Everyone is busy these days so it’s hard to find time to read the small print to see the ingredients in your makeup, skin and haircare products; and yet it’s important to remember to check these ingredients (even in your toothpaste) so you know what you are putting on your body.
Unfortunately, I don’t always understand what ingredients are in a product. So to help my readers make the most of your time here is a beauty ingredients cheat sheet to help
So to help you make the most of the time, and to help empower you to make better beauty decisions, here is a list of the six more commonly misunderstood terms to watch.
1. “Patented” or “Pantent Pending”
Patents can be granted to companies that manufacture or combine materials in new ways. But just because something is patented doesn’t mean it works and so it may not live up to the marketing hype.
2. “All natural”
Just because a product says it’s ‘all natural’ doesn’t mean the product is organic or chemical-free. After all, chemicals are “natural,” too so don’t be afraid to Google a word or two to see if an ingredient is natural or not.
The US Department of Agriculture certifies organic food ingredients found in cosmetics, but not essential oils or plants used for cosmetic purposes. To carry the USDA Organic seal, a product must contain at least 95% organic food ingredients. Other countries have their own organic certification labels, such as COSMOS and NaTrue in the European Union and NASAA in Australia.
Think this guarantees you won’t have a reaction? Think again. These products can still contain ingredients some people are allergic to, including preservatives and fragrance.
These products may not have a noticeable smell, but can still contain “masking” scents to cover up ingredients with unpleasant odors. Look for the words “no fragrance added” instead.
While non-comedogenic products are usually oil-free and therefore less likely to cause breakouts, there’s no guarantee they won’t. In fact, many contain dimethicone, a known acne aggravator.
7. “Helps pre-mature aging”
Perhaps the most appealing of all claims from a consumer standpoint is this statement. If a product truly prevented premature aging by affecting the structure of the skin, it would be classified as a drug and therefore would require FDA approval. Manufactures circumvent this by utilizing the fact that sunscreens prevent premature aging by decreasing the damaging effects of ultraviolet light on the skin. Therefore, if a product contains sunscreen, it may state “prevents premature aging’ on the label.”
Butylparaben, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben are all common chemicals found in makeup, deodorants, scrubs, soaps and even toothpaste. Parabens have been linked to Cancer, and really who wants a Parabens in their mouth (yuck) so thankfully due to consumers speaking up companies are removing Parabens from products and many are even labelled Paraben-Free.
9. “Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP”
Did you know many nail polishes contain these harmful toxins that can damage your nails, be harmful to your body and are linked to Cancer. Thankfully there are companies out there like Butter London that do not contain toxins in their collection of nail polishes.
I hope this list helps you the next time you a making a purchase for yourself or for one you love.
The first step to change is awareness so let’s get the conversation started and started being aware of the ‘ingredients in our beauty and health’ products so we can all make healthy choices.