How to read skin care ingredients

Do you read product labels? (You better! I mean... at The Butter Bar Skincare, we pride ourselves on only offering 100% natural products with ingredients you can actually pronounce.)

So no, were not talking just food…but for your skincare products as well.

If not, it's time to start; and if you already do, now is the time to learn what you’re actually looking at! By now, I am sure you’ve seen your share 4 syllable words that seem to combine every element on the Periodic Table. But the more you know about what you do and don’t want to see in the ingredient list of your favorite skincare products...the better. No more being fooled by fancy packaging and trendy marketing that make you believe the product is more life changing than it actually is. Many products these days will use keywords such as, “all natural” or “organic”, when in reality they may use trace amounts of natural products and highlight it with eye catching marketing. 

Things to Know: 

  • Ingredient/INCI List- International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients 
  • Ingredients are listed from greatest to least amount present in the product, except for products with less than 1% concentration. 
  • Allergens are marked in italics or an asterisk at the end of the ingredient list. They are typically essential oils or synthetic fragrances. 
  • Large cosmetic companies will often abbreviate ingredient lists and will only show plant based, or healthier ingredients present in the product directly on the label. Full ingredient lists can be found on the companies or manufacturers website. 
  • When a product features additional marketing of ingredients present, remember to look at where the special ingredient appears in the INCI List. The lower it is in descending order, the less concentration of the ingredient that actually exists in the product. 
  • There are many chemical “sounding” words listed on ingredient lists that often naturally derived and very safe to use. 
  • Plant ingredients are written in their latin name in two words.

Ingredients to Look for:

  • Citric Acid- Regulates product pH level and contamination  
  • Tocopherol- Vitamin E
  • Caprylic/capric Triglyceride- Liquid Coconut Oil 
  • Aqua- Water
  • Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil- Avocado Oil
  • Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder- Aloe Vera
  • Benzyl Alcohol- Natural preservative
  • Sodium Benzoate- Natural preservative 

Last thing you definitely need to know; especially when using natural skincare products is the (BBE) or Best Before End Date. This date is usually marked by an hourglass or a “period after opening” symbol which looks like an open jar. Remember that no one expects you to sound or seem like a scientist, but it never hurts to know the meaning of a few multiple syllable words right? Even better, you know exactly what to look for when reading the back of the bottle...who said it was only good bathroom reading material?! :haha:


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