What you may not know about product labels

...as it pertains to cosmetics.

Hey guys! So Im here to share some information that I taught I know about but I really didnt! (Dont worry, I did my research 😉)

This all started for me a few weeks ago while listening to a podcast by The Market Place on the history of peanut butter.
Yes.
Peanut butter has a very special history which includes the housewives of America, the peanut butter manufacturers, the FDA and civil court.

You can listen to the three part series HERE.

I dont know about others, but I like to take the time to read the products listed at the back of my cosmetic items. It is a major determinant in whether it stays or leaves with me. In this post, I would be specifically referencing cosmetics.

Product listing sequence

Personally, this was an eye-opener for me and I cant believe it never occurred to me before.

The ingredients must be listed in descending order of predominance!
Why?
Firstly it is required by the FDA and the EU Cosmetics Regulation and it simply means that the ingredients should be listed in from the highest percentage (grams, milligrams, ounces and so on), to lowest.
Example of predominance list of a lipstick formula taken from www.fda.gov

You can read more about the FDA regulations HERE.

Let us say for example, you want to buy a charcoal mask. You look at the label and out of the 30 ingredients, charcoal is the very last one. Would you still buy?
I hope to God not.
It is clearly not an active ingredient.

The top five ingredients should help you determine if you should purchase or use a product. Let me explain my experience: Usually I cant use anything drugstore bought in my hair as they do absolutely nothing for it. I decided to try indie cosmetic brands, after having a chat with my friend Hannah, and the only one that worked the best for me is the Camille Rose Naturals hair line.

WHY?

There is no glycerin in their products! I wouldn't bore you with the why, but it doesn't agree with my hair. Normally in skin and hair care products, glycerin is used as a moistening agent, and you can find it in the first top five of ingredients listed.

What is the 'Top Five'?

The top five of an ingredients list simply put, is the ingredients that the product is mostly made of. Most times, the products' active ingredients are listed there. The majority of skin and hair care products list glycerin as number 2 or three.
So for me in my experience, glycerin being in such high concentration, was not a good choice.

HOWEVER, while using another hair care product (will blog about it very soon) I had a totally different experience with glycerin. My hair LOVES it!

This is because, glycerin is the 10th listed ingredient and it does not make up a significant part of the formulation.

Why does this matter?

As a consumer you should take it upon yourself to be aware of what you are using. The predominance of ingredients in a product, determines whether that item is going to effectively work or not. This does not mean that if an ingredient is fifteenth on the list it inst relevant to the formulation. However, the labeling at the front shouldn't be misleading.

Here is a challenge. Take up a few of your hair or skin products and read the labels carefully, to see if your items are working for you!


Here are some links I think make for good reading:

📖 How to read product labels

📖 16 Most Common Symbols and Labels on Your Beauty Products

📖 Reading hair care labels

📖 How to read cosmetic labels

Till next post,
XOXO - Shaina

Cover photo - http://www.equipodaphne.es