What we put on our bodies should be just as important as what goes in them considering that our bodies absorb at least 60% of all topically applied ingredients. Yet most of us peruse the aisles of our local drugstore and nonchalantly toss bottles into our cart simply trusting the products we have used for years, but have you ever taken a moment to skim over the label? If you have you may be surprised at what you find.
Big name companies don't care as much about your skin and your health, as they do about that one thing that makes the world go round; those dollar bills. Nasty synthetic fillers and preservatives are added to products to extend the shelf life so that products can be mass produced. The result is a product that offers no real skin benefits and even puts your health at risk.
Fortunately, we have put together a few tips to help you decode your skincare labels like a pro to ensure you protect your skin and your health.
Learn the Basics
Skincare ingredients are always listed in descending order with the largest amounts being at the top of the list and then going down from there. So if water is listed as the first ingredient then the base of the product is water. However, don't worry if your active ingredients are listed towards the end of the list, as only small concentrations of active ingredients are needed to be effective for your skin!
Avoid Toxic Ingredients
While it's impossible for us to list every harmful skincare ingredient, there are obvious ones you should always look out for. If you see words like "sulfates," "parabens," or "fragrance" then you want to avoid the product at all costs. As a general rule of thumb, the foreign sounding ingredients are usually ones you want to avoid. If you aren't sure though, don't be afraid to ask.
Be Aware of Sneaky Marketing Tactics
Companies are allowed to advertise their products as "natural" even if there are only two natural ingredients in the product so it's best to opt for a 100% natural product.
Also, preservatives can often be disguised behind other names such as "fragrance." So do be skeptical if a conventional product touts its products as "preservative free."