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H O W  T O  R E A D  A N  I N G R E D I E N T  L I S T 

I am very excited about this topic, how to read an ingredients list. It's something what constantly everyday I'm learning. We've all been there, trying to buy the right skincare product. All this can be very confusing from the beginning. What ingredients to go for, what to avoid. Dark spots, oiliness, ageing dryness, you need to understand what ingredients will help your skin issues. Nowadays is a lot of products promising  everything and in the end of the day  you will have no results. Mostly a marketing game. 

I will help you to feel more empowered when making decisions what to buy and what not to regarding the skincare. 

First and most important you have to understand is that there is a lot to know. That was my approach, I  needed to take on the beginning of my skincare journey. There are thousand ingredients out there we don't know. It's very important to find good research you can trust and learn from. 

I can recommend PAULA'S CHOICE DICTIONARY.  

This is the website I'm using when I'm searching for ingredients. You can find all the informations there regarding ingredients, how gentle they are, or how reactive and irritating are. You will find also informations regarding the ingredients if they are good or not for your skin.  In my experience is the most accesoble  research source of learning about ingredients out there. When you start to go through ingredients list trust me, this website will be very helpful and you will use all the time. 

Now let's talk about 4 most important trick  to start understanding the ingredients list!

 

1. Look for 6 first ingredients. 

Ingredients list starts from highest concentration to lowest concentration. So whatever you see on the top of the ingredients list you will find most of those ingredients in that product. These 6 ingredients will give you general idea of what is most prevalent in this  product. So for example if you see aloe vera product and you look at the first 6 ingredients and you don't see aloe vera extract or aloe vera juice you will know that this product is not good because is not formulated in high concentration. So when you find products which have amazing 6 first ingredients you know that's a  good high quality product which you want to use. 

2. The Phenoxyethanol Trick

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative used in majority in skincare products to help maintain the formula. But phenoxyethanol is not formulated above 1%. So while ingredients are listed from highest concentration to lowest there is the 1% exclusion. That means that any ingredients formulated below 1% is able to be listed anywhere on the list. This can be  difficult to determinate - which types of ingredients you want on high concentration and which on low concentration. When you see the ingredient Phenoxyethanol on the ingredient list anything below that is likely going to be under 1% and anything above that likely to be over 1%. So if you find product that is advertising as having incredible natural extract like aloe vera, and is listed below Phenoxyethanol that product is not going to be as effective as could be with other products when you find these ingredients listed above Phenoxyethanol. 

3. Ingredients to Find & Avoid

Which ingredients are good which are bad. There are thousands and thousands of ingredients , good and bad. That's why I recommended to you Paula's Choice Dictionary  so you can do research on your own. But in general in terms of ingredients I come across the most in skincare products, they are just so many good ingredients out there that I can't fit them into one post. Instead what I'm going to do I will share with you some of the most irritating and bad ones I recommend you to avoid. 

DENATURED/SD Alcohol

This ingredient is delivery agent but is also highly irritating, sensitising and striping to the face. Everytime  I used products with high concentration of denatured alcohol my skin burns, turns red, it's just awful. In my opinion there are much better high quality delivery agents out there. ETHANOL ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL POLYVINYL ALCOHOL. All this ingredients I highly recommend avoiding if you find them within the firs 6 ingredients over product. If they are lower then that I don't think they are as such a big issue but be very mindful what you are purchasing. 

FRAGRANCE/Parfum

This one is very sneaky because  a lot of companies they like to use fragrance in their products but in the effort to make sure nobody will copy them with exactly the same ingredient list, companies they have abilities to label all the fragrant ingredients they use in one term Fragrance Parfum. That means if you see fragrance parfum on the ingredient list that could be one, five, ten or hundred thousands ingredients. You really have no idea how many ingredients could be labeled under the therm Fragrance. I'm advising to avoid products with fragrance. You don't really know what is in the product, shows the lack of transparency from the brand which means you don't know if they have your best interest in mind.

 

FRAGRANT ESSENTIAL OILS

This is very tricky type of ingredients to look for. It's so many different types of oils out there. Some of them are amazing, some are very irritating and just don't belong in skincare. Some examples are Lavender, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang  and so many others. I'm saying stay away from essential oils but I'm ok to have one or two. If you find essential oils on the top of the ingredients list I would say, stay away. 

CITRUS EXTRACTS, OILS. ORANGE, LIME, LEMON, GRAPEFRUIT 

The reason why I'm recommending to avoid this is because citrus essential oils and extracts are known to have potentially sensitising and irritating properties. They not only carry the risk of standard essential oils, they have also exfoliating substances, that can increase irritation  and they are known for being unstable when exposed to UV light. 

Dosage makes the poison. It's all about the concentration. Some ingredients they can be really good in skincare if they are in lower concentration and some they can be very damaging because of the high concentration. So I recommend to keep that in mind. Be mindful . 

Ingredients are complicated topic. Is never as easy like they are wrong or  good or bad. When comes to my personal standards, I have very high standards. And my philosophy is if the ingredient doesn't need to be in the product then leave it out all together.

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