How to read skincare product labels

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Know what ingredients are in your skincare products

Do you know what ingredients are in your skincare products?

As a society, we are getting better at reading labels on our food, whether it’s to check the sugar levels or fat content; but when it comes to knowing what goes into the products we absorb into our skin, it’s a very different story.

Perhaps because it’s not associated with calories, we think it doesn’t matter. But as the largest organ of our body absorbing lotions every day, our skin deserves the best.

Knowledge is power, so they say, so arm yourself with the help of this handy list for how to read an ingredients list on your skincare product labels.

  1. Order – Just like food ingredient labels, skincare labels list the largest quantity of ingredients in descending order. So Aqua (water) and Cetearyl Alcohol often form the basis of the products and will be listed first up. If a brand promotes it has, say, Coconut Oil but it’s the last listed ingredient, there’s not much of it in there.
  2. Terminology – An organisation called NICNAS governs what companies can label their products with. The scientific name must be used, so we’ve provided a brief translation below!
  3. Does your skincare ingredients label look this good?
    1. Glucoside – a powerful combination of  vitamin C and glucose
    2. Glycerin– a combination that can be made from natural products or synthesised to attract water to skin
    3. Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil – also known as Jojoba – an antioxidant powerhouse!
    4. Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride a safe oil that has been created through chemical reactions
    5. Cocos Nucifera Oil – or as we know it, coconut oil – a moisturising and cooling ingredient with high fat content that can help with problem skin
    6. Stearic Acid – this sound harsh but it naturally occurs in the oils of many plants and animals
    7. Coffee Arabica – coffee! This is what gives botanicES the ultra-hydrating effects of caffeine
    8. Phenoxyethanol- this ingredient helps prolong the shelf life of your products
    9. Tocopherol – another word that sounds kind of nasty but is actually just the skin conditioning Vitamin E!
    10. Ethylhexylglycerin – a preservative to help keep natural ingredients from spoiling
  4. Skincare ingredients to avoid
    1. Parabens – this is a widely used preservative but there is some concern about the role they play as a carcinogenic. botanicES chooses  to include NO parabens in its products.
    2. Palm Oil – another questionable ingredient, largely due to the unsustainable manner in which it is sourced.
    3. Petrochemicals – another ingredient suspected by some to be carconogenic
    4. Synthetic Fragrance – Companies use manufactured fragrances from coal or petroleum because it is cheaper than the real thing. At botanicES, we let our natural products provide their own subtle scent!
  5. Read the application – you may think any skincare product just needs to be rubbed in, but application guidelines do differ between brands and are important to read. Check for any preparation work that may be needed.

Love the skin you’re in and treat it with natural, hydrating products from the Australian-made skincare brand, botanicES.

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