3.02.2010

How To Read A Label

If you're not a chemist you might find this tidbit of interest to you. Here are a list of common ingredients in cosmetic products, and the meaning behind them.
  • Dematologist Tested: A dermatologist was within 5 miles of the plant and may or may not have looked on the product.
  • Fragrance Free: Does not mean no fragrance added-only means no perceptible fragrance.
  • Active Ingredient: Octyl Methoxycinnamate-A sunscreen. The reason it’s listed separately is because it makes a medical claim to protect against sun damage.
  • Ingredients: Triple purified water. The average moisturizer contains 65% water.
  • Mineral oil/Isopropyl Palmitate: Emollients to be avoided if you have oily skin; can clog pores.
  • Porpylene Glycol: Humectant that binds water to the skin, often used in oil-free moistuizers.
  • Glyceryl Stearate SE/ Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride/ Sodium Dihydroxycetyl Phosphate/ Cetearyl Alcohol/ Stearic Acid: Emulisifiers-keep the oil and water from speparating and give a rich, smooth texture.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate (Vit E)/ Aloe Extract: Bonus Ingredients-hyped on the label but the amount is so small it’s window dressing.
  • Simethicne: An emollient derived from silicone-softens skin and adds slip to the product.
  • Benzophenone-3: Common Ingredient in sunscreens. Helps prevent product from breaking down in sunlight. Can Cause Hives.
  • Isopropyl Myristate: An emollient that cab be comedogenic. Its use is contested by consumer advocates who claim it may be carcinogenic.
  • Carbomer: A thickener-usually 1% of total, so use it as a marker. Any ingredients that follow are less than 1%.
  • Triethanolamine: An ammonia derivative that’s harsh on the skin.
  • Phenoxyethanol: A coal-tar ingredient, a suspected carcinogen; that’s why it’s for external use only. Often added for fragrance.
  • Parabens: the parabens are the most common synthetic preservative used today. Any beauty product that contains water needs preservative.

4 comments:

realmaplesyrup said...
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realmaplesyrup said...

I am so glad you did this! I knew what some of the ingredients were, and knew that they were not natural, or not good for you. But never really understood what they did, or what their "jobs" were in certain products. I am not a complete naturalist... however, when it comes to certain things I want as pure as possible. Especially the soaps and lotions I use on my little ones. Seems like Burt's Bees is still safe. Thanks again for the info!

Allison said...

Yes thanks for the info! I was happy you posted this too! Keep it up, I think your idea for this blog is a great one! I will be adding your button on mine for sure to help promote it for ya! :)

Shalise said...

Very useful info-I'm going to bookmark that for future reference.