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Beauty and Personal Care Labels – Did You Get Confused?

Do you find it difficult to understand or not sure about the terms such as fragrance free, hypoallergenic, oil free while shop for or that found on your favourite beauty and personal care products’ label?

Do you confused about all the competing information on your cosmetic, skin and personal care products these days?

Or perhaps, do you have a clue as to what they are, how much there is or what their function is in the product, or what effect they may have on your skin and body?

I guess most of us would have some questions here and there, right?

Basically labels with ingredients list are included on those products to provide and to help consumers learn about the products that they use, and are required because the industry wants consumers to know exactly what chemicals they are putting on their bodies and to allow consumers to make choices as to what chemicals they want to be exposed to. Needless to say, that assumes consumers know what the ingredients are, which for most consumers is not the case, I believe.

As a consumer, if you have some ideas or knowledgeable enough, likely when come to your next purchase for say on an upscale skin care brand which cost $80, you will likely find and able to compare the ingredient list with another brand of perhaps only cost you $50!

What follows are some common terms that help you better understand your stuff:

Water
An ingredient quite often you will find as it is a great carrier for other active ingredients. Water will reduce the strength of other ingredients so that they will not be too harsh on the skin or hair, so to speak.

Hypoallergenic
The product has a low chance of causing allergies. However, there are no standards and definitions that govern the use of the term to ensure that these products are less irritating to sensitive skin than others. A reputable cosmetics company will usually have their own verification method that result to terms such as allergy-tested, dermatologist or ophthalmologist tested.

Non-comedogenic
This refers to the chance that an ingredient or its combination does not contain common pore-clogging ingredients that could result in acne. Most women will tolerate with the ingredient just fine, but those who have a problem with clogged pores are more at risk. This term can be found on just about any beauty and skincare product, more so for those with sensitive, acne prone or other problematic skin types.

Oil Free
The product doesn’t contain mineral oil, plant oils or lanolin, which can clog pores. Please note that, oil free does not mean non-comedogenic and are best for those with oily skin or those who don’t want to look shiny after short hours of using.

Fragrance Free
This means the fragrance is not added on purpose. If you suffer from skin conditions like eczema, look for those products with “fragrance free” on the label. However, you should not confuse with “unscented” as it does not guarantee the product is fragrance free.

Broad Spectrum
This usually found on sunscreens, which means that it helps to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Although these can’t totally shield us from the sun’s harmful rays, but many agree that it is still the best protection available.

Not Tested on Animals
Again the FDA notes that there is no legal definition for this term. Although this term implies the product hasn't been tested on animals, at some point most ingredients have been tested on animals, sound not right, right?

Shelf-life or Expiration Date
Refers to the amount of time for which a product is good under normal conditions of storage and use. You need to aware that storing cosmetics in damp, warm places like a bathroom can lead to earlier expiration even the date shown hasn’t been so.

Ascorbic Acid
A form of vitamin C that works as a powerful antioxidant that also stimulates collagen within the skin cells, and when used as a skin lightening agent, ascorbic acid is known as L-ascorbic acid.

Also we need to note that products with natural ingredients can have intimidating labels too. Hence knowing how to decode the lingo can help us better understand what we are using and buying.

Skincare expert Barbara Close has said that our skin will and do react differently to natural and synthetic ingredients. She further said that when using products containing non-natural ingredients, "there is a possibility for toxicity, and they can irritate the skin."

Below is generally what considered as:

Common synthetic ingredients
Adipic acid/diethylene, Beeswax, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid), Glycol/glycerin crosspolymer, Methylparaben and pabaparaben, PEG 100 stearate (polyethylene glycol), Retinyl palmitate, Stearic acid, Triethanolamine (TEA).

Common ntural ingredients
Aloe vera gel, Ascorbic palmitate (Vitamin C), Green tea extract, Lecithin, Potassium sorbate, Safflower oil, Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E), Xanthan gum

Hope you enjoy reading this post and find it useful for a better mind body spirit and soul!

1 comment:

flowerhorn said...

Great definition for skin care terms. Now I'll know where to check them out if I have no idea what they mean.


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