
The Ingredient List
The ingredient list starts with the name of the ingredient that’s present in the highest concentration and then goes down to the lowest. This means that if you see an amazing constituent in the list, but it’s down at the end of the list, you aren’t going to get any benefits from it because it’s present in a negligible amount. Also, if you are allergic or just averse to using an ingredient, and it’s in the top three in the list, then you should pick up another product in all seriousness because there’s going to be a lot of that ingredient in this one.
The Plant Logo/Label
If you are in the market for vegan skincare, something that nourishes, hydrates and protects using plant-based ingredients, you can infer it all from this simple label. Vegan skincare is just as effective as its non-vegan counterparts, so you know that you are doing the best for your skin.
Don’t be afraid of using a product just because one of its ingredients has 12 vowels in its name! One of our favorite collage-stimulating ingredients is the acetyl hexapeptide-8. Its name is just its complex chemical structure, and there’s nothing to worry about really.
Emulsifiers will have an –eth at the end of their names, while chelating ingredients are hidden behind EDTA or EDDS in their name and this help prevent heavy metals from water degrade the delicate skincare ingredients in the product. All these ingredients are a good thing and nothing to be scared of.
The Cruelty-Free Bunny
The bunny logos tell us that the product hasn’t been tested on animals and that no animals were harmed during its production. These products are quite gentle on the skin as they avoid the use of harsh chemicals and artificial ingredients. Cruelty-free products are often great for skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema because they are so mild.
The Open Jar Symbol
Look for a symbol that looks like a jar, with an open lid, with a number written in it, like 6M, 12M or 24M, etc. The M here means month. And those numbers tell us how many months the product is good for once it’s opened.
Next comes in the expiration date. You’ll find this written with the batch number, or the lot number, or both. It’s usually located at the bottom of the bottle, but some manufacturers write theirs near the neck of the jar as well.
4 Scary-Sounding Ingredients That Are Actually Great For You
This is an antioxidant extracted from apple and orange seeds. It has some amazing anti-aging properties and is great for the skin.
This is Vitamin E. It moisturizes and hydrates your skin while keeping it protected from tightness and dryness. Tocopherol is just its scientific name. Skincare experts agree that it is an important ingredient in any skincare product, helping neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals and preventing the formation of blackheads as well.
These are just fatty acids derived from a coconut. The caprylic glycerides help keep skin moisturized and bump free.
This is just Vitamin C. It has powerful antioxidant qualities making it the essential ingredient in many skincare formulas. It brightens dull skin, evens out any discolorations and defends against wrinkles.
The Three Ingredients You Should Never See in Your Makeup/Skincare
Sodium Laureth sulfates, alkylbenzene sulfonate, sodium cocoylsarcosinate, and other sulfates are all responsible for making shampoos super sudsy. The trouble is that these also irritate the skin. So you are better off finding products that are marked sulfate-free.
The skincare industry started using these in the ‘30s to keep the formulations stable and effective. But research conducted a few decades later showed that there is a proven link between parabens and cancer. So if you spot methylparabens, propylparabens, and butylparabens on the label, steer clear of the product.
Artificial Fragrances And Dyes
These can cause skin irritation, leading to redder skin that is prone to scratching even for people who don’t typically have sensitive or redness-prone skin.
The Last Word: Get Educated!
When shopping for makeup and skincare, it is important to keep your skin type, age, and needs under consideration. Dry skin is also quite sensitive, in need of emollients and humectants that soothe and soften skin. But these ingredients can irritate oily and combination skin sometimes.
Find a brand that feels the way you do about skincare and beauty and then sticks with it. Having a like-minded brand or boutique makes shopping more comfortable. Ask about the labels if you are unsure about an ingredient, and don’t be too shy to ask the brand about their business practices.
Or you could just count at us at Beauty Bridge to bring you the best products that are proven great for your skin. We bring you a whole range of skincare, mineral makeup, fragrances, hair and nail care products and so much, all chosen with great care, ensuring your well-being through every step of the process.