Tips to Decipher Ingredients on Skincare Product Labels

Tips to Decipher Ingredients on Skincare Product Labels

Let’s Talk Ingredients in Skincare Products

Trying to figure out which skincare products you should be using can be confusing. Just reading the ingredient lists, let alone knowing which ingredients are best for your skin, can be overwhelming. Keep reading to learn a little more about deciphering skincare product ingredient labels.

Ingredients are Listed in Order of Concentration

As a general rule, when reading labels, cosmetic regulations require companies to list ingredients in order of concentration; highest to lowest. With products containing water, you will likely see water (we also use aloe vera juice, witch hazel and flower waters in the water component) listed first, as it often makes up the majority of a formulation. However, just because an ingredient is near the bottom of the list, does not mean it does not contribute to the purpose of the product. This is often the case with active ingredients that perform well even at low concentrations.

Functional and Active Ingredients

These are ingredients in skincare products that are included specifically to address certain skincare issues the product is formulated to improve. Often for marketing purposes, they will be highlighted on the front label.   

INCI Names

Just to add further confusion to reading labels, cosmetic regulations require companies use proper INCI - International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient - names to list their ingredients. This simply means, names internationally recognized to identify cosmetic ingredients. This eliminates confusion between countries that may use different ingredient names. With ingredients from plants, the INCI is usually scientific or botanical, so you will sometimes see companies add the more recognizable plant name in brackets. However, room on labels is limited, so these easy to recognize names may not fit. If you are confused at all about an ingredient, never hesitate to contact the skincare company directly, or look up more information on the ingredient yourself.

Our Mission is to Use Natural or Naturally Derived Ingredients

As the founder and formulator at SiSi Georgian Bay, I started our company with a mission to create products that are as natural as they can possibly be, and continue to use 100% natural ingredients in all of our oil-based (anhydrous) products, such as balms, oils, soaking salts etc. These products do not need a preservative, only an antioxidant - such as  vitamin e - to extend their shelf life.

However water-based (hydrous) products, definitely do need a preservative (check out our blog on preservatives) and we use naturally derived EcoCert (an organic certification and inspection body established in France in 1991) preservatives in minimal quantities.

Safety and efficacy is extremely important to us when developing our products, which we create with the utmost care and attention to detail. We want to always be transparent about our ingredients, so our customers can remain informed and educated about what they are putting on their skin. 

Product Foundations

Formulating skincare products is a process. Our product line has grown according to customer need, and each product has a purpose. The foundation of many products may be similar, and usually includes waters and/or oils, butters and waxes, which make up the base of similar products, such as lotions. As mentioned above - the ingredients beyond the foundation are often the functional and active ingredients that address a specific skincare problem.

New and Exciting Ingredients are on the Rise

Due to customer demand, the cosmetic industry is evolving, and scientists are researching and discovering safe, yet effective, naturally derived ingredients. Today there are a variety of naturally derived functional and active ingredients available to skincare companies. An example of this is bakuchiol, a natural extract of the babchi plant, which provides similar benefits to the skin as does retinol, without the irritation. We are looking forward to formulating more products with these new and exciting ingredients.

Stay tuned for future blogs about active ingredients, the difference between natural and naturally derived ingredients, and ingredients to avoid.

Also, we are currently working on a full ingredient glossary to add to our online shop, so you can delve deeper into our product ingredients. In the meantime, if you have any questions about any of our ingredients, please reach out to us in the comments below, or here.

Until next time,

stay wild

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